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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. IV


During the great plague of 1568 a huge pit, wherein to bury the victims, was ordered to be dug in the ?? Greyfriars KirRyaird,?? as Maitland records, thus again indicating the existence of a church here long anterior to the erection of the present one. Here, about eight in the evening of the 2nd June, 1581,was brought from the scaffold, whereon it had lain for four hours, covered by an old cloak, the headless body of James Douglas, Earl of Morton, n-ho GRRYYFBIARS CHURCH. In this city of the dead have been interred so vast a number of men of eminence that the mere enumeration of their names would make a volume, and we can but select a few. Here lie thirty-seven chief magistrates of the city j twenty-three principals and professors of the university, many of them of more than European celebrity ; thirty-three of the most distinguished lawyers of their day-one a Vice Chancellor of Engknd and Master of the the murder of King Henry. It was borne by common porters, and interred in the place there set apart for criminals, most probably where now the Martyrs? Monument stands. Xone of his friends dared follow it to the grave, or show their affection or respect to the deceased Earl by any sign of outward griet In 1587 the king having ordered a general weapon-shawing, the Council, on the 15th July, ordained by proclamation a muster of the citizens in the Greyfriars Kirkyard, ?? boddin in feir ofweir, and arrayet in their best armour, to witt, either pike or speer, and the armour effeuand thairto, or with hakbuts and the armour effeirand thairto, and nocht with halbarts or Jedburgh staffes.? the Court of Chancery; six Lords President of the Supreme Court of Scotland ; twenty-two senators of the College of Justice, anda host of men distinguished for the splendour of their genius, piety, and worth. Here too lie, in unrecorded thousands, citizens of more humble position, dust piled over dust, till the soil of the burial-place is now high above the level of the adjacent Candlemaker Row-the dust of those who lived and breathed, and walked OUT streets in days gone by, when as yet Edinburgh was confined in the narrower limits of the Old Town. ?The graves are so crowded on each other,? says Amot, writing in 1779, ?? that the sextons fiequently cannot avoid in opening a npe grave
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Greyfriars Church.] TOMBS. TOMBS IN GREYFRIARS CHURCHYARD. 1. The hlartyrs' Monument : o Monument of Sir G. McKenzie commonly called '' Blocd McKenzie " 16gz; 3, Wilhm CarJtarrs Rdomer, and Principal of the Uhiversity of Edinburgh, 17x5 ; 4, Ebtranrx to the South Gmu$ known 85 ihq Covenant4 Rim ; 5, J&nhYhG Keeper of the Signet, 1614 ; 4 C M y ol DaLy, 1633 ; 7, William Adam, Archirat, 1748, and W b h h n , D.D., 1793.
Volume 4 Page 381
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