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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. V


192 OLD AND PEW EDINBUKGH. [Leith. on the coast of East Lothian, from whence the way to England was open and free. But the daring Mackintosh suddenly conceived a very different enterprise. The troops under him were all picked men, drawn from the regiments of the Earls of Mar and Strathmore, of Lord Nairn, Lord Charles Murray, and Logie-Drummond, with his own clan the Mackintoshes. With these he conceived the idea of capturing Edinburgh, then only seventeen miles distant, and storming the Castle. But the Provost mustered the citizens, placed the City Guard, the Trained Bands, and the Volunteers, at all vulnerable points, and sent to Argyle, then at Stirling, on the 14th October, for aid. At ten that night the Duke, at the head of only 300 dragoons mounted on farm horses, and 200 infantry, passed through the city just as the Highlanders, then well-nigh worn out, halted at Jock?s Lodge. Hearing of the Duke?s arrival, and ignorant of what his forces might be, the brigadier wheeled off to Leith, where his approach excited the most ludicrous consternation, as it had done in Edinburgh, where, Campbell says in his History, ?? the approach of 50,000 cannibals? could not have discomposed the burgesses more. Mackintosh entered Leith late at night, released forty Jacobite prisoners from the Tolbooth, and took possession of the citadel, the main fortifications of which were all intact, and now enclosed several commodious dwellings, used as bathing quarters by the citizens of Edinburgh. How Argyle had neglected to garrison this strong post it is impossible to conjecture; but ?Old Borlum ?-as he was always called-as gates were wanting, made barricades in their place, took eight pieces of cannon from ships in the harbour, provisioned himself from the Custom House, and by daybreak next morning was in readiness to receive the Duke of Argyle, commander of all the forces in Scotland. At the head of 1,000 men of all arms the latter approached Leith, losing?on the way many volunteers, who ? silently slipped out of the ranks and returned to their own homes.? He sent a message to the citadel, demanding a surrender on one hand, and threatening no quarter on the other. To answer this, the Laird of Kynachin appeared on the ramparts, and returned a scornful defiance. ?? As to surrendering, they laughed at it ; and as to assaulting them, they were ready for him ; they would neither give nor take quarter; and if he thought he was able to force them, he might try his hand.? Argyle carefully reconnoitred the citadel, and, ? I with the concurrence of his officers, retired with the intention of attacking in strength next day ; but Borlum was too wary to wait for him. Resolving to acquaint Mar with his movements, he sent a boat across the Firth, causing shots to be fired as it left Leith to deceive the Hanoverian fleet, which allowed it to pass in the belief that it contained friends of the Government ; and at nine that night, taking advantage of a cloudy sky, he quitted the citadel with all his troops, and, keeping along the beach, passed round the head of the pier at low water, and set out on his march for England. Yet, though the darkness favoured him, it led to one or two tragic occurrences. Near Musselburgh some mounted gentlemen, having fired upon the Highlanders, led the latter to believe that all horsemen were enemies; thus, when a mounted man approached them alone, on being challenged in Gaelic, and unable to reply in the same language, he was shot dead. The slain man proved to be Alexander Malloch, of Moultray?s Hill, who was coming to join them. ? The brigadier was extremely sorry for what had taken place, but he was unable even to testify the common respect of a friend by burying the deceased. He had only time to possess himself of the money found on the corpse-about sixty guineas-and then leave it to the enemy.?? The advance of Mar rendered Argyle unable to pursue Borlum, who eventually joined Forster, shared in his defeat, and would have been hanged and quartered at Tyburn, had he not broken out of Newgate and escaped to France. A few days after his departure from Leith, the Trained Bands there were ordered to muster on the Links, to attend their colours and mount guard, ?? at tuck of drumme, at what hour their own officers shall appoint, and to bring their best armes along with them.? There is a curious ? dream story,? as Chambers calls it in his ?Book of Days,? connected with Leith in 1731, which Lady Clerk of Penicuik ( d e Mary Dacre, of Kirklinton in Cumberland), to whom we have referred in our first volume, communicated to BZwkwood?s Magazine in 1826. She related that her father was attending classes in Edinburgh in 1731, and was residing under the care of an uncle-Major Griffiths-whose regiment was quartered in the castle. The young man had agreed to join a fishing party, which was to start from .Leith harbour next morning. No objection was made by Major or Mrs. Griffiths, from whom he parted at night. During her sleep the latter suddenly screamed out : ?The boat is sinkingoh, save them !? The major awoke her, and said :
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