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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. VI


[-wade. THE MELVILLES.. / LASSWADE CnuKCH, 1773. (Afdw an Etching by Yohn Clerk of E(din.1 CHAPTER XLIII. THE ENVIRONS OF EDINBURGH-(ccmclz&d). Melville Castle and the Melvilles-The Viscounts Melvil1::-Sheriffnall-Newton-Monkton-Stonyhill-" The Wicked Colonel Charteris "- New Hailes-The Stair Obelisk-Lord Hailes-His Death. MELVILLE CASTLE stands on the left bank of the North Esk, about five furlongs eastward of Lasswade, and was built by the first Viscount Melville, replacing a fortress of almost unknown antiquity, about the end of the last century. It is a splendid mansion, with circular towers, exhibiting much architectural elegance, and surrounded by a finelywooded park, which excited the admiration of George IV. Unauthenticated tradition states that the ancient castle of Melville was a residence of David Rizzio, and as such, was, of course, visited occasionally by Queen Mary; but it had an antiquity much more remote. It is alleged that the first Melville ever known 'in Scotland was a Hungarian of that name, who accompanied Queen 'Margaret to Scotland, where he obtained from Malcolm 111. a grant of land in hiidlothian, and where he settled, gave his surname to his castle, and became progenitor of all the Melvilles in Scotland. Such is the story told by Sir Robert Douglas, on the authority of Leslie, 143 Mackenzie, Martin, and Fordun ; but it is much more probable that the family is of French origin. Be all that as it may, the family began to be prominent in Scotland soon after the reign of Malcolm 111. Galfrid de Melville of Meldle Castle, in Lothian, witnessed many charters of Malcolm IV., bestowing pious donations on the abbeys of Holyrood, Newbattle, and Dunfermline, before 1165, in which year that monarch died. He also appears (1153-1165) as Vicecomes de CasieZZo Pzd'Eamm, in the register of St. Marie of Newbattle. He witnessed two charters of William the Lion to the abbey of Cambuskenneth, and made a gift of the parish church of Melville (which, probably, he built) to the monastery of Dunfermline, in presence of Hugh, Bishop of St. Andrews, previously chaplain to King William, and who died in 1187. Galfrid of Melville left four sons-Sir Gregory, his successor, Philip, Walter, and Waren. Of the last nothing is known, but the other three founded
Volume 6 Page 361
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