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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. I


nearly to the muzzle with musket-balls was depressed to sweep it, and did so with awful effect. According to the historian of the ? Troubles,? twenty men were blown to shreds. Weddal had both thighs broken, and Somerville, with a few who were untouched, grovelled close under the wall, where Ruthven, who recognised him as an old Swedish comrade, besought him to retire, adding, ? I derive no pleasure in the death of gallant men.? Of the whole escalade only thirty-three escaped alive, and of these many were wounded, a result which cooled the ardour of the besiegers; but after a three months? blockade, finding his garrison few, and all suffering from scurvy, and that provisions and ammunition were alike expended, on the 18th September, after a blockade of five months in all, during which 1,000 men had been slain, he marched outwith the honours of war (when so ill with scurvy that he could scarcely walk) at the head .of seventy men, with one drum beating, one standard flying, matches lighted, 2nd two pieces .of cannon, with balls in their muzzles and the port-fires blazing at both ends. They all sailed for England in a king?s ship. Ruthven fought nobly for the king there, and died at a good old age in 1651, Earl of Forth and Brentford. Argyle, the Dictator of Scotland, in the autumn of 1648 invited Oliver Cromwell to Edinburgh, and entertained him with unwonted magnificence in the great hall of the Castle ; afterwards they held many meetings in Lady Home?s house, in the Canongate, where the resolution to take away the king?s fife was discussed and approved of, for which the said Dictator afterwards lost his head. The next important event in the history of 5? The steep, the iron-belted rock, Where trusted lie the monarchy?s last gems, The sceptre, sword, and crown that graced the brows Since Fergus, father of a hundred kings,? I was in the days of Cromwell. Scotland, after the coronation of Charles II., that I On tidings reaching the former was advancing north at the head of an army, the Parliament ordered the Castle to be put in a state of defence. There were put therein a select body of troops under Colonel Walter Dundas, 1,000 bolls of meal and malt, 1,000 tons of coal, 67 brass and iron guns, including Mons Meg and howitzers, 8,000 stand of arms, and a vast store of warlike munition. According to the superstition of the time the earth and air all over Scotland teemed with strange omens of the impending strife, and in a rare old tract, of 16j0, we are told of the alarm created in the fortress by the appearance of a ?horrible apparition ? beating upon a drum. On a dark night the sentinel, under the shadow of the gloomy half-moon, was alarmed by the beating of a drum upon the esplanade and the tread of marching feet, on which he fired his musket. Col. Dundas hurried forth, but could see nothing on the bleak expanse, the site of the now demolished Spur. The sentinel was truncheoned, and another put in his Dlace. to COVENANTERS? FLAG. (Fmnz tAe Altts~rrm ofthe societu of Antiq~n&~ d.yco*la&.) A I whom the same thing happened, and he, too, fired his musket, affirming that he heard the tread of soldiers marching to the tuck of drum. To Dundas nothing was visible, nothing audible but the moan of the autumn wind. He took a musket and the post of sentinel. Anon he heard the old Scots march, beaten by an invisible drummer, who came close up to the gate; then came other sounds-the tramp of many feet and clank of accoutrements ; still nothing was visible, till the whole impalpable array seemed to halt close by Dundas, who was bewildered with consternation. Again a drum was heard beating the English, and then the French march, when the alarm ended ; but the next drums that were beaten there were those of Oliver Cromwell. When the latter approached Edinburgh he found the whole Scottish army skilfully entrenched parallel with Leith Walk, its flanks protected by
