Edinburgh Bookshelf

Old and New Edinburgh Vol. V


Restalrig.] THE CHURCHYARD. 131 That the church was not utterly destroyed is proved by the fact that the choir walls of this monument of idolatry ? were roofed over in 1837, as has been stated. An ancient crypt, or mausoleum, of large diniensions and octangular in form, stands on the south side of the church. Internally it is constructed with a good groined roof, and some venerable yews cast their shadow over the soil that has accumulated above it, and in which they have taken root. It is believed to have been erected by Sir Robert Logan, knight, of Restalrig, who died in 1439, according to the obituary of the Preceptory of St. Anthony at Leith, and it has been used as a last resting-place for several of his successors. Some antiquaries, however, have supposed that it was undoubtedly attached to the college, perhaps as a chapter-house, or as a chapel of St. Triduana, but constructed on the model of St. Margaret?s Well. Among others buried here is ?LADY JANEr KER, LADY RESTALRIG, QUHA DEPARTED THIS LIFE 17th MAY, 1526.? Wilson, in his ?? Reminiscences,? mentions that ?? Restalrig kirkyard was the favourite cemetery of the Nonjuring Scottish Episcopalians of the last century, when the use of the burial service was proscribed in the city burial-grounds ; ? and a strong division of dead cavalry have been interred there from the adjacent barracks. From Charles Kirkpatrick Sharpe he quotes a story of a quarrel carried beyond the grave, which may be read upon a flat stone near that old crypt. Of the latter wrote Sharpe, ?I believe it belongs to Lord Bute, and that application was made to him to allow Miss Hay-whom I well knew-daughter of Hay of Restalrig, Prince Charles?s forfeited secretary, to be buried in the vault. This was refused, and she lies outside the door. May the earth lie light on her, old lady kind and vener. able !? In 1609 the legal rights of the church and parish of Restalrig, with all their revenues and pertinents, were formally conferred upon the church of South Leith. In 1492, John Fraser, dean of Restalrig, wa? appointed Lord Clerk Register; and in 154C another dean, John Sinclair, was made Lord 01 Session, and was afterwards Bishop of Brechin and Lord President of the Court of Session. He it war who performed the marriage ceremony for Queen * Mary and Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley. In 1592 the deanery was dissolved by Act of Parliament, and divided between ? the parsonage of Leswadc and parsonage of Dalkeith, maid by Mr. Georgt Ramsay, dean of Restalrig.? After the Logans-of whom elsewhere-tht Lords Balmerino held the lands of Restalrig till their forfeiture in I 746, and during the whole period of their possession, appropriated the vaults of the forsaken and dilapidated church as the burial-place of themselves and their immediate relations. From them it passed to the Earls of Bute, with whose family it still remains. In the burying-ground here, amid a host of ancient tombs, are some of modem date, marking where lie the father of Lord Brougham ; Louis Cauvin, who founded the hospital which bears his name at Duddingston ; the eccentric doctor known as Lang Sandy Wood,? and his kindred, including the late Lord Wood ; and Lieutenant-Colonel William Rickson, of the I 9th Foot, a brave and distinguished soldier, the comrade and attached friend of Wolfe, the hero of Quebec. His death is thus recorded in the Scots Magazine for 1770 :-cr At his house in Broughton, Lieutenant-Colonel William Rickson, Quartermaster-General and Superintendent of Roads in North Britain.? His widow died so lately as 1811, as her tomb at Restalrig bears, ?? in the fortieth year of her widowhood? Here, too, was interred, in 1720, the Rev. Alexander Rose, the last titular bishop of Edinburgh. In tracing out the ancient barons of Restalrig, among the earliest known is Thomas of Restalrig, nxa 1210, whose name appears in the Regktruum de DunferrnZine as Sheriff of Edinburgh. In the Macfarlane MSS. in the Advocates? Library, there is a charter of his to the Priory of Inchcolm, in the Firth of Forth, circa 1217, very interesting from the localities therein referred to, and the tenor of which runs thus in English :- ?To all seeing or hearing these writings, Thomas of Lestalrig wishes health. Know ye, that for the good of my soul, and the souls of all my predecessors and successors, and the soul of my wife, I have given and conceded, and by this my charter have confirmed, to God and the canons of the church of St. Columba on the Isle, and the canons of the same serving God, and that may yet serve Him forever, that whole land which Baldwin Comyn was wont to hold from me in the town of Leith, namely, that land which is next and adjoining on the south to that land which belonged to Ernauld of Leith, and to twenty-four acres and a half of arable land in my estate of Lestalrig in that field which is called Horstanes, on the west part of the same field, and on the north part of the high road between Edinburgh and Leith (it., the Easter Road) in pure and perpetual gift to be held by them, with all its pertinents and easements, and with common pasture belocging to such land, and with free ingress and egress, with carriage, team,
Volume 5 Page 131
  Shrink Shrink   Print Print