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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. III


People don't play riddle games with Giants, or get tricked by Faerie Queens. They don't follow Blind Maniacs into Futures, or have their Lives saved by Death. Timothy Hunter in The Books of Faerie 54 OLD AND NEW EDINBURGH. [Holymd under his great seal, granted to David, Abbot of Holyrood, a piece of land within the Castle of Edinburgh whereon to erect a house, to which the monks, their servants and families, might repair in time of peace and war. This piece of ground was eighty feet in length and eighty in breadth, wherever the abbot might choose, ?beyond the site of our manor? (the royal lodging?); ?the said abbot and his successors paying therefor to us and to our heirs a silver penny at the said castle on Whitsunday yearly, if asked only, so that the foresaid abbot and his successors and their servants shall be bound to take the oath of fidelity for the due security of the said castle to the keeper thereof, who may be for the time, have free ish and entry to the said castle at accustomed and proper hours.? On the 5th April, 1391, King Robert III., undei his great seal, granted a charter to the Abbey of Holyrood, confirming the charter of David 11. to the abbey, dated 30th December, 1343. It is dated at Edinburgh. When the abbey became a species of palace has never been distinctly ascertained, but Robert 111. appears sometimes to have made Holyrood his residence. James I. occasionally kept his court there; and in the abbey his queen was delivered of twin princes, on the 16th October, 14 I 6-Alexandeq who died, and James, afterwards second of that name. In 1428 a remarkable episode occurred in the abbey church. Alexander, Lord of the Isles, who had been in rebellion against James I., but had been utterly defeated by the royal troops in Lochaber, sent messengers to the king to sue for mercy. But the latter, justly incensed, refused to enter into .my negotiations with an outlawed fugitive. Alexander, driven to despair, and compelled to fly from place to place, was compelled at last to trust to the royal clemency. Travelling secretly to Edinburgh, he suddenly presented himself, upon a solemn festival, before the high altar 01 Holyrood, and holding his?drawn sword by the point, he presented the hilt to the astonished king, in token of his unconditional submission, and falling on his knees, in presence of Queen Jane and the whole court, implored the royal mercy. The ill-fated James granted him his life, at the tender intercession of his royal consort, but sent him a prisoner to the sequestered castle of Tantallon, on its sea-beat Tock, under the charge of his nephew, the Earl of Angus. The island chief eventually received a free pardon, was restored to all his honours, castles, and estates, and stood as sponsor for the twin princes, Alexander and James, at the font . In 1437 the Parliament met at Edinburgh, on the 25th March, after the murder of James I., and adopted immediate measures for the government of the country. Their first act was the coronation of the young prince, in his sixth year, on whose head at Holyrood, as James II., the crown was solemnly placed by James Kennedy, Bishop of St. Andrews, in presence of a great concourse of the nobles, clergy, and representatives of towns, amid the usual testimonies of devotion and loyalty. On March 27th, 1439, Patrick Abbot of Holyrood and his convent granted a charter to Sir Robert Logan of Restalrig, and his heirs, of the ofice of bailie over their lands of St. Leonard?s, in the town of Leith, ?from the end of the great volut of William Logane, on the east part of the common gate that passes to the ford over the water of Leith, beside the waste land near the house of John of Turyng on the west part, and common Venale called St. Leonard?s Wynd, as it extended of old on the south part, and the water of the port OF Leith on the north, and . . . . in the ninth year of the pontificate of our most holy father and lord, Eugenius IV., by Divine Providence Pope.? Chronologically, the next event connected with the abbey was the arrival of Mary of Gueldres in 1449. In company with John Railston, Bishop of Dunkeld, and Nicholas Otterburn, official of Lothian, the Lord Chancellor Crichton went to France to seek among the princesses of that friendly court a suitable bride for young James 11.; but no match being suitable, by the advice of Charles VII. these ambassadors proceeded to Burgundy, and, with the cordial concurrence of Duke Philip the Good, made proposals to his kinswoman, hlary, the only daughter and heiress of Arnold, Duke of Gueldres, and in 1449 the engagement was formally concluded. Philip promised to pay _f60,boo in gold as a dowry, while James, on the other hand, settled IO,OOO crowns upon her, secured on land in Strathearn, Athole, Methven, and East Lothian, while relinquishing all; claim to the Duchy of Gueldres, in the event of an heir male being born to Duke Arnold ; and the Parliament met at Stirling, resolved that the royal nuptials should be conducted on a scale of splendour suited to the occasion. The fleet containing the bride anchored in June in the Forth. She was ?young, beautiful, and of a masculine constitution,? says Hawthornden, and came attended by a splendid train of knights and nobles from France and Burgundy, including tlie Archduke Sigisniund of Austria, the Duke of Brittany, and the Lord of Campvere (the three brothers-in-law of the King of Scotland), togetho
