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Memorials of Edinburgh in the Olden Time


Volume 10 Page 6
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6 MEMORIALS OF EDINBURGH. Dederyk, Alderman of Edinburgh, with the whole community of the town, swore fealty to the usurper. Immediately after the final triumph of the Bruce, few occurrences of importance, in connection with Edinburgh, are recorded ; though here, on the 8th March 1327, his Parliament held its sittings in the Abbey of Holyrood,' and here also his sixteenth and last Parliament assembled in March 1328. From the glimpses we are able to obtain from time to time, it may be inferred that it still occupied a very secondary station among the towns of Scotland; and while the Cast,le was always an object of importance with every rival power, its situation was much too accessible from the English border to be permanently chosen as the royal reaidence. In the interregnum, for example, after the death of Margaret, the Maid of Norway, we find, in 1304, when a general Parliament was summoned by Edward to be held at Perth, for the settlement of Scotland, sheriffs are appointed for each of twenty-one burghs named, while Edinburgh is grouped with Haddington and Linlithgow, under '' Ive de Adeburgh ; " and the recapture of the Castle, on two successive occasions, by Edward, obtains but a passing notice, amid the stirring interest of the campaigns d Bruce. Towards the close of 1312, when the persevering valour of Bruce, and the imbecility of Edward II., had combined to free nearly every stronghold of Scotland from English garrisons, we find the Castle of Edinburgh held for the English by Piers Leland, a Gascon knight; but when Randolph, the nephew of the Bruce, laid it under strict blockade, the garrison, suspecting his fidelity, thrust him into a dungeon, and prepared, under a newly chosen commander, to hold out to the last. Matters were in this state, when a romantic incident restored this important fortress to the Scottish arms. William Frank, a soldier, who had previously formed one of the Scottish garrison, volunteered to guide the besiegers by a steep and intricate path up the cliff, by which he had been accustomed in former years to escape during the night from military durance, to enjoy the society of a fair maiden of the neighbouring city, of whom he was enamoured. Frequent use had made him familiar with the perilous ascent ; and, under his guida,nce, Randolph, with thirty men, scaled the Castle walls at midnight; and after a determined resistance, the garrison was overpowered. Leland, the imprisoned governor, entered the Scottish service on his release, and, according to Barbour, was created by the King Viscount of Edinburgh ; but afterwards, headds, he thought that he had an English heart, and made him to be Aangit and dramen.' Acta of Parliament of Scotland, vol. i. fol. Hailes' Annals, vol. i. p. 285. Ibid., vol. ii. p. 38. VIGNETTE-Ancient atone from Edinburgh Castle, now in the Antiquarian Museum.
Volume 10 Page 7
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