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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. V


Echo Bank.] THE DICK-CUNNINGHAMS. 57 Albany and York, and his having adopted energetic measures with some of the students of the college, for their Popery not in 1680, was supposed to have excited a spirit of retaliation in their companions ; hence a suspicion arose that the fire was designed and executed by them. The Privy Council were so far convinced of this being the case, that they closed the university, and banished the students till they could find caution for their good behaviour. Sir James?s house was rebuilt by the Scottish Corstorphine, in 1699, to the second and younger sons of his only daughter, Janet, who was married to Sir William Cunningham, Bart, of Caprington, by whom he was succeeded at his decease, in 1728. His son, Sir Alexander Dick (paternally Cunningham), had attained under the latter name a high repute in medicine, and became President of the Royal College at Edinburgh; and he it was who entertained Dr, Johnson and Boswell for OLD HOUSES, ECHO BANK. Treasury as it now exists. When he was coming from London in 1.682 with the duke, in the Gloucester mankf-war, she was cast away upon a sandbank, twelve leagues from Yarmouth, and then went to pieces. Sir James relates in a letter that the crew were crowding into a boat set apart for the royal duke, on which, the Earl of Winton and Sir George Gordon of Haddo had to drive them back with drawn swords. Sir James, with the Earls of Middleton and Perth, and the Laird of Touch, escaped in another boat; but the Earl of Koxburgh, the Laid of Hopetoun, and 200 men, were drowned. As Sir James Dick died without male issue, he made an entail of his estates of Prestonfield and 104 several days at Prestoniield, where he died, in his: eighty-second year, in 178s. The Mayfield Estate, which belongs to Mr.. Duncan McLaren, was laid out for feuing by the. late Mr. David Cousin; and more? recently the, adjacent lands of Craigmillar, the property of Mr. Little Gilmour, and all are now being rapidly covered with houses. Proceeding along the old Dalkeith Road, near Echo Bank, a gate and handsome lodge lead to Newington Cemetery, with a terrace and line of vaults. This was the second that was opened after that of Warriston, and was ready for interments in 1846. It was laid out by Mr. David Cousin; but as the designs were open to public
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OLD AND NEW EDINBURGH. [Craigmillar. -- 58 competition, the first prize for the chapel, &c., was awarded to James Grant, Hope Park End. Skirting the cemetery on the west, the Powburn here tums south, and running under Cameron Bridge, after a bend, turns acutely north, and flows through the grounds of Prestonfield towards Duddingston Loch. Out of his lands of Cameron, Sir Simon Preston of Craigmillar, in 1474, gave an annual rent of ten marks to a chaplain in the church of Musselburgh. Craigmillar Park and Craigmillar Road take their name from the adjacent ruined castle ; and at Bridge-end, at the base of the slope on which it stands, James V. had a hunting-lodge and chapel, some traces of which still exist in the form of a stable. On the summit of an eminence, visible from the whole surrounding country-the crazg-moiZwd of antiquity (the high bare rock, no doubt, it once was) -stands the venerable Castle of Craigmillar, with a history nearly as long as that of Holyrood, and which is inseparably connected with that of Edinburgh, having its silent records of royalty and rank-its imperishable memories of much that has perished for ever. The hill on which it stands, in view of tile encroaching city-which ? bids fair some day to surround it-is richly planted with young wood ; but in the immediate vicinity of the ruin some of the old ancestral trees remain, where they have braved the storms of centuries. Craigmillar is remarkable as being the only family mansion in Scotland systematically built on the principles of fortification in use during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. In the centre tower, the square donjon keep is of the earliest age of baronial architecture, built we know not when, or by whom, and surrounded now by an external wall, high and strong, enclosing a considerable area, with round flanking towers about sixty feet apart in front, to protect the curtains between-all raised in. those ages of strife and bloodshed when our Scottish nobles- ?Carved at the meal with gloves of steel, And drank aeir wine through the helmet barredr? Its lofty and stately vaulted hall measures thirty-six feet long by twenty-two feet in breadth, with a noble fireplace eleven feet wide, and on the lower portions of it some remnants of old paintings may be traced, and on the stone slab of one 01 the windows a diagram for playing an old knightly game called ?Troy.? There are below it several gloomy dungeons, in one of which John Pinkerton, Advocate, and Mr. Irvine, W.S., discovered in 1813 a human skeleton, built into the wall upright. What dark secrets the old walls of this castle could tell, had their stones tongues ! for an old, old house it is, full of thrilling historical and warlike memories. Besides the keep and the older towers, there is within the walls a structure of more modern sppearance, built in the seventeenth century. This is towards the west, where a line of six handsome gableted dormer windows on each side of a projecting chimney has almost entirely disappeared ; one bore the date MDC. Here a stair led to the castle gardens, in which can be traced a large pond in the form of a p, the initial letter of the old proprietor?s name. Here, says Balfour, in I 509, ?? there were two scorpions found, one dead, the other alive.? There are the dilapidated remains of a chapel, measuring thirty feet by twenty feet, with a large square and handsomely-mullioned window, and a mutilated font. It was built by Sir +John Gilmour, who had influence enough to obtain a special ?? indulgence ? therefor from King James VII. It is a stable now. ?? On the boundary wall,? says Sir Walter Scott, ?may be seen the arms of Cockburn of Ormiston, Congalton of Congalton, Mowbray of Barnbougle, and Otterbum of Redford, allies of the Prestons of Craigmillar. In one corner of the court, over a portal arch, are the arms of the family: three unicorns? heads coupid, with a cheese-press and barrel, or tun-a wretched rebus, to express their name of Preston.? This sculptured fragment bears the date 1510. The Prestons of Craigmillar carried their shield above the gate, in the fashion called by the Italians smdopmdente, which is deemed more honourable than those carried square, according to Rosehaugh?s ? Science of Heraldry.? On the south the castle is built on a perpendicular rock. Round the exterior walls was a deep moat, and one of the advanced round towers-the Dovecot-has loopholes for arrows or musketry. The earliest possessor of whom we have record is ?Henry de Craigmillar,? or William Fitz- Henry, of whom there is extant a charter of gift of a certain toft of land in Craigmillar, near the church of Liberton, to the monastery of Dunfermline, in I z I 2, during the reign of King Alexander 11. The nearer we conie to the epoch of the long and glorious War of Independence, the more generally do we find the lands in the south of Scotland in the hands of Scoto-Nbrman settlers. John de Capella was Lord of Craigmillar, from whose family the estate passed into the hands of Simon Preston, in 1374, he receiving a charter, under
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