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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. V


PHE KIRK-OF-FIELD. (Alto an Etching by /awes Skenc cf Rubirlaw). OLD AND NEW EDINBURGH. CHAPTER I. THE KIRK OF ST. MARY-IN-THE-FIELDS. Memorabilia of the Edifice-Its Age-Altars-hfade Collegiate-The Prebendal Buildings--Ruined-The House of the Kirk of-Field-The hfurder of Darnley-Robert Balfour, the Last Provost. WE now come to the scene of one of the most astounding events in European history-the spot where Henry, King of Scotland, was murdered in the lonely house attached to the Kirk-of-Field, one of the many fanes dedicated to St. Mary in Edinburgh, where their number was great of old. When, or by whom, the church of St. Mary-inthe- Fields was founded is alike unknown. In the taxation of the ecclesiastical benefices in the archdeaconry of Lothian, found in the treasury of Durham, and written in the time of Edward I. of England, there appears among the churches belonging to the abbey of Holyrood, EccZesia Sand& Mariiz in Cam& This was beyond doubt what was at a later period the collegiate church of St. Mary-in-the- Fields, and the few notices concerning which are very meagre ; but thus it must have existed in the thirteenth century, when all the district to the south 07 of it was covered with oaks to the base of the hills of Braid and Blackford. It took its name from being completely in the fields, beyond the wall of 1450. In the view of the city engraved in 1544, it is shown to have been a large cruciform church, with a tall tower in the centre ; and this representation of it is to a great extent repeated in a view found in the State Paper Office (drawn after the murder of Darnley), of which a few copies have been circulated, and which shows its pointed windows and buttresses. Among the property belonging to the foundation was a tenement at the foot of the modem Blair Street, on the west side, devoted to the altar of St. Katharine in this now defunct church ; and in the ? Inventory of Pious Donations,? preserved in the Advocates? Library (quoted by Wilson), there is a ? mortification I? by Janet Kennedy, Lady Bothwell, to the chaplain of the Kirk-of-Field of ?her fore
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