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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. V


Kirk-of- Field.] THE CONSPIRACY AGAINST DARNLEY. 5 IZ. our lady kirk of field 13. ye kirk of field kirk y i ' I+ ye potterraw .. .. .. The Pot:er Row. 15. ye caich ill gait . . . . The Catchpole Gate. . . Our Lady Kirk-of-Field. . . The Kirk-of-Field kirk y d . EXPLANATION OF THE ORIGINAL I I. ye blak freiris . . . . .. The Black Friars. a. ye priestis chameris . . . . The priest's chambers. 3. ye well .. .. . . .. The well. 4. ye mylk row . . .. . . The Milk Row. 5. our lady stapis . . Our Lady's steos. 6. ye Dukis gaitt ofchattiiieraur 7. ye lu+ att ye king was keipit 8. ye place of ye murthqr . . . . The lace of the murder. 9. ye provost place .. The Duke of Chatelherault's gate. The lodging at which the King eftir his murthur . . . , was kept after his murder, . . .. The Frovast's place.
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6 OLD AND NEW EDINBURGH. [Kirk-oCField. Her Majesty?s presence he should make him suffei for it Paris then says,he expressed a desire ta go to bed. ?? NO,? said Bothwell ; 4 6 y ~ ~ must remain with me. Would you have those two gentlemen, Hay 2nd Hepburn, locked up where they now are ? ? ?Alas !? replied the luckless varlet, who felt himself in the power of a stronger will. ?? What more must I do this night? for I have no heart in this business.? ?Follow me !?J was the stern command ; and at midnight Bothwell left the palace for his own house, where he substituted for his rich court dress of black velvet and satin one of plain stuff, and wrapped himself up in his riding-cloak. Accompanied by Paris, Powrie, Wilson, and Dalgleish, he passed down a lane which ran along the wall of the queen?s south gardens, joining the foot of the Canongate, where the gate of the outer court of the palace formerly stood. Here they were challenged by a sentinel of the Archer Guard, who demanded, ?Who goes there ? ? ? Friends,? replied Powrie. ? What friends ? ? ?? Friends of the Lord Bothwell.? After being passed out, they proceeded up the dark Canongate, where they found the Netherbow Port shut; but Wilson roused the keeper, John Galloway, by rashly calling to him to open the gate ? for the friends of my Lord Bothwell.? ?? What do ye out of your beds at this time of night ?I? asked Gallcway ; but they passed on without replying. (Depositions in Laing.) They called at Ormiston?s lodging in the Netherbow; but the wary laird, deeming that he had done enough in assisting to convey the powder, declined to do more, and sent word that he was from home ; so passing down Todtig?s Wynd, they crossed the Cowgate, entered the convent gardens, and waited for Hay and Hepburn near the House of the Kirk-of-Field. From this point mystery and obscurity cloud all that followed. When left alone by the departure of the queen, a gloomy foreboding of impending peril would seem to have fallen upon the wretched Damley. He read a portion of the Scriptures, repeated the 55th Psalm, and fell asleep, his young page Taylor watching in the apartment near him. Thomas Nelson, Edward Simmons, and a boy, lay in the servants? zpartment, or gallery, next the city wall. One account has it that it was at this time tha.t Hay and Hepburn, concealed in the room with the powder, b> means of their false keys gained access to the king?s apartment ; that the noise of their entrance awoke him, and springing from bed in his shirt and pelisse, he strove to make his escape, but was knocked down and strangled, his shrieks ? for mercy being heard by some women in an adjoining house ; that his page was dispatched in the same manner, and their bodies flung into the orchard, where they were found next morning, untouched by fire or powder, and then the house was blown up to obliterate all traces of the murder. This peculiar version of it is based on a dispatch from the papal nuncio to Cosmo I., and found in the archives of the Medici by Prince Labanoff, who communicated it to Mr. Tytler. Bothwell?s accomplices, on the other hand, when brought to trial, all more or less emphatically denied that Darnley was either strangled or assassinated, and fhm carried into the garden ; Hepburn expressly declared that he only knew that Darnley was blown into the air, ?and handled with no man?s hands that he saw.? Melvil says, on the morning after the murder, Bothwell ?? came forth and told me he saw the strangest accident that ever chanced-to wit, the thunder came out of the lift (sky) and burnt the king?s house, and himself found lying at a little distance from the house under a tree, and willed me to go up and see him, how there was not a mark nor hurt on aZZ his body.? (Melvil?s ?? Memoirs,? 1735.) No doubt rests upon the part played by Bothwell, however the murder at the Kirk-of-Field was achieved. Dalgleish, Powrie,and Wilson,were left at the head of the convent garden, while French Paris passed over the wall at the back of the house, and joined the two assassins, who were locked in the room where the powder lay. On the arrival of the daring earl, Hepburn lighted the, match connected with the train and the powder, and having locked the doors, they then withdrew to await the event. Bothwell fretted with impatience as the match burned slowly for a quarter of an hour ; then, precisely at two in the morning, it took effect. The whole house seemed to rise, says Hay of Tallo, in his deposition. Then, with a noise as of the bursting of a thunderbolt, the solid masonry of the house was rent into a thousand fragments ; scarcely a vestige of it remained, and ?great stones, of the length of ten feet and breadth of four feet,? were found blown from it all over the orchard. Paralysed with fear, Paris fell with his face forward on the earth ; even Bothwell was appalled, and said, ? I have been in many important enterprises, but I never felt as I do now ! ? The whole of the conspirators nowhurried back to the High Street, and sought to get out of the city by dropping from the wall at Leith Wynd, but were forced once more to rouse t6e porter at the Netherbow. They then passed down St. Mary?s Wynd and the south back
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