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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. I


cantoned with other four in the angles. The tiar, or bonnet, was of purple velvet; but, in 1685, it got a .cap of crimson velvet, adorned with four plates of gold, on each of them a great pearl, and the bonnet -is trimmed up with ermine. Upon the lowest circle there are eight small holes, two and two, on the -four quarters of the crown, which mere for lacing -or tying thereto diamonds or precious stones. The crown is g inches in diameter, 27 inches about, and in height from the under circle to the top of the cross patee 6; inches. The sceptre : its stem or stalk, which is of silver double overgilt, is two feet long, of a hexagon form, with three buttons or knobs; betwixt the first button and the second is the handle of a hexagon form, furling in the middle and plain. Betwixt the second button and the third are three sides engraven. From the third button to the capital the three sides under the statues are plain, and on the other three are antique engravings. Upon the top of the stalk is an antique capital of leaves embossed, the abacus whereof arises round the prolonged stem, surrounded with three little statues; between every two statues arises a rullion in the form of a dolphin ; above the rullions and statues stands another hexagon button, with oak leaves under every corner, and down it a crystjl (beryl?) globe. The whole sceptre is in length 34 inches.? The statues are those of the Virgin, St. Andrew, and St. James. The royal initials, J. R. V. are engraved under them. If James V. had this sceptre made, the metallic settings of the great beryl belong to some sceptre long anterior to his time. The sword is in length 5 feet ; the handle and pommel are of silver overgilt, in length 15 inches. The pommel is round and somewhat flat on the two sides. The traverse or cross OF the sword, which is of silver overgilt, is in length 17h inches; its form is like two dolphins with their heads joining and their tails ending in acorns; the shell is hanging down towards the point of the sword, formed like an escalop flourished, or rather like a green oak-leaf. On the blade of the sword are indented with gold these letters-JuLIus 11. P. The scabbard is of crimson velvet, covered with silver wrought in philagram-work into branches oj the oak-tree leaves and acorns.?? Such are the Scottish regalia, which, since the destruction 01 those of England by Cromwell, are the only ancien! regal emblems in Great Britain. The sword of state is of an earlier date than the rod of the sceptre, being presented by the rvarlikr Pope Julius to James IV. with a consecrated hai in 1507. The keys of St. Peter figure promhentlj among the filagree work. After the fall of the Castle of Dunottar, in 1651, the belt of the sword became an heirloom in the family of Ogilvie of Barras. The great pearl in the apex of the crown is alleged to be the same which in 1620 was found in the burn of Kellie, a tributary of the Ythanz in Aberdeenshire, and was so large and beautiful that it was esteemed the best that had at any time been found in Scotland.? Sir Thomas Menzies, Provost of Aberdeen, obtaining this precious jewel, presented it to James VI., who in requital gave him twelve or fourteen chaldron of victuals about Dunfermline, and the custom of certain merchant goods during his life.? * Before quitting the Castle of Edinburgh, it is impossible to omit some special reference to Mons Meg-that mighty bombard which is thirteen feet long and two feet three and a half inches within the bore, and which was long deemed by the Scots a species of palladium, the most ancient cannon in Europe, except one in Lisbon, and a year older than those which were made for Mahomet 11. Not a vestige of proof can be shown for the popular error that this gun was forged at Mons, while unvarying tradition, supported by very strong carroborative evidence, proves that she was formed by Scottish artisans, by order of James II., when he besieged the rebellious Douglases in the castle of Thrieve, in Galloway, during 1455. He posted his artillery at the Three Thorns of the Carlinwark, one of which is still surviving ; but their fire proving ineffective, a smith named M?Kim, and his sons, offered to construct a more efficient piece of ordnance. Towards this the inhabitants of the vicinity contributed each a ,rrczud, or iron bar. Tradition, which never varied, indicated the place where it was forged, a mound near the Three Thorns, .and when the road was formed there, that mound was discovered to be a mass of cinders and the iron dCbris of a great forge. To this hour the place where the great gun was posted is named Knock-cannon. Only fwo of Meg?s bullets were discharged before Thrieve surrendered, and it is remarkable that both have been found there. ?The first,? says the New Statistical Accowif, <?was, towards the end of thk last century, picked out of the well and delivered to Gordon of Greenlam. The second was discovered in 1841, by the tenant of Thrieve, when removing an accumulation of rubbish.? It lay in a line direct from Knock-cannon to the breach in the wall. To reward M?Kim Jarnes bestowed upon him the forfeited lands of MolIFnce. The smith is said to have nanied the gun after his wife ; and the con-
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