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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. IV


Lord Promsts.] THE DOUGLASES AND HAMILTONS. 279 ?James of Creichtoun of Felde,? as a deputy provost under him ; and the first entry in the Records under that date is a statute that ? the commoun pyperis of the towne ? shall be properly feed, for the honour thereof, and that they get their food, day about, from all honest persons of substance, under a penalty of 9d. per day, ?? that is to ilk pyper iijd at least.? The fifth provost after this was Sir Thomas Tod, zznd August, 1491, and again in 1498, with Richard Lawson of the Highriggs, and Sir John Murray in the interval during 1492. From this date to 1513, with a little interval, Richard Lawson was again provost ; the office was held by Sir Alexander Lauder of Blythe, who -in the last named year was also Justice Depute. He fell in the battle.on the fatal 9th of September, 1513, and the apairs ofthe city, amid the consternation and grief that ensued, were managed by George of Tours, who with Robert Bruce, William Lockhart, William Adamson, and William Clerk, all bailies, had been, on the 19th of August, chosen by the provost and community to rule the city after his departure with the army for England. The aged Archibald Douglas, Earl of Angus (better known as Archibald Bell-thecat)-whose two sons, George Master of Angus, and Sir William Douglas of Glenbervie, with more then zoo knights and gentlemen of his surname, found their tomb on Flodden Hill-was elected provost on the 30th of September, twenty-one days after the battle ; and at the same time his son, Gawain the Poet, provost of St. Giles?s, was ?( made burgess, gratis, for the Common benefit of the town.? It was he of whom Scott makes th?e grim old Earl say, with reference to the English knight?s act of forgery, ? Thanks to St. Bothan, son of mine, Save Gawain, ne?er could pen a line.? He was succeeded on the 24th July, 1514, by Alexander Lord Home, Great Chamberlain 01 Scotland in 1507, and baron of Dunglasand Greenlaw, under whom preparations for the defence of the city, in expectation of a counter-invasion, went on. An Act was passed for the furnishing ?01 artailyerie for the resisting of our auld innemies of Ingland;? a tax was laid upon all-even the widows of the fallen, so far as their substance permitted them to pay-and all persons having heidyaird dykes, ?were to build them up within fifteen days, under pain of six pounds to the Kirk-werk.? In August of the same year David Melville was provost, and the pestilence caused the division ol the city into four quarters, each under a bailie and quartermaster to attend to the health of the people. Except the interval, during which Sir Patrick Hamilton of Kincavil and Archibald Douglas were Provosts, Melville was in office till 15 17, when James Earl of Arran, Regent of Scotland, took it upon him, and was designated Lord Provost. In consequence of the influence it conferred, the office was at this time an object of ambition among the nobility. His enemies, the Douglases, taking advantage of his temporary absence from the city, procured the election of Archibald Douglas of Kilspindie, the uncle of the EarLof Angus, in his place ; and when Arran returned from the castle of Dalkeith, where the court was then held, he found the gates of Edinburgh shut against him. His followers attempted to force an entrance sword in hand, but were repulsed, and a number were killed and wounded on. both sides. Similar scenes of violence and bloodshed were of almost daily occurrence, and between the rival factions of Hamilton and Douglas the Lowlands were in a complete state of demoralisation ; and on the z 1st of February, 15 I 9, in consequence of the bitter feud and bloody broils between the houses of Douglas and Hamilton, he was ordered by the Regent, then absent, to vacate his office, as it was ordained that no person of either of those names was eligible as provost, till the ?Lord Governor?s home coming, and for a year.? Thus, in 1510, Robert Logan of Coitfield was. provost, and in October he was granted by the Council 100 merks of the common good, beside his ordinary fee, for the sustentation of four armed men, to carry halberds before him, ?because the warld is brukle and troublous.? The fourth provost after this was Robert Lord Maxwell, 18th August, 1524, who was made so by the Queen-mother, when she (? tuik the hail1 government of the realm and ruele of the king (James V.) upoun her.? This was evidently an invasion of the rights of the citizens ; yet on the same day the Lord Justice Clerk. appeared before the Council, and declared ? that it was the mind and will ? of the king, then in his minority, that Mr. Francis Bothwell, provost, ?? cedit and left his office of provostier in the town?s hand,? and the said provost protested that the leaving of his office thus should not be derogatory to the city, nor injurious to its privileges Lord Maxwell was afterwards Governor of Lochmaben, Captain of the Royal Guard, Warden of the West Marches, and Ambassador to France to negotiate the king?s marriage with Mary of Lorraine ; but long ere all that he had been succeeded as provost by Allan Stuart. In 15.26 Archibald Douglas of Kilspindie, Lord High Treasurer, was provost again. In this year it was ordained that through the resort to Edin
Volume 4 Page 279
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