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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. II


St. Mary?s Wynd.] sr. MARY?S CONVENT. 297 ST. MARY?S WYND, FROM ?THE PLEASANCE (From a Viwpwbliahe-d in 1829) CHAPTER XXXVI. ST. MARY?S WYND. St. Mary?s Wynd and Street-Sir David Annand-St. Mary?s Cistercian Convent and Hospital-Bothwell?s Brawl in 1562-The Cowgate Port-Rag Fair-The Ladies of Traquair-Ramsay?s ?White Ham? Inn-Pasquale de Pad-Ramsay Retues with a Fortune-Boyds ?White Hone ? Inn-Patronised by Dr. Johnson-Improvements in the Wynd-Catholic Institute-The oldest Doorhead in the City. ST. MARY?S WYND and Leith Wynd lay in the direct line of the old Roman road, that crossed the rough and rugged slope on which, since then, the old city has been gradually developed. The former took its name from a chapel and convent of Cistercian nuns, together with a hospital dedicated to St. hfary, the two former being situated on the west side of the street at the head thereof, or near the boundary of the present Tweeddale Court, or Close ; but when or by whom founded, not a trace or record are given by history. When the battle of the Burghmuir was fought in 1335, Abercrombiex tells us that the Nainurois, when defeated by the Scots, ?made an orderly retreat to Edinburgh ; they faced about several times, as occasion offered or necessity required, particularly as they entered St. Mary?s Wynd ; and here a Scots knight, Sir David Annand, a man of incredible strength and no less courage, having re- * ?Martial Achievements of the Scott?kh Nation? SS ceived a wound from one of the enemy, was thereby so much exasperated, that, at once exerting all the vigour of his unwearied arms, he gave his adversary such a blow with an axe, that the sharp and ponderous weapon clave both man and horse, and falling with irresistible force to the ground, made a lasting impression upon the very stones of the street. This story may seem a little too romantic, and I would not have related it had I not cited a very good voucher, John de Fordoun, who flourished in 1360, not long after it happened.? John de Fordoun, called the father of Scottish history, was a priest in the diocese of St. Andrews, and if the street was known as St. Mary?s Wynd in his days, the convent must have existed in the fourteenth century. The revenues of the hospital were very small; thus the Town Council passed an Act in 1499, during the provostry of Walter Bertraham, ordaining the most respectable citizens to beg daily through the streets from all well-disposed persons ; the money so obtained to be applied for
Volume 2 Page 297
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