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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. III


CHobd. - OLD AND NEW EDINBURGH. - 52 - set at liberty ; but on the suppression of the order throughout Scotland, their vast possessions were given to their rivals, the Knights of St. John at Torphichen. In 1337, about the time that John 11. was abbot, sanctuary was given in Holyrood church to a remarkable fugitive from the Castle of Edinburgh, which at that time was held by an English garrison under Thomas Knyton. In one of the forays made by him in search of supplies, he had been guided adding, ?that many brethren of the Temple, being . common people, indifferently absolve excornrnunicated persons, saying that they derived power from their lord the Supreme Pontiff;? and also, ?? that the chapters were held so secretly that none save a Templar ever had access to them.? So ended the inquisition at Holyrood, ((which could not be made more solemn on account of the weapon that lay near, and so severe was the How that his blood bespattered the floor. He affected to bear with this new outrage, and nursing his wrath, quitted the fortress; but next day, when Thomas Knyton rode through the gate into the city with a few attendants, Prendergast rushed from a place of concealment-probably a Close head-and passing a long sword through his heart, dashed him a corpse on the causeway. He then leaped on Knyton?s horse, and spurring to a rich booty near Calder Muir by a soldier named Robert Prendergast, an adherent of Baliol, who served under the English banner. Upon returning to the castle, instead of being rewarded, as he expected, the Scottish traitor, at dinner in the hall, was placed among the servingmen and below the salt. Filled with rage and mortification, he remained ~. . GROUND PIAN OF THE CHAPEL ROYAL OF HOLYROOD HOUSE. (From air Engraving irr thx History ofthe A&y,guSlirhed h 1821.) A, Gmt West Entrance; 6, North Door; C C, Doon from South Aisle to Clo?sters. now walled up; D, Great East Window; E, Stair tm Rood-loft ; F, Door to the Palace, shut up ; G. Remaining Pillars, north side: H, Screen-work in Stone.
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down the street, reached Holyrood, where he sought sanctuary in the chapel of St. Augustine; there his English pursuers found him on his knees before the altar. WEST FRONT OF HOLYROOD ABBEY CHUKCH. ever intent on revenge, joined Sir William Douglas, the Black Knight of Liddesdale, whose forces lay in the fastnesses of Pentland Muir. From there one night he led the Liddesdale men, tion, violate the sanctuary, they set a guard upon ! the then open and unwalled city, attacked the the church, resolving to starve him into surrender ; i English, and left 400 of them dead in the streets. but fortunately for Robert Prendergast, the monks .of Holyrood were loyal to their king, and thinking probably an Englishman less in the world mattered :little from a Scottish point of view, they conveyed to him provisions every night unseen by the guard, For twelve days and nights he lurked by the altar *of St. Augustine, until, disguised in a monk?s cowl ;and gown, he effected an escape; and more than Sir William Douglas re-captured the fortress in the following year. In 1370 David 11. was interred with every solemnity before the high altar, the site of which is now in the Palace Garden. It was inscribed, ?UiC Rex sub Zapide Davici izditus af tumukrfus,? as given by Fordun. On the 18th of January, 1384-5, Robert IL,
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