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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. I


sacres will, in a short space, run a great length. I desire you may disperse this news abroad, if it be not in town before your receipt of this ; for that country, and the North of England, without speedy relief, is jn great danger of depopulation. And the Duke of Gordon h$th in his possession the Castle of Edinburgh, whereby he can at pleasure level that city with the ground. At twelve of the clock yesternight our Governor, LieutXollonel Billingsley, dispatched an Express to the Lords Danby and Lumley for drawing their forces to this town. I received yours to-day, which being Sabbath-day, I beg your pardon for brevity. ? I was told they see the fires and burnings of those Rebels at Edinburgh ; this is the beginning of the discovery of the Popish intrigue. God defend England from the French, and his Highness the Prince of Orange from the bloody Popish attempts I ?London : Published by J- Wells, St. Paul?s Alley, St. Paul?s Churchyard, ~688.? Tidings of William?s landing filled the Scottish Presbyterians with the wildest joy, and the magis- THUMBIKIN. ( F m the Musewnr ofthe Society of Antiguarirs of Scutland.) trates of Edinburgh, who but two years before had been extravagant in their protestations to James VII., were among the first to welcome the invader; and the city filled fast with bands of jubilant revolutionists, rendering it unsafe for all of cavalier tenets to be within the walls. On the 11th of April, 1688, William and Mxry were proclaimed at the cross king and queen of Scotland, after an illegally constituted Convention of the Estates, which was attended by only thirty representatives, declared that King James had forfeited all title to the crown, thus making a vacancy. A great and sudden change now came over the realm. ? Men,? says Dr. Chambers, ?who had been lately in danger of their lives for consciencl sake, or starving in foreign lands, were now at the head of affairs! The Earl of Melville, Secretary of State ; Crawford, President of Parliament ; Argyle, restored to title and lands, and a Privy Councillor; Dalrymple of Stair, Hume of Marchmont, Stewart of Goodtrees, and many other exiles, came back from Holland, to resume prominent positions in the public service at home; while the instruments of the late unhappy Government were either captives under suspicion, or living terror-struck at their country houses. Common people, who had been skulking in mosses from Claverhouse?s dragoons, were now marshalled into Y regiment, and planted as a watch on the Perth md Forfar gentry. There were new figures in the Privy Council, and none of them ecclesiastical. There was a wholly new set of senators on the bench of the Court of Session. It looked like a sudden shift of scenes in a pantomime rather than a series of ordinary occurrences.? For three days and nights Edinburgh was a wild scene of pillage and rapine. The palace was assailed, the chapel royal sacked ; and the Duke of Gordon, on finding that the rabble, drunk and maddened by wine and spirits found in the cellars of cavalier families who had fled, were .wantonly firing on his sentinels, drew up the drawbridge, to cut off all communication with the city; but finding that his soldiers were divided in their religious and political opinions, and that a revolt was impending, he called a council of officers to frustrate the attempt ; and the Lieutenant-Governor, Colonel John Winram, of Liberton and the Inch House, Colonel of the Scots Foot Guards in 1683, undertook to watch the men, forty-four of whom it was deemed necessary to strip of their uniforms and expel from the fortress. In their place came thirty Highlanders, onqthe 11th of November, and 300n after forty-five more, under Gordon of Midstrath. By the Privy Council the Duke was requested, as a Roman Catholic, to surrender his command to the next senior Protestant officer; but he declined, saying, ?I am bound only to obey King James VII.? A few of the Life Guards and Greys, who had quitted the Scottish army on its revolt, now reached Edinburgh under the gallant Viscount Dundee, and their presence served to support the spirits of the Royalists, but the friends of the Revolution brought in several companies of infantry, who were concealed in the suburbs, and 6,000 Cameronians marched in from the west, under standards inscribed, ?O For Reformation according to the Word of God,? below an open Bible. These men nobly rejected all remuneration, saying, with one voice, ?We have come to serve our country.? Their presence led to other conspiracies in the garrisan, and the Duke of Gordon had rather a harassing time of it. The friends of William of Orange having formed a plan for? the assassination of Dundee and Sir George Mackenzie of Rosehahgh, compelled them
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Firinburgh Castle.] THE. REGIMENT OF EDINBURGH. 63 and all loyalists to quit the city. ?At the head of his forlorn band, consisting of sixty cavalier troopers-Guardsmenand Greys mingled-Dundee, the idol of his party, quitted Edinburgh by the Leith Wynd Port; and, through a telescope, the Duke of Gordon watched them as they wound past the venerable church of, the Holy Trinity, among the cottages and gardens of Moutries Hill, and as they rode westward by the Lang Gate, a solitary roadway bordered by fields and farmhouses.? According to Balcarres this was on the 18th of March, 1689, and as Gordon wished to confer with the viscount, the latter, on seeing a red flag waved at the western postern, rode down the Kirk Brae, and, quitting his horse, all heavily accoutred as he was, climbed the steep rock to hold that conference of which so little was ever known. He is said to have advised the?duke to leave the Castle in charge of Winram, on whom they could depend, and seek their fortunes together among the loyal clans in the north. But the duke declined, adding, ?Whither ?Wherever the shade of Montrose may direct me,? was the pensive and poetical reply, and then they parted to meet no more. But the moment Dundee was gone the drums of the Cameroniaas beat to ;urns, and they came swarming out of theix places of concealment, mustering for immediate ackioion, while, in the name of the Estates, the Earl$ of Tweeddale arid Lothian appeared at the gate d the fortress, requesting the duke to surrender ii within four-and-twenty houm, and daringly offering a year?s pay to every soldier who would desert him. ?? My lords,? said he, ?without the express order? of my royal master, James VII., I cannot surrendei this castle.? By the heralds and pursuivants the Duke 01 Gordon was now, as the only alternative, declarec a traitor. He tossed them some guineas to drink the health of James VII., adding, with a laugh, ??I would advise you not to proclaim men traitors whc wear the king?s coat till they have turned it? Under the highest penalties, all persons were non forbidden to correspond with him or his garrison and the Earl of Leven was ordered to blockadethc rock with his Cameronians, to whom were addec 300 Highlanders under Argyle. Out of this bodj there were formed in one day two battalions of thc line, which still exist-