Edinburgh Bookshelf

Old and New Edinburgh Vol. V


~~ In 1543, when the traitorous Scottish nobles of what was named the English faction, leagued with Henry VIII. to achieve a marriage between his son Edward, a child five years of age, and the infant Queen of Scotland, the Earl of Lennox, who was at the head of the movement, attempted an insurrection, and, marching with all his adherents to Leith, offered battle between that town and Edinburgh to the Regent and Cardinal Beaton, who were at the head of the Scottish loyalists. Aware that PILRIG FREE CHURCH AND LEITH WALK, LOOKING NORTH. After taking soundings at Granton Craigs, the infantry were landed there by pinnaces, though the water was so deep ? that a galley or two laid their snowttis (i.e. bows) to the craigs,? at ten in the morning of Sunday, the 4th of May. Between 12 and I o?clock they marched into Leith, ?and fnnd the tables covered, the dinnaris prepared, such abundance of wyne and victuallis besydes the other substances, that the lyck ritches were not to be found either in Scotland nor in England.? (Knox.) the forces of Lennox were superior in number to their own, they amused him with a pretended treaty till his troops began to weary, and dispersed to their homes; and Henry of England, enraged at the opposition to his avarice and ambition, resolved to invade Scotland in 1544. In May the Earl of Hertford, with an army variously estimated at from ten to twenty thousand, on board of two hundred vessels, commanded by Dudley, Lord Lisle, suddenly entered the Firth of Forth, while 4,000 mounted men-at-arms came to Leith by land. So suddenly was this expedition undertaken, that the Regent Arran and the Cardinal were totally unprepared to resist, and retired westward from the city. Leith was pillaged, the surrounding countqravaged with savage and merciless ferocity. Craigmillar was captured, with many articles of vahie deposited there by the citizens, and Sir Simon Preston, after being taken prisoner, was-as a degradation-compelled to march on foot to London. How Hertford was baffled in his attempts on Edinburgh Castle and compelled to retreat we have narrated in its place. He fell back on Leith, where he destroyed the pier, which was of wood, pillaged and left the town in flames. After which he embarked all his troops, and sailed, taking with him the &Znrnander and Unicorn, two large Scottish ships of war, and all the small craft lying in the harbour.
Volume 5 Page 169
  Shrink Shrink   Print Print   Pictures Pictures