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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. I


66 About this time a strange story went abroad concerning the spectre of Dundee ; the terrible yet handsome Claverhouse, in his flowing wig and glittering breastplate, appearing to bis friend the Earl of Balcarres, then a prisoner in the Castle, and awaiting tidings of the first battle with keen anxiety. .\bout daybreak on the morning when Killiecrankie was fought and lost by the Williamites, the spectre of Dundee is said to have come to Bal- OLD AND NEW EDINBURGH. ?After this??(says C. K. Sharpe, in a note to ? Law?s Memorials I), ? it moved towards the mantelpiece, remained there for a short time in a leaning posture, and thed walked out of the ? chamber without uttering one word. Lord Balcarres, in great surprise, though not suspecting that what he saw WAS an. apparition, called out ?repeatedly on his friend to stop, but received no answer, and subsequently learned that at the very moment the [Edinburgh Castle.? CHAPTER vIr. EDINBURGH CASTLE ( G O Z C ~ ~ ~ ) . The Torture of Neville Payne-Jacobite Plots-Entombing the Regalia-Project for Surprising the Foitress-Right of Sanctuary Abolished- Lord Drummond?s Plot-Some Jacobite Prisoners-? Rebel Ladies?-James Macgregor-The Castle Vaults-Attempts nt Escape-Fears as to the Destruction of the Crown, Sword, and Sceptre-Crown-room opened in ~;rg+-Again in 7817, and the Regalia brought forth-Mons Meg-General Description of the whole Castle. AMONG the many unfortunates who have pined as prisoners of state in the Castle, few suffered more than Henry Neville Payne, an English gentleman, who was accused of being a Jacobite conspirator. About the time of the battle of the Boyne, when the Earl of Annandale, Lord ROSS, Sir Robert hlontgomerie of Skelmorlie, Robert Fergusson ? the plotter,? and others, were forming a scheme in Scotland for the restoration of King James, Payne had been sent there in connection with it, but was discovered in Dumfriesshire, seized, and sent to Edinburgh. Lockhart, the Solicitor- General for Scotland, who happened to be in London, coolly wrote to the Earl of Melville, Secretary of State at Edinburgh, saying, ? that there was no doubt that he (Payne) knew as much as would hang a thousand; but except you put him to the torture, he will shame you all. Pray you, put him in such hands as will have no pity on him!?* The Council, however, had anticipated these amiable instructions, and Payne had borne torture to extremity, by boot and thumbscrews, without confessing anything. On the loth of December, under express instruction signed by King William, and countersigned by Lord Melville, the process was to be repeated; and this was done in the presence of the Earl of Crawford, ?with all the seventy,? he reported, ? that was consistent with humanity, even unto that pitch that we could not preserve life and have gone further, but without the least success. He was so manly and resolute under his sufferings that such of the Council as were not Melville?s Coiiespondence. acquainted with the evidence, were brangled, and began to give him charity that he might be innocent. It was surprising that flesh and blood could, without fainting, endure the heavy penance he was in for two hours.? This unfortunate Englishman, in his maimed and shattered condition, was now thrown into a vault of the Castle, where none had access to him save a doctor. Again and again it was represented to the ?I humane and pious King William? that to keep Payne in prison Id without trial was contrary to law;? but notwithstanding repeated petitions for trial and mercy, in defiance of the Bill of Rights, William allowed him to languish from year to year for ten years ; until, on the 4th of February, 1701, he was liberated, in broken health, poverty, and premature old age, without the security for reappearance, which was customary in such cases. Many plots were formed by the Jacobites-one about 1695, by Fraser of Beaufort (the future Lovat), and another in 1703, to surprise the Castle, as being deemed the key to the whole kingdom-but without success ; and soon after the Union, in 1707, its walls witnessed that which was deemed ?I the last act of that national tragedy,? the entombing of thz regalia, which, by the Treaty, ? are never more to be used, but kept constantly in the Castle of Edinburgh.? In presence of Colonel Stuart, the constable ; Sir James Mackenzie, Clerk of the Treasury ; William Wilson, Deputy-Clerk of Session-the crown, sceptre, sword of state, and Treasurer?s rod, were solemnly deposited in their usual receptacle, the crown-room, on the 26th of March. ?Animated by the sam- glow of patriotism that fired the
Volume 1 Page 66
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