Edinburgh Bookshelf

Old and New Edinburgh Vol. VI


310 OLD AND NEW EDINBURGH. [Granton. Scots now takefl this to be a prophecy of the thing which has happened. ? The next day, 4th May, the army landed two miles bewest the town of Leith, at a place called Grantaine Cragge, every man being so.prompt, that the whole army was landed in four hours.? As there was no opposition, a circumstance unlooked for, and having guides, ?? We put ourselves in good order of war,?? continues the .narrator, ?marching towards Leith in three battayles (columns), whereof my lord admiral led the vanguard, the Earl of Shrewsbury the rearguard, the Earl of Hertford the centre, with the artillery drawn by men. In a valley on the right of the said town the Scots were assembled to the number of five or six thousand horse, besides foot, to impeach our passage, and had planted their artillery at two straits, through which we had to pass. At first they seemed ready to attack the vanguard.? But perceiving the English ready to pass a ford that lay between them and the Scots, the latter abandoned their cannon, eight pieces in all, and fled towards Edinburgh j the first to quit the field was ? the holy cardynall, lyke a vallyant champion, with him the governor, Therles of Huntly, Murray, and Bothwell? The.fame of Granton for its excellent freestone is not a matter of recent times, as in the City Treasurer?s accounts, 1552-3, we read of half an ell of velvet, given to the Laird of Carube (Carrubber?) for ?licence to wyn stones on his lands of Granton, to the schoir, for the hale space of a year.? In 1579 a ship called the Jinas of Leith perished in a storm upon the rocks at Granton, having been blown from her anchorage. Upon this, certain burgesses of Edinburgh brought an action against her owner, Vergell Kene of Leith, for the value of goods lost in the said ship ; but he urged that her wrecking was the ?providence of God,? and the matter was remitted to the admiral and his deputes (Privy Council Reg.) In 1605 we first find a distinct mention legally, of the old fortalice of Wardie, or Granton, thus in the ?Retours.? ? Wardie-muir cum turre et fortalicio de Wardie,? when George Tours is served heir to his father, Sir John Tours of Inverleith, knight, 14th May. In 1685, by an Act of Parliament passed by James VII., the lands and barony of Royston were ?ratified,? in favour of George Viscount Tarbet, Lord Macleod, and Castlehaven, then Lord Clerk Register, and his spouse, Lady Anna Sinclair. They are described as comprehending the lands of Easter Granton with the manor-house, dovecot, coalheughs, and quarries, bounded by ? . Granton Bum; the lands of Muirhouse, and Pilton on the south, and the lands of Wardie and Wardie Bum, the sea links of Easter Granton, the lands of Golden Riggs or Acres, all of which had belonged to the deceased Patrick Nicoll of Royston. The statesmen referred to was George Mackenzie, Viscount Tarbet and first Earl of Cromarty, eminent for his learning and abilities, descended from a branch of the family of Seaforth, and born in 1630. On the death of his father in 1654, with General Middleton he maintained a guerrilla warfare with the Parliamentary forces, in the interests of Charles 11. ; but had to leave Scotland till the Restoration, after which he became the great confidant of Middleton, when the latter obtained the chief administration of the kingdom. In 1678 he was appointed Justice-General for Scotland, in 1681, a Lord of Session and Clerk Register, and four years afterwards James VII. created him Viscount Tarbet, by which name he is best known in Scotland. Though an active and not over-scrupulous agent under James VII., he had no objection to transfer his allegiance to William of Orange, who, in 1692, restored him to office, after which he repeatedly falsified the records of Parliament, thus adding much to the odium attaching to his name. In 1696 he retired upon a pension, and was created Earl of Cromarty in 1703. He was a zealous supporter of the Union, having sold his vote for A300, for with all his eminence and talent as a statesman, he was notoriously devoid of principle. He was one of the original members of the Royal Society, and was author of a series of valuable articles, political and historical works, too numerous to be noted here. He died at New Tarbet in 1714, aged eighty-four, and left a son, who became second Earl of Cromarty, and another, Sir James Mackenzie, Bart., a senator with the title of Lord Royston. His grandson, George, third Earl of Cromarty, fought at Falkirk, leading 400 of his clan, but was afterwards taken prisoner, sent to the Tower, and sentenced to death. The latter portion was remitted, he retired into exile, and his son and heir entered the Swedish service; but when the American war broke out he raised the regiment known as Macleod?s Highlanders (latterly the 71st Regiment), consisting of two battalions, and served at their head in the East Indies. Lord Royston was raised to the bench on the 7th of June, I 7 10 ; and a suit of his and the Laird of Fraserdale, conjointly against Haliburton of Pitcur, is recorded in ? Bruce?s Decisions ? for 17 15. He is said to have been ?one of the wittiest
Volume 6 Page 310
  Shrink Shrink   Print Print