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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. V


anderwent at sea, yet he adds, ?our numbers amounted to 700, and with the loss of three we made ourselves masters of the island, defended by 800 English trained to war and accustomed to slaughter.? The Queen Regent and Monluc, the Bishop of Valence, visited the island after its recapture, and, according to the French account, were rather regaled by the sight of 300 English corpses strewn about it. The castle was afterwards demolished by order of LEITH HARBOUR ABOUT 1700. (Fronr am Oil Paint ng in fhe Tn?ni2y trousu, Lcifh.) The French troops in Leith, being all trained veterans, inured to military service in the wars of Francis I. and Henry II., gave infinite trouble to the raw levies of the Lords of the Congregation, who began to blockade the town in October, 1559. Long ere this Mary, Queen of Scots, had become the bride of Francis of France ; and her mother, who had upheld the Catholic cause so vigorously, was on her deathbed in the castle of Edinburgh. the Scottish Parliament as useless, and nothing remains of it now but a stone, bearing the royal arms, built into the lighthouse ; but the French troops in Leith conceived such high ideas of the excellent properties of the grass there, that all their horses were pastured upon it, and for ten years *hey always termed it ? L?isZe des Chvaux.? So pleased was Mary of Lorraine with the presence of her French soldiers in Leith, that- :according to Maitland-she erected for herself ? a ?house at the corner of Quality Wynd in the Rotten Row ;? but Robertson states that ?a general impression has existed that Queen Street was the site of the residence of the Queen Dowager.? Above ithe door of it were the arms of Scotland and Guise. The Lords of Congregation, before proceeding to extremities with the French, sent a summons,in the names of ?their sovereign lord and lady, Francis and Mary, King and Queen of Scotland and France, demanding that all Scots and Frenchmen, of whatever estate or degree, depart out of the town of Leith within the space of twelve hours.? To this no answer was returned, so the Scottish troops prepared for an assault by escalade; but when they applied their ladders to the wall they were found to be too short, and the heaiy fire of the French arquebusiers repelled the assailants with loss, These unlucky scaling-ladders had been made in St. Giles?s Church, a circumstance which, curiously enough, is said to have irritated the
Volume 5 Page 173
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