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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. III


58 OLD AND NEW EDINBURGH. [~dpUCd. proper exertions been made for their repair and preservation, particularly by the Bishop o? Orkney, and ere it shrank to the proportions of a chapel. But even when the Reformation was in full progress the following entry appears in the accounts of the Lord High Treasurer, under date the 8th February, 1557-8 :-A36 ?to David Melville, indweller in ,Leith, for ane pair of organs to the chapel in the palace of Holyroodhouse.? The remains of George Earl of Huntly, who was slain at the battle of Corrichie, when he was in rebellion against the Crown, were brought by sea to Edinburgh in 1562, and kept all winter unburied in the Abbey of Holyrood-most proba, bly in the church. Then an indictment for high treason was exhibited against him in the month of May following, ?eftir that he was deid and departit frae this mortal lyfe,? and the corpse was laid before Parliament : in this instance showing the rancour of party and the absurdity of old feudal laws. It was somewhere about this time that the new royal vault was constructed in the south aisle ol the nave, and the remains of the kings and queens were removed from their ancient resting-place near the high altar. It is built against the ancient Norman doorway of the cloisters, which still remains externally, with its slender shafts and beautiful zigzag mouldings of the days of David I. ?The cloisters,? says Wilson, ?? appear to have enclosed a large court, formed in the angle of the nave and transept. The remains of the north are clearly traceable still, and the site of the west side is occupied by palace buildings. Here was the ambulatory for the old monks, when the magnificent foundation of St. David retained its pristine splendour, and remained probably till the burning of the abbey after the death of James V.2 who was buried there beside his first queen in December 1542, and his second son, Arthur Duke of Albany, a child eight days old, who died at Stirling. In the royal vault also lie the remains of David 11. ; Prince Arthur, third son of James IV., who died in the castle, July 15th, 1510, aged nine months ; Henry, Lord Darnley, murdered 1567 j and Jane, Countess of Argyle, who was at supper with her sister, the queen, on the night of Rizzio?s assassination. ? Dying without issue, she was enclosed in one of the richest coffins ever seen in Scotland, the compartments and inscriptions being all of solid gold.? In the same vault were de. posited the remains of the Duchess de Grammont, who died an exile at Holyrood in 1803 ; and, in the days of Queen Victoria, the remains of Mary of Gueldres, queen of James 11. ? Among the altars in thechurchwere two dedicated to St. Andrew and St. Catharine, a third dedicated to St. Anne by the tailors of Edinburgh, and a fourth by the Cordiners to St. Crispin, whose statutes were placed upon it. On the 18th of June, 1567, two days after the imprisonment of Queen Mary, the Earl of Glencairn and others, ?with a savage malignity, laid waste this beautiful chapel,? broke in pieces its most valuable furniture, and laid its statues and other ornaments in ruins. On the 18th of June, 1633, Charles I. was crowned with great pomp in the abbey church and amid the greatest demonstrations of loyalty, when the silver keys of the city were delivered to him by the Provost, after which they were never again presented to a monarch until the time of George IV. : but afterwards the religious services were performed at Holyrood with great splendour, according to the imposing ritual of the English Church-? an innovation which the Presbyterians beheld with indignation, as an insolent violation of the laws of the land? In 1687 the congregation of the Canongate were removed from the church by order of James VII., and the abbey church-now named a chapelwas richly decorated, and twelve stalls were placed therein for the Knights of the Thistle. An old view of the interior by Wyck and Mazell, taken prior to the fall of the roof, represents it entire, with all its groining and beautiful imperial crowns and coronets on the drooping pendants of the interlaced arches. They show the clerestory entire, and within the nave the stalls of the knights, six on each side. Each of these stalls had five steps, and on each side a Corinthian column supported an entablature of the same order, each surmounted by two great banners and three trophies, each composed of helmets and breastplates, making in all twenty-four banners and thirty-six trophies over the stalls. At the eastern end was the throne, surmounted by an imperial crown. On each side were two panels, having the crown, sword, and sceptre within a wreath of laurel, and below, other two panels, with the royal cypher, J.R., and the crown. Wyck and Mazell show the throne placed upon a lofty dais of seven steps, on six of which were a unicorn and lion, making six of the former on the right, and six of the latter on the left, all crowned. Behind this rose a Corinthian canopy, entablature, and garlands, all of carved oak, and over all the royal arms as borne in Scotland ; the crest of Scotland, the lion sejant; on the right the ensign of St. Andrew; In defence on the left the ensign of St. George. Amid a star of spears, swords,
Volume 3 Page 58
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