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Edinburgh Past and Present


AND THE VALE OF THE ESK. '37 Charles I., and his despondency over the state of the times, the evidence is sufficient ; but that Charles's death in any way occasioned Dkmmond's no one is bound to believe. There was an interval of ten months between the two events ; and Drummond had at any rate .reached the limit of life that might have been anticipated. He had passed, by seven years, the age attained by his father; and he had outlived all his brothers and sisters, except his brother James, the next to him in age, who is heard of as surviving him for a year or two.' . Drummond's grave is still to be seen. It is in the churchyard of Lasswade, the parish in which Hawthornden is situated. LASSWADE VILLAGE. ' The Church and Churchyard of Lasswade are on a height overlooking the village, and about two miles and a half from Hawthornden. The present church was built about a hundred years ago ; but, in a portion of the well-kept churchyard, railed in separately from the rest, as more select and important, there is the fragmentaj outline of the smaller old church, with some of the sepulchral monuments that belonged to it. Drummond's own aisle, abutting from one part of the ruined wall, is still perfect, a small arched space of stonework, with a roofing of strong stone slabs; and a grating of iron for door-way. Within that small arched space Drummond's ashes certainly lie, though there is no inscription to mark the precise spot as distinct from the graves of some of his latest descendants who are also buried there, and to one of whom there is a commemorative tablet. The small arched aisle itself is his monument, and it is a'sufficient one. There could hardly be a more peaceful rustic burying-ground than that in which it stands, the church and the manse close to it on the height, with only steep descending lanes from them to Lasswade village and to the road leading from Lasswade to Edinburgh.' The Village of Lasswade lies in a leafy hollow, through which runs the Esk. In its churchyard, besides the poet Drummond and other notable Scotchmen of his century; lies Henry Dbdas, first Viscount Melville, ' the colleague and friend of Pitt, and from 1775 to 1805 the virtual king of Scotland.' His seat, Melville Castle, lies farther down the Esk, between Lasswade and Dalkeith. It was in the summer of 1798 that Scott and his wife, when they had been a few months mamed, hired a pretty little cottage at Lasswade. ' It is a small house,' says Lockhart, 'but with one room of good dimensions, which ME. Scott's taste set off at very humble cost-a paddock or two, and a garden (commanding a most' beautiful view), in which Scott delighted to train his S
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13% ROSLIN, HAWTHORNDEN, flowers and creepers. Never, I have heard him say, was he prouder of his handiwork thah when he had completed the fashioning of a rustic archway, now overgrown with hoary ivy, by way of ornament to the entrance from the Edinburgh road.’ At Lasswade, long afterwards, De Quincey spent his later years in a small house which used to be called, as it may still be called, De Quincey’s Cottage.’ D A L KE I T H. The market-town of Dalkeith lies between the two rivers, now very near their meeting-point. It derived its name from its position : ‘ daZ= wall, and caatha = confined,’ say the scholars. The town consists mainly of one street running from east to west, now full of new houses and shops, but with here and there an old roof or house-front still to be seen. Diverging from the High Street are narrow alleys or ‘closes,’ and in many of these the old houses remain untouched. Towards its eastern end, the High Street widens into a market-place. Here, on your left, stand the remains of the ancient church of St Nicholas, with the modem church tacked on to i t Directly opposite is the old jail, a two-stoned stone building with barred windows, the groundfloor of which was used as a weigh-house on market days until both its functions were superseded by the newer police-station and market-hall. Facing us, at the eastern extremity of the town, are the gates of Dalkeith Palace, the seat of the Dukes of Buccleuch. Of the ancient Castle, built on a high ground, with a drawbridge in front and a ravine at the back, nothing now remains, except perhaps a bit of the outworks down on the banks of the North Esk, at the back of the present Palace. The earliest mention of it dates from the 12th century, when it belonged to the Grahams. Two hundred years after, by the marriage of a Marjory Graham, it went into the hands of the Douglases, afterwards Earls of Morton. Here Froissart stayed full fifteen days while he was in Scotland. Here the little Princess Margaret, daughter of Henry VII. of England, rested with her retinue on her way to be married at Edinburgh to King James IV., who himself met her at Newbattle and accompanied her to Dalkeith PaIace with great ceremony. The Regent Morton, to whom it descended, repaired and strengthened the Castle, and earned for it the name of Lion’s Den.’ In the following reign it was a favourite resort of the King. When the news of his mother‘s death at Fotheringay arrived at Edinburgh, King James, in much vexation, went without supper to bed, ‘and on the morrow, by seven o’clock, went tu
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