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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. III


canongate.] ROXBURGH HOUSE. 15 ~~ House, there stood in those days the mansion of the Earls of Roxburgh, surrounded by a beautiful As a set-off against these items, we have the following, in 1660-1, when Argyle?s fate came :- To Alexander Davidson for a new axe to ye Maiden, and is to maintain it all ye days of his life . . . . . * . . . . p 12 o To 4 Drummers when ArgyZe and Swzjtton were brought from Leith . . . . . 14 8 o To 17 extra Drummers, a days, when Montrose was buried and Argyle executed . . , 21 12 o The marquis was interred amid great pomp in the Church of St. Giles at the Restoration; but when a search was made for his remains in the Chepman aisle, in April, 1879, no trace of them whatever could be found there. Amid the gloom and?horror of scenes such as these executions, and the general events of the wars of the Covenant, all traces of gaiety, and especially of theatrical entertainments, disappeared in Edinburgh, as forbidden displays; but in January,. 1659, the citizens were regaled with the sight of a travelling dromedary, the first that had ever been in Scotland. Nicoll describes it as ?ane heigh great beast, callit ane dummodary, quhilk being keepit clos in the Canongate, none had a sight of it, without three pence the person. . . . . It was very big, and of great height, cloven futted like unto a kow, and on the bak ane saitt, as it were a sadill to sit on. Thair was brocht in with it ane lytill baboun, faced lyke unto an aip.? In 1686 the public attendance at mass by some of the officers of state excited a tumult in the city, and many persons of rank were insulted on returning therefrom by the rioters. One of these, a journeyman baker, was, by order of the Privy Council, whipped through the Canongate, and ultimately the Foot Guards had to fire on the mob that assembled. In that year an Act of Parliament empowered the magistrates to impose a tax of A500 sterling yearly, for three years, to cleanse the town and Canongate, and free both from beggars ; and in 1687 the whole members of the College of Justice voluntarily offered to bear their full share of this tax, and appointed two of their body to be present when it was levied. In 1692 we find an instance in the Canongate of one of the many troubles which in those days arose from corporation privileges, by which the poor and industrious tradesman was made the victim of monopoly. In the open ground which now surrounds Milton I which performs the whole journey in thirteen days, I without any stoppage (if God permit), having eighty Fepairs in this house, when Thomas Kinloch, Dea- :on of the Wrights in the Canongate, came with Jthers, and violently carried off all the tools of Somerville and his workmen, on the plea that they were not freemen of the burgh; and when the tools were demanded formally, two days after, they were withheld. Robert, Earl of Roxburgh (who afterwards died m his travels abroad), was then a minor, but his curators resented the proceedings of Kinloch, and sued him for riot and *oppression. Apparently, if the Roxburgh mansion had been subject to the jurisdiction of the Canongate, the Privy Council would have given no redress ; but when the earl?s ancestor, in 1636, had given up the superiority of the Canongate, as he reserved his house to be holden of the Crown, it was found that the local corporation had no right to interfere with his workmen, and Somerville?s tools were restored to him by order of the Council. Earl Robert was succeeded in this house by his brother John, fifth Earl and first Duke of Roxburgh, K.G., who sold his Union vote for LSOO, became Secretary of State for Scotland in 1716, and died in 1741. Long ere that time the effect of the Union had done its worst upon the old court burgh. Maitland, writing in 1753, says :-?This place has suffered more by the inion of the kingdoms than all the other parts of Scotland : for having, before that period, been the residence of the chief of the Scottish nobility, it was thqn in a flourishing condition ; but being deserted by them, many of their houses are fallen down, and others in a ruinous condition ; it is in a piteous case ! ? Five years after the Union we find a London coach announced as starting from the Capongate, the advertisement for which, with regard to expedition, comfort, and economy, presents a curious contrast to the announcements of to-day, and is worth giving at length, as we find it in the NkwcastZe Cau~unt of October, I 7 I 2. ? Edinburgh, Berwick, Newcastle, Durham, and London Stage-coach begins on Monday, 13th October, 1712. All that desire to pass from Edinbro? to London, or from London to Edinbro?, or any place on that road, let them repair to Mr. John Baillie?s, at the Coach and Horses at the head of the Canongate, every Saturday, or the Black Swan in Holborn, every other Monday, at both of which places they may be received in a stagexoach
Volume 3 Page 15
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