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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. III


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
Volume 3 Page 55
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