Edinburgh Bookshelf

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
Volume 3 Page 54
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