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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. IV


222 OLD ?AND NEW EDINBURGH. [West Port. prehending the main street of the West Port (the link between Fountainbridge and the Grassmarket), the whole of Lauriston from the Corn-market and foot of the Vennel to the Main Point, including Portland Place on the west, and to Bruntsfield Links on the east, including Home and Leven Streets. In IIGO John AbbotofKelso grantedtoLawrence, the son of Edmund of Edinburgh, a toft situated between the West Port and the Castle, on the left of the entrance into the city. In this little burgh there were of old eight incorporated trades, deriving their rights from John Touris of Inverleitk Many of the houses here were roofed with thatch in the sixteenth century, and the barriergate by which the whole of the district was cut off from the city was milt in 1513, as a port in the ?,F?lodden wall. Some gate may, however, have existed previously, as Balfour in his ?Annales,? tells that the head of Robert Graham, oneof the assassins of James I., in 1437, ?was sett ouer the West Port of Edinburgh ;? and in I 5 I 5 the head of Peter Moffat, ?ane greit swerer and thief,? was spiked in the same place, after the reins of government were that every man in the city ?be reddy boddin for weir,? in his best armour at ?? the jow of the common bell? for its defence if necessary. Nearly similar orders were issued concerning the gates in 1547, and the warders were to be well armed with jack, steel helmet, and halberd or Jedmood axe, finding surety to be never absent from their In 1538 Mary of Guise made her first entry by the West Port on St. Margaret?s day, ? with greit trivmphe,? attended by all the nobility (Diurnal of OCC.). There James VI. was received by ? King Solomon ? on his first state entry in 1579 ; and by it Anne of Denmark entcred in 1590, when she was posts. (Ibid.) HIGHRIGGS HOUSE, 1854. (Afler P Drawing by Ihr Aidkor.) assumed by John Duke of Albany. (? Diurnal of Occurrents.?) In the same year it was ordained by the magistrates and council that only three of the city gates were to be open daily, viz., ?the West Port, Nether Bow, and the Kirk-of-Field-and na ma. -4nd ilk port to haif twa porteris daylie quhill my Lord Govemoure?s hame coming. [Albany was then on the Borders, putting down Lord Home?s rebellion.] And thir porteris suffer na maner of person on hors nor fute, to enter within this toune without the President or one of the bailies knaw of their cuming and gif thame licence. And the said personis to be convayit to thair lugings be one of the said porteris, swa that gif ony inconvenient happenis, that thair hoste niycht answer for thame as efferis.? (Burgh Records.) It was also ordained that a fourth part of the citizens should form a watch every night till the return of Albany, and received by a long Latin oration, while the garrison in the Castle ?gave her thence a great volley of shot, with their banners and ancient displays upon the walls ? (?( Marriage of James VI.,? Bann. Club). Here also in 1633, Charles I. at his grand entrance was received by the nymph Edina, and again at the Overbow by the Lady Caledonia, both of whom welcomed him in copious verse from the pen, it is said, of the loyal cavalier and poet, Drummond of Hawthornden. Fifteen years before this period the Common Council had purchased the elevated ridge of ground lying south of the West Port and Grassmarket, denominated the Highriggs, on a part of which Heriot?s Hospital was afterwards built, and the most recent extension of the city wall then took place for the purpose of enclosing it. A portion of this wall still fomis the boundary of the hospital grounds, terminating at the head of the Vennel, in the only tower of the ancient fortifications now remaining. In 1648 the superiority of the Portsburgh was bought by the city from Sir Adam Hepburn for the sum of 27,500 merks Scots; and in 1661 the king?s stables were likewise purchased for EI,OOO Scots, and the admission of James Baisland to the freedom of Edinburgh. In 1653 the West Port witnessed a curious , scene, when Lieutenant-Colonel Cotterel, by order
Volume 4 Page 222
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