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Holyrood.] ROYAT, MARRIAGES. 55 with the Dukes of Savoy and Burgundy. She landed at Leith amid a vast concourse of all classes of the people, and, escorted by a bodyguard of 300 men-at-arms, all cap-d+e, with the citizens also in their armour, under Patrick Cockburn of Nevtbigging, Provost of Edinburgh and Governor of the Castle, was escorted to the monastery of the Greyfriars, where she was warmly welcomed by her future husband, then in his twentietb year, and was visited by the queenmother on the following day. The week which intervened between her arrival and?her marriage was spent in a series of magnificent entertainments, during which, from her great beauty and charms of manner, she won the devoted affection of the loyal nobles and people. A contemporary chronicler has given a minute account of one of the many chivalrous tournaments that took place, in which three Burgundian nobles, two of them brothers named Lalain, and the thud HervC Meriadet, challenged any three Scottish knights to joust with lance, battle-axe, sword, and dagger, a defiance at once accepted by Sir James Douglas, James Douglas of Lochleven, and Sir John Ross of Halkhead, Constable of Renfrew. Lances were shivered and sword and axe resorted to with nearly equal fortune, till the king threw down his truncheon and ended the combat. The royal marriage, which took place in the church at Holyrood amid universal joy, concluded these stirring scenes. At the bridal feast the first dish was in the form of a boar?s head, painted and stuck full df tufts of coarse flax, served up on an enormous platter, with thirty-two banners, bearing the arms of the king and principal nobles ; and the flax was set aflame, amid the acclamations of the numerous assembly that filled the banquet-hall. Ten years after Holyrood beheld a sorrowful scene, when, in 1460, James, who had been slain by the bursting of a cannon at the siege of Roxburgh on the 3rd August, in his thirtieth year, was laid in the royal vault, ?with the teares of his people and his hail1 army,? says Balfour. In 1467 there came from Rome, dated zznd February, the bull of Pope Paul II., granting, on the petition of the provost, bailies, and community of the city, a con~mission to the Bishop of Galloway, ?et dilectojZio Abbafi Monasterii Sancta Cmcis mini viuros de Rdynburgh,? to erect the Church of St. Giles into a collegiate institution. Two years afterwards Holyrood was again the scene of nuptial festivities, when the Parliamen! met, and Margaret of Norway, Denmark, and Sweden, escorted by the Earl of Arran and a gallant train of Scottish aad Danish nobles, landed at Leith in July, 1469. She was in her sixteenth year, and had as her dowry the isles of Orkney and Shetland, over which her ancestors had hitherto claimed feudal superiority. James III., her husband, had barely completed his eighteenth year when they were married in the abbey church, where she was crowned queenconsort. ?? The marriage and coronation gave occasion to prolonged festivities in the metropolis and plentiful congratulations throughout the kingdom. Nor was the flattering welcome undeserved by the queen ; in the bloom of youth and beauty, amiable and virtuous, educated in all the feminine accomplishments of the age, and so richly endowed, she brought as valuable an accession of lustre to the court as of territory to the kingdom.? In 1477 there arrived ?heir in grate pompe,? says Balfour, ?Husman, the legate of Pope Xystus the Fourth,? to enforce the sentence of deprivation and imprisonment pronounced by Hjs Holiness upon Patrick Graham, Archbishop of St. Andrews, an eminent and unfortunate dignitary of the Church of Scotland. He was the first who bore that rank, and on making a journey to Rome, returned as legate, and thus gained the displeasure of the king and of the clergy, who dreaded his power. He was shut up in the monastery of Inchcolm, and finally in the castle of Lochleven. Meanwhile, in the following year, William Schivez, a great courtier and favourite of the king, was solemnly consecrated in Holyrood Church by the papal legate, from whose hands he received a pall, the ensign of archiepiscopal dignity, and with great solemnity was proclaimed ?? Primate and Legate of the realm of Scotland.? His luckless rival died of a broken heart, and was buried in St. Serf?s Isle, where his remains were recently discovered, buried in a peculiar posture, with the knees drawn up and the hands down by the side. In 1531, when Robert Cairncross was abbot, there occurred an event, known as ? the miracle of John Scott,? which made some noise in its time. This man, a citizen of Edinburgh, having taken shelter from his creditors in the sanctuary of Holyrood, subsisted there, it is alleged, for forty days without food of any kind. Impressed by this circumstance, of which some exaggerated account had perhaps been given to him, James V. ordered his apparel to be changed and strictly searched. He ordered also that he should be conveyed from Holyrood to a vaulted room in David?s Tower in the castle, where he was barred from access by all and closely guarded. Daily a small allowance of bread and water were placed before him, but he abstained from both for
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