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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. II


262 OLD AND NEW EDINBURGH. [High Street other services, Charles Philip Count d?artois, brother of the ill-fated Louis XVI., and his son the Duc d?Angoul&me, while, in the earlier years of their exile, they resided at Holyrood, by permission of the British Government, though the people of Scotland liked to view it as in virtue of the ancient Alliance; and a most humble place of worship it must have seemed to the count, who is described as having been ?the most gay, gaudy, fluttering, accomplished, luxurious, and expensive prince in Europe.? A doorway inscribed in antique characters of the 16th century, Miserwe mei Dew, gave access to this chapel. It bore a shield in the centre with three mullets in chief, a plain cross, and two swords saltire-waysthe coat armorial of some long-forgotten race. Another old building adjoined, above the door of which was the pious legend ranged in two lines, The feeir of the Lordis the Qegynning of al visdome, but as to the generations of men that dwelt there not even a tradition remains. Lower down, at the south-west corner of the Wynd, there formerly stood the English Episcopal Chapel, founded, in 1722, by the Lord Chief Baron Smith of the Exchequer Court, for a clergyman qualified to take the oaths to Government. To endow it he vested a sum in the public funds for the purpose of yielding A40 per annum to the incumbent, and left the management in seven trustees nominated by himself. The Baron?s chapel existed for exactly a century; it was demolished in 1822, after serving as a place of worship for all loyal and devout Episcopal High Churchmen at a time when Episcopacy and Jacobitism were nearly synonymous terms in Scotland. It was the most fashionable church in the city, and there it was that Dr. Johnson sat in 1773, when on his visit to Boswell. When this edifice was founded, according to Arnot, it was intended that its congregation should unite with others of the Episcopal persuasion in the new chapel ; but the incumbent, differing from his hearers about the mode of his settlement there, chose to withdraw himself again to that in which he was already established. .? After the accession of George III., ?certain officious people ? lodged information against some of the Episcopal clergymen ; ?? but,? says Amot, ? the officers of state, imitating the liberality and clemency of their gracious master, discountenanced such idle and invidious endeavours at oppression.? In the Blackfriars Wynd-though in what part thereof is not precisely known now, unless on the site of Baron Smith?s chapel-the semi-royal House of Sinclair had a town. mansion. They were Princes and Earls of Orkney, Lords of Roslin, Dukes of Oldenburg, and had a list oE titles that has been noted for its almost Spanish tediousness. In his magnificence, Earl William-who built Roslin Chapel, was High Chancellor in 1455, and ambassador to England in the same year-far surpassed what had often sufficed for the kings of Scotland. His princess, Margaret Douglas, daughter of Archibald Duke of Touraine, according to Father Hay, in his ?Genealogie of the Sainte Claires of Rosslyn,? was waited upon by ? seventy-five gentlewomen, whereof fifty-three were daughters of noblemen, all cloathed in velvets and silks, with their chains of gold and other pertinents ; together with two hundred riding gentlemen, who accompanied her in all her journeys. She had carried before her, when she went to Edinburgh, if it were darke, eighty lighted torches. Her lodging was at the foot of Blackfryer Wynde ; so that in a word, none matched her in all the country, save the Queen?s Majesty.?? Father Hay tells us, too, that Earl William ?kept a great court, and was royally served at his own table in vessels of gold and silver : Lord Dirleton being his master of the household, Lord Borthwick his cup bearer, and Lord Fleming his carver, in whose absence they had deputies, viz., Stewart, Laird of Drumlanng ; Tweedie, Laird of Drumrnelzier; and Sandilands, Laird of Calder. He had his halls and other apartments richly adorned with embroidered hangings.? At the south-west end of the Wynd, and abutting on the Cowgate, where its high octagon turret, on six rows of corbels springing from a stone shaft, was for ages a prominent feature, stood the archiepiscopal palace, deemed in its time one of the most palatial edifices of old Edinburgh. It formed two sides of a quadrangle, with aporfe rochlre that gave access to a court behind, and was built by James Bethune, who was Archbishop of Glasgow (1508-1524), Lord Chancellor of Scotland in I 5 I 2, and one of the Lords Regent, under the Duke of Albany, during the stormy minority of James V. Pitscottie distinctlyrefers to it as the xrchbishop?s house, ?? quhilk he biggit in the Freiris Wynd,? and Keith records that over the door of it were the arms of the family of Bethune, to be seen in his time. But they had disappeared long before the demolition of the house, the ancient risp of which was sold among the collection of the late C. Kirkpatrick Sharpe, in 1851. Another from the same house is in the museum of the Scottish Antiquaries The stone bearing the coat of arms was also in his possession, and it is thus referred to by &bet in
Volume 2 Page 262
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