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ns and howitzers on the bastions of the latter and the Calton Hill. The sharp encounter there, and at St. Leonard?s Hill, in both of which he was completely repulsed, are apart from the history of the fortress, from the ramparts of which the young king Charles 11. witnessed them; but the battle of Dunbar subsequently placed all the south of Scotland at the power of Cromwell, when he was in desperation about returning for England, the Scots having cut off his retreat. On the 7th September, 1650, he entered Edinburgh, and placed it under martial law, enforcing the most rigid regulations; yet the people had nothing to complain of, and justice was impartially administered. He took up his residence at the Earl of Moray?s house-that stately edifice on the south side of the Canongate-and quartered his soldiers in Holyrood and the city; but his guard, or outlying picket, was in Dunbar?s Close-so named from the victors of Dunbar ; and tradition records that a handsome old house at the foot of Sellars Close was occasionally occupied by him while pressing the siege of the Castle, which was then full of those fugitive preachers whose interference had caused the ruin of Leslie?s army. With them he engaged in a curious polemical discussion, and is said by Pinkerton to have preached in St. Giles?s churchyard to the people. To facilitate the blockade he demolished the ancient Weigh House, which was not replaced @ill after the Restoration. He threw UP batteries at Heriot?s Hospital, which was full of his wounded ; on the north bank of the loch, and the stone bartisan of Davidson?s house on the Castle Hill. He hanged in view of the Castle, a poor old gardener who had supplied Dundas with some information ; and during these operations, Nicoll, the diarist, records that there were many slain, ? both be schot of canoun and musket, as weell Scottis as Inglische.? Though the garrison received a good supply of provisions, by the bravery of Captain Augustine, a German soldier of fortune who served in the Scottish army, and who hewed a passage into the fortress through Cromwell?s guards, at the head of 120 horse, Dundas, when tampered with, was cold in his defence. Cromwell pressed the siege with vigour. He mustered colliers from the adjacent country, and forced them, under fire, to work at a mine on the south side, near the new Castle road, where it can still?be seen in the freestone rock. Dundas, a traitor from the first, now lost all heart, and came to terms with Cromwell, to whom he capitulated on the 12th of December, 1650.* 1 * The articles of the treaty and the list of the captured guns arc given at length in Balfour?s ??AM&? Exactly as St. Giles?s clock struck twelve the garrison marched ? out, with drums beating and colours flying, after which the Castle was garrisoned by ? English blasphemers ? (as the Scots called them) under Colonel George Fenwick. Cromwell, in reporting all this to the English Parliament, says :-?; I think I need say little of the strength of this place, which, if it had not come as it did, would have cost much blood. . . . I must needs say, not any skill or wisdom of ours, but the good will of God hatli given you this place.? By the second article of the treaty the records of Scotland n-ere transmitted to Stirling, on the capture of which they were sent in many hogsheads to London, and lost at sea when being sent back, Dundas was arraigned before the Parliament, and his reputation was never freed from the stain cast upon it by the capitulation; and Sir Janies Balfour, his contemporary, plainly calls him a base, cowardly, ?? traitorous villane ! ? Cromwell defaced the royal arms at the Castle gate and elsewhere ; yet his second in command, Monk, was f2ted at a banquet by the magistrates, when, on the 4th May, 1652, he was proclaimed Protector of the Commonwealth. At first brawls were frequent, and English soldiers were cut off on every available occasion. One day in the High Street, an officer came from Cromwell?s house ?in great says Patrick Gordon, and as he mounted his horse, mhly &d aloud, ? With my own hands I killed the Scot to whom this horse and these pistols belonged. Who dare say I wronged him?? ccI dare, and thus avenge him !? exclaimed one who stood near, and, running the Englishman through the body, mounted his horse, dashed through the nearest gate, and escaped into the fields. For ten years there was perfect peace in Edin. burgh, and stage coaches began to run every three weeks between it and the ?George Inn, without Aldersgate, London,? for A4 10s. a seat. Iambert?s officers preached in the High Kirk, and buffcoated troopers taught and expounded in the Parliament House; and so acceptable became the sway of the Protector to civic rulers that they had just proposed to erect acolossal stone monument in his honour, when the Restoration came ! It was hailed with the wildest joy by all the Scottish people. The cross of Edinburgh was garlanded with flowers ; its fountains ran with wine ; 300 dozen of glasses were broken there, in drinking to the health of His Sacred Majesty and the perdition of Cromwell, who in effigy wa- 5 consigned to the devil. Banquets were given, and salutes fired from the Castle, where Mons Meg was
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