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Memorials of Edinburgh in the Olden Time


BATTLE OF FLODDEN TO DEATH OF YAMES V. 43 The greit maister of housholde, all thair last, With him, in ordour, all the kingis tryne, Quhais ordinance war langsum to defyne ; On this maner, scho passing throw the toun, Suld haif resavit mony benisoun. . Thou sulde haif hard the ornate oratouris, Makand her Hynes salutatioun, Baith of the clergy, toun, and counsalouris, With niony notabill narratioun, Thow sdde haif sene hir Coronatioun, In the fair abbay of the Haly Rode, In presence of ane myrthfull multitude. Sic bankettiog, sic awfiill tournaments, On how and fute, that tyme quhilk suld haif belie, Sic chapell royal& with sic instrumenta, And craftye musick, singing from the splene, In this cuntre w a ~ne ver hard, nor sene : Bot, all this greit solempnitie, and gam, Turnit thow hes in requiem eternam. James, though without doubt sincerely attached to his Queen, very speedily after his bereavement, for reasons of state policy, began to look about him for another to supply her place. And while his ambassadors were negotiating his alliance with Mary of Lorraine, daughter of t,he Duke of Guise, the Scottish capital became the scene of tragical events, little in harmony with the general character of this gallant Monarch. Groundless charges of treason were concocted, seemingly by the malice of private enmity, iu consequence of which, John, son of Lord Forbes, and chief of his name, was convicted of having conspired the King’s death. He was beheaded and quartered on the Castle Hill, and his quarters exposed on the principal gates of the city. This execution was followed in a few days by a‘still more barbarous deed of like nature. The Lady Glamis, sister of the Earl of Angus, convicted, as it would seem, by the perjury of a disappointed suitor, on the charge of a design to poison the King, and of the equally hateful crime of being of the blood of the Douglasses, was condemned to be burned alive. The .sentence waa immediately put in execution on the Castle Hill, and in sight of her husband, then a prisoner in the Castle, who, either in desperation at the cruel deed or in seeking to effect his escape, was killed in falling over the Castle rock. The horror of such barbarous events is somewhat relieved by an ordeal of a different nature, which immediately followed them, and which, aB it is related by Dnunmond, seems a grave satire on the knightlyprowess of the age. Upon the like suspicion,” says he, “ Drumlanrig and Hempsfield, ancient barons, having challenged others, had leave to try the verity by combat. The lists were designed by the King (who was a spectator and umpire of their valour) at the Court of the Palace of Holyrood House. They appeared upon the day, armed from head to foot, like ancient Paladines, and after many interchanged blows, to the disadvantage of their casks, corslets, and vantbraces, when the one was become breathless, by the weight of his arms and thunder of blows, and the other, who was short-sighted, had broken his ponderous sword, the King, by heraulds, caused separate them, with disadvantage to neither of these
Volume 10 Page 47
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