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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. II


278 OLD AND NEW EDINBURGH. [High Street Close was seized, and a battery erected on the summit thereof to assail the King?s men. In the ?Histone of James Sext? we are told that the Regent Earl of Mar brought nine pieces of ordnance up the Canongate to assail the Netherbow Port, but changed their position to a fauxbourg of the town, callit Pleasands, ? from whence to batter the Flodden wall and to oppose a platform of guns erected on the house of Adam Fullerton. When this sharp but brief civil disorder ended, Adam returned to his strong mansion in the Fountain Close once more, and on the 4th of December, 1572, he and Mr. John Paterson appear together as Commissaries for the city of Edinburgh, and the supposition is, that the date, 1573, referred to repairs upon the house, after what it had suffered from the cannon of Mar. Thus, says Wilson, ?the nincit veritu of the brave old burgher acquires a new force, when we consider the circumstznces that dictated its inscription, and the desperate struggle in which he had borne a leading part, before he returned to carve these pious aphorisms over the threshold that had so recently been held by his enemies.? With a view to enlarging the library of the College of Physicians, in 1704, that body purchased from Sir James Mackenzie his house and ground at the foot of the Fountain Close. The price paid was 3,500 rnerks (A194 8s. Iod.). To this, in seven years afterwards, was added an adjoining property, which connected it with the Cowgate, ? then a genteel and busy thoroughfare,?? and for which 2,300 merks (A127 15s. 6d.) were given. From Edgar?s map it appears that the premises thus acquired by the College of Physicians were more extensive than those occupied by any individual or any other public body in the city. The ground was laid out in gardens and shrubbery, and was an object of great admiration and envy to the nobility and gentry, ta several of whom the privilege of using the pleasure grounds was accorded as a favour. Considering the locality now, how strangely does all this read ! The?whole of the buildings must have been in a dilapidated, if not ruinous state, for expensive repairs were found to be necessary on first taking possession, and the same head of expenditure constantly recurs in accounts of the treasurer 01 the College; and so early as 1711 a design was pioposed for the erection of a new hall at the foot of the Fountain Close ; and after nine years? delay, 2,900 merks were borrowed, and a new building erected, but it was sold in 1720 for E%oo, as a site for the new Episcopal Chapel. Till the erection of St. Paul?s in York Place, the Fountain Close formed the only direct communication to this the largest and most fashionable Episcopal church in Edinburgh, that which was built near the Cowgate Port in 1771. Tweeddale?s Close, the next alley on the east,. was the scene of a terrible crime, the memory of which, though enacted so long ago as 1806, is still. fresh in the city. The stately house which gave its name to the Close, and was the town residence of the Marquises of Tweeddale, still remains, though the ? plantation of lime-trees behind it,? mentioned by Defoe in his ? Tour,? and shown in seven great rows on Edgais map, is a thing of the past. Even after the general desertion of Edinburgh by the Scottish noblesse at the Union, this fine old mansion (which, notwithstanding great changes, still retains traces of magniticence) was for a time the constant residence of the Tweeddale family. It was first built and occupied by Dame Margaret Kerr Lady Yester, daughter of Mark first Earl of Lothian. She was born in 1572, and was wife of James the seventh Lord Yester, in whose family there occurred a singular event. His page, Hepburn, accused his Master of the Horse of a design to poison him; the latter denied it; the affair was brought before the Council, who agreed that it should be determined by single combat, in 1595, and this is supposed to have been the last of such judicial trials by battle in Scotland. By Lady Yester, who founded the church that still bears her name in the city, the mansion, with all its furniture, was bestowed upon her grandson, John second Earl of Tweeddale (and ninth Lord Yester), who joined Charles I. when he unfurled his standard at Nottingham in 1642. Six years subsequently, when a Scottish army under the Duke of Hamilton, was raised, to rescue Charles from the English, the Earl, then Lord Yester, commanded the East Lothian regiment of 1,200 men, After the execution of Charles I. he continued with the regal party in Scotland, assisted at the coronation of Charles II., and against Crornwell he defended his castle of Neidpath longer than any place south of the Forth, except Borthwick. With all this loyalty to his native princes, he came early into the Revolution movement, and in 1692 was created, by William III., Marquis of Tweeddale, with the office of Lord High Chancellor of Scotland, and died five years afterwards. The next occupant of the house, John, second Marquis, received LI,OOO for his vote at the Union, and was one of the first set of sixteen representative peers. The last of the family who
Volume 2 Page 278
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