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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. I


sacres will, in a short space, run a great length. I desire you may disperse this news abroad, if it be not in town before your receipt of this ; for that country, and the North of England, without speedy relief, is jn great danger of depopulation. And the Duke of Gordon h$th in his possession the Castle of Edinburgh, whereby he can at pleasure level that city with the ground. At twelve of the clock yesternight our Governor, LieutXollonel Billingsley, dispatched an Express to the Lords Danby and Lumley for drawing their forces to this town. I received yours to-day, which being Sabbath-day, I beg your pardon for brevity. ? I was told they see the fires and burnings of those Rebels at Edinburgh ; this is the beginning of the discovery of the Popish intrigue. God defend England from the French, and his Highness the Prince of Orange from the bloody Popish attempts I ?London : Published by J- Wells, St. Paul?s Alley, St. Paul?s Churchyard, ~688.? Tidings of William?s landing filled the Scottish Presbyterians with the wildest joy, and the magis- THUMBIKIN. ( F m the Musewnr ofthe Society of Antiguarirs of Scutland.) trates of Edinburgh, who but two years before had been extravagant in their protestations to James VII., were among the first to welcome the invader; and the city filled fast with bands of jubilant revolutionists, rendering it unsafe for all of cavalier tenets to be within the walls. On the 11th of April, 1688, William and Mxry were proclaimed at the cross king and queen of Scotland, after an illegally constituted Convention of the Estates, which was attended by only thirty representatives, declared that King James had forfeited all title to the crown, thus making a vacancy. A great and sudden change now came over the realm. ? Men,? says Dr. Chambers, ?who had been lately in danger of their lives for consciencl sake, or starving in foreign lands, were now at the head of affairs! The Earl of Melville, Secretary of State ; Crawford, President of Parliament ; Argyle, restored to title and lands, and a Privy Councillor; Dalrymple of Stair, Hume of Marchmont, Stewart of Goodtrees, and many other exiles, came back from Holland, to resume prominent positions in the public service at home; while the instruments of the late unhappy Government were either captives under suspicion, or living terror-struck at their country houses. Common people, who had been skulking in mosses from Claverhouse?s dragoons, were now marshalled into Y regiment, and planted as a watch on the Perth md Forfar gentry. There were new figures in the Privy Council, and none of them ecclesiastical. There was a wholly new set of senators on the bench of the Court of Session. It looked like a sudden shift of scenes in a pantomime rather than a series of ordinary occurrences.? For three days and nights Edinburgh was a wild scene of pillage and rapine. The palace was assailed, the chapel royal sacked ; and the Duke of Gordon, on finding that the rabble, drunk and maddened by wine and spirits found in the cellars of cavalier families who had fled, were .wantonly firing on his sentinels, drew up the drawbridge, to cut off all communication with the city; but finding that his soldiers were divided in their religious and political opinions, and that a revolt was impending, he called a council of officers to frustrate the attempt ; and the Lieutenant-Governor, Colonel John Winram, of Liberton and the Inch House, Colonel of the Scots Foot Guards in 1683, undertook to watch the men, forty-four of whom it was deemed necessary to strip of their uniforms and expel from the fortress. In their place came thirty Highlanders, onqthe 11th of November, and 300n after forty-five more, under Gordon of Midstrath. By the Privy Council the Duke was requested, as a Roman Catholic, to surrender his command to the next senior Protestant officer; but he declined, saying, ?I am bound only to obey King James VII.? A few of the Life Guards and Greys, who had quitted the Scottish army on its revolt, now reached Edinburgh under the gallant Viscount Dundee, and their presence served to support the spirits of the Royalists, but the friends of the Revolution brought in several companies of infantry, who were concealed in the suburbs, and 6,000 Cameronians marched in from the west, under standards inscribed, ?O For Reformation according to the Word of God,? below an open Bible. These men nobly rejected all remuneration, saying, with one voice, ?We have come to serve our country.? Their presence led to other conspiracies in the garrisan, and the Duke of Gordon had rather a harassing time of it. The friends of William of Orange having formed a plan for? the assassination of Dundee and Sir George Mackenzie of Rosehahgh, compelled them
Volume 1 Page 62
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