Edinburgh Bookshelf

Kay's Originals Vol. 2


342 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES was the Scottish Thistle, surmounted with the national motto, "Nemo me impune lacesset ;" and underneath, the words *' Agmine Remorum Celeri." Speedily formed into an effective body of Sea Fencibles, they did not allow their gallantry to evaporate in mere. words. Besides at all times keeping a watchful look-out upon the coast, upwards of two hundred of them volunteered, in 1806, to man the Tern1 ship-of-war, then lying in Leith Roads, and instantly proceeding to sea, gave chase to some French frigates by whom the coast had been infested, and numerous depredations committed on our trade. A subscription, amounting to upwards of ;E250, was raised in Edinburgh, and distributed among the men, as a reward for this important service.' With the Teml, the gallant band of Sea Fencibles were next year engaged at Copenhagen, and had the good fortune to capture a frigate named the Neyden, which they brought as a prke to Yarmouth Roads, from whence they returned with much eclat to Newhaven. Some of the old surviving hands of this expedition were won't to delight in spinning a yarn on the subject-"as how, when I was on board the Teml." So early as the reign of James IT. certain burgal privileges were conferred on it; but these, at an'after period, were bought up by the Town Council of Edinburgh.x "Coeval with the erection of this suburb, Janies built a chapel which he dedicated to St. Mary, and from this fabric the little haven was sometimes called 'our Lady's Port of Grace.'"a The coincidence of name has probably given rise to a belief among the simple inhabitants, that the village was designated '' Mary's Port," from the circumstance of Queen Mary having landed there on her arrival from France. In confirmation of this they point to an ancientlooking house near the oentre of the village, said to have been erected in commemoration of the event, with a tabular stone in the wall, bearing the date 1588, 2nd surmounted by a thistle. The centre of the tablet contains the figure of a vessel of peculiar form, said to be the Spanish polachre in which the Queen arrived. Underneath are the words, " In the neam of God ;" also the figures of two globes, with compass and square, etc. Unfortunately for the authenticity of this tradition, the young Queen of Scots, according to our historians, landed at Leith twenty-seven years prior to the above date. Her mother, Mary of Guise, first came to Scotland in 1538 : an event which, could Newhaven, small though it be, is a place of some antiquity. 1 It ia with mnch satisfaction we have to state, that the amount of the subscription for the Sea Fencibles, shipwrights, and some ropemakem, who so handsomely volunteered to go on board Hi9 Majesty's ship Texel, is f250 : 19s. This has enabled Captain Milne to give to each of the men $1 : 5s. ; to three petty officem, $3 : 3s. each ; and to'dndrew Sandilands, a Sea Fencible belonging to Leith, E20 in addition, having had his leg broken while on board the TercZ. A small balance remaining is to be given to a distressed family in Newhaven."-Edinbwgh Newspapm. By way of denoting, we suppose, the jurisdiction of the city over Newhaven, it waa an ancient practice of the Magiatrates of Edinburgh to proceed annually to the village, where they publicly drank wine in what ~KBS then called the Spare. chanbcl.s''s Qwtteer.-The "Great Michael," a vessel of uncommon dimensions for so early a period aa the reign of James IV., is supposed to have been built at Newhaven.
Volume 9 Page 454
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