Edinburgh Bookshelf

Old and New Edinburgh Vol. II


Leith Wynd.] TRINITY COLLEGE. 303 near its site stands one of the fine and spacious school houses erected for the School Board. At the foot of Leith Wynd, on the west side, there was founded on the 5th of March, 1462, by royal charter, the collegiate church of the Holy Trinity, by Mary, Queen of Scotland, daughter of Arnold Duke of Gueldres, grand-daughter of John Duke of Burgundy, and widow of James II., slain about two years before by the bursting of a cannon at Roxburgh. Her great firniness on that disastrous occasion, and during the few remaining years of her own life, proves her to have been a princess of no ordinary strength of mind. She took an active part in goyerning the stormy kingdom of her son, and died in 1463. Her early death may account for the nave never being built, though it was not unusual for devout persons in that age of church buliding, to erect as much as they could finish, and leave to the devotion of posterity the completion of the rest. Pitscottie tells us that she OLD COLLEGIATE SEALS, his office shall be adjudged vacant, and the same shall, by the Provost and Chapter, with consent of the Ordinary, be conferred upon another. If any of the said prebendaries shall keep a $ye-maker, and shall not dismiss her, after being therein admonished thereto by the Provost, his prebend shall be adjudged vacant, and conferred on another, by consent of the Ordinary as aforesaid. ? The Provost of the said college, whenever the office of provostry shall become vacant, shall by us and our successors, Kings of Scotland, be presented to the Ordinary; and the vicars belonging to the out-churches aforesaid shall be presented by the Provost and Chapter of the said college to the Ordinary, fromwhomtheyshall receive canonical institution; and no prebendary shall be instituted unless he can read and sing plainly, count and discount, and that the boys may be found docile in the premises. And we further appoint and ordain, that whenever any of the said ?RINITY COLLEGE CHURCH. prebendwies shall ?was buried in the Trinitie College, quhilk she built hirself.? Her grave was violated at the Reformation. The church was dedicated ?to the Holy Trinity, to the ever blessed and glorious Virgin Mary, to 3t. Ninian the Confessor, and to all the saints and elect people of God.? The foundation was for a provost, eight prebendaries, and two clerks, and with much minuteness several ecclesiastical benefices and portions of land were assigned for the support of the several offices ; and in the charter there are some provisions of a peculiar character, in Scotland at least, and curiously illustrative of the age and its manners :- ?Aud we appoint that none of the said preben- ,daries or clerks absent themselves from their offices without the leave of the Provost, to whom it shall not be lawful to allow any of them above the space of fifteen days at a time, unless it be on extraordiaary occasions, and then not without consent of the chapter ; and whosoever of the said prebendaries or clerks shall act contrary to this ordinance, iead mass,? he shall, after the same, in his sacerdotal habits, repair to the tomb of the foundress with hyssop, and there read the prayer Dep-ofmdis, together with that of the faithful, and exhortation to excite the people to devotion.?? . Thechoir of this church from the apse to the west enclosure of the rood tower was go feet long, and 70 feet from transept to transept window ; the north aisle was 12 feet broad, and the south g feet. It is a tradition in masonry that the north aisles of all Catholic churches were wider than the south, to commemorate the alleged circumstance of the Saviour?s head, on the cross, falling on his right shoulder. In digging the foundation of the Scott monument, an old quarry 40 feet deep was discovered, and from it the stones from which the church was built were taken. With the exception of Holyrood, it was the finest example of decorated English Gothic architecture in the city, with many of the peculiarities of the age to which it belonged. Various armorial bearings adorned different parts
Volume 2 Page 303
  Shrink Shrink   Print Print   Pictures Pictures