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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. I


men of rank, another plot to storm it, at a time when its garrison was the nsth, or old regiment of Edinburgh, was formed by Lord John Drummond, son of the Earl of Perth, with eighty men, mostly Highlanders, and all of resolute courage. All these -among whom was a Captain McLean, who had lost a leg at Killiecrankie, and an Ensign Arthur, late of the Scots Guards-were promised commissions under King James, and IOO guineas each, if ROYAL LODGING AND HALF-MOON BATTERY. when the plot was marred by-a lady ! In the exultation he felt at the approaching capture, and the hope he had of lighting the beacon which was to announce to Fife and the far north that the Castle was won, Ensign Arthur unfolded the scheme to his brother, a physician in the city, who volunteered for the enterprise, but most prudently told his wife of it, and she, alarmed for his safety, at once gave information to the Lord Justice the event succeeded ; and at that crisis-when Mar was about to fight the battle of Sheriffmuir-it might have put him in possession of all Scotland. Drummond contrived to suborn four of the garrison -a sergeant, Ainslie, to whom he promised a lieutenancy, a corporal, who was to be made an ensign, and two privates, who got bribes in money. On the night of the 8th September, when the troops marched from the city to fight the Earl of Mar, the attempt was made. The chosen time, near twelve o'clock, was dark and stormy, and the ilrodlcs operandi was to be by escalading the western walls, near the ancient arched postern. A ladder, equipped with great hooks to fix it to the cope of the bastion, and calculated to admit four men Clerk, Sir Adam Cockburn of Ormiston, who instantly put himself in communication with Colonel Stuart. Thus, by the time the conspirators were at the foot of the wall the whole garrison was under arms, the sentinels were doubled, and the ramparts patrolled. The first party of forty men, led by the resolute Lord Drummond and the wooden-legged McLean, had reached the foot of the wall unseen ; already the ladder had been secured by Sergeant Ainslie, and the escalade was in the act of ascending, with pistols in their girdles and swords in their teeth, when a Lieutenant Lindesay passed with his patrol, and instantly gave an alarm I The ladder and all on it fell heavily on the rocks below. A sentinel
Volume 1 Page 68
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