Edinburgh Bookshelf

Old and New Edinburgh Vol. I


James IV., while preparing for his fatal invasion rn 1513, went daily to the Castle to inspect and prove his artillery, and by the bursting of one of them he narrowly escaped a terrible death, like that by which his grandfather, James II., perished at Roxburgh. ? The seven sisters of Borthwick,? referred to by Scott in ?Marmion,? were captured, with the rest of the Scottish train, at Flodden, where the Earl of Surrey, when he saw them, said there were no cannon so beautiful in the arsenals of King Henry, -. After the accession of James V,, the Castle was , THE BLUE BLANKET, OR STAXDARD OF THE INCORPORATED TRADES OF EDINBURGH. (From #he T Y ~ S ? Maiden?s HosjiiaZ, RiZZbank.) named the Forge and Gun Houses, Lower Ammunition House, the Register and Jewel Houses, the Kitchen Tower, and Royal Lodging, containing the great hall (now a hospital). Westward were the Butts, still ?so-called, where archery was practised. There were, and are still, several deep wells ; and one at the base of the rock to the northward, in a vault of the Well-house Tower, between the west angle of which and the rock was an iron gate defended by loopholes closing the path that led to St. Cuthbert?s church, A massive rampart and two circular bastions washed by the improved by the skill of the royal architect, Sir James Hamilton of Finnart, and greatly strengthened ; but its aspect was very different from that which it bears now. The entire summit of ~e stupendous rock was crowned by a lofty wall, connecting a series of round or square towers, defended by about thirty pieces of cannon, called ? chambers,? which were removed in 1540. Cut-throats, iron slangs, and arquebuses, defended the parapets. Two tall edifices, the Peel and Constable?s Towers connected by a curtain, faced the city, overlooking the Spur, a vast triangular ravelin, a species of lower castle that covered all the summit of the hill. Its walls were twenty feet high, turreted at the angles, and armed with cannon. The Constable?s Tower was fifty feet high. Wallace?s Tower, a little. below it, defended the portcullis. St. Margaret?s Tower and David?s we have already referred to. The others that abutted 00 the rocks were respectively Flodden on the 9th of September, 1513, caused a consternation in Edinburgh unusual even in those days of war and tumult. The wail that went through the streets is still remembered in
Volume 1 Page 36
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Volume 1 Page 37
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