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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. IV


Arthut?s Seat] ? THE WILD MACRAAS.? 307 The Edinburgh Evening Courant of the 29th of October, 1728, contains the following reference to the Craigs, or the chasm, there named the Catnick :-? A person who frequents the (King?s) Park, having noticed a man come from a cleft towards the north-west of Salisbury Rocks, had the curiosity to climb the precipice, if possibly he might discover something that could invite him there, He found a shallow pit, which delivered him into a little snug room or vault hung with dressed leather, lighted from the roof, the window covered with a bladder. It is thought to have been the cave of a hermit of ancient times, though now the hiding-place of a gang of thieves.? The long, deep, and tremendous rift in the wes t e n slope of Arthur?s Seat (locally known as the Gutiit Haddie) was caused by a mighty waterspout, on the 13th of September, 1744. ?Dividing its force ?-says the ? Old Statistical -4ccount ?-?? it discharged one part upon the western side, and tore up a channel or chasm, which still remains a monument of its violence ; the other division took its direction towards the village of Duddingston, carried away the gable .of the most westerly cottage, and flooded the loch over the adjacent meadows.? On the steep sloping shoulder of Arthur?s Seat, south-westward, under the Rock of Dunsappie, the Highland army encamped in September before the battle of Prestonpans, and from thence it was -after the Prince had held a council of his chief5 and nobles-the march began at daybreak on the morning of the 20th through the old hedgerow: and woods of Duddingston, with pipes playing and colours flying, after Charles, in front of thc he, had significantly drawn his claymore and flung away the scabbard. From a letter which appears in the Advertiser foi the 15th of January, 1765, the entrance to tne Park from St. Anne?s Yard to the Duke?s Walk having become impassable, was privately repaired at tht expense of a couple of classical wits, whose name: were unknown, but who placed upon the entrance the following inscription :- Ite nunc faciles per gaudia uestra, 3 Cpuepecun sua [email protected]&durn cur. CaLIan. MD.C.CLXl? rJ*i faciant ut haec smpiusjunf. QUIRITES Mungo Campbell (formerly officer of Excise ai Saltcoats), who shot Archibald, tenth Earl oj Eglinton, committed suicide in the Tolbooth ic 1770, on the day after he had been sentenced to death, when the judge also directed that hi2 body should be given to the professor of anatomy, His counsel having interposed on the plea that dip section was not a legal penalty for self-murder, it was privately interred at the foot of Salisbury Craigs. But the Edinburgh mob, who were exasperated by the manner in which he had shot the earl in a poaching affray, took the .body out of the grave, tossed it about till they were tired, and eventually flung it over the cliffs. After this, to prevent further indecency and outrage, Campbell?s friends caused the body to be conveyed in a boat from Leith and sank it in the Firth of Forth. (Caldwell Papers ; S o t s Mug., Vol. XXXII.) Southward of the coue of Arthur?s Seat are the Raven?s Craig and the Nether Hill, or Lion?s Haunch ; between the latter and the cone can still be traced the trench and breastwork formed by the Seaforth Highlanders when they revolted in 1778- an event which created a profound sensation in Scotland. In the July of that year they had marched into the Castle, replacing the Royal Edinburgh Volunteers, or 80th Regiment of the Line, a corps which was raised by General Sir William Erskme in 1777, and was disbanded in 1783-5. Kenneth Mackenzie, Earl of Seaforth, had recently raised his noble regiment, which was then numbered as the 78th (but is now known as the Duke of Albany?s Own Highlanders), among his clansmen in the district of Kintail and Applecross, Kilcoy, and Redcastle ; of these Soawere from his own estate; the rest were all from the others named, and the corps mustered 1,130 bayonets at its first parade in Elgin in the May of 1778 ; but from a great number of another sept who were in its ranks, the subsequent mutiny was known at first as the afair of the WiZd Mwaas. The latter was an ancient but subordinate tribe of the west, who had followed the ? Caber Feigh,? or banner of Seaforth, since the days when Black Murdoch of Kintail carried it in the wars of Robert I., and now many of its best men were enrolled in Earl Kenneth?s new Fencible regiment, perfect subordination in the ranks of which was maintained in the Castle until the 5th of August, when an order was issued for marching at an hour?s notice. A landing of a French force being expected near Greenock, zoo of them, with seven 9-pounders, marched there with the greatest enthusiasm to meet the foe, who never appeared; but by the time these two companies returned, transports to convey the whole for foreign service had come to anchor in Leith Roads. Where the scene of that service lay the men knew not. It was kept a mystery from them and their officers. The former would not believe a rumour spread that it was to be tine Isle of Guern
Volume 4 Page 307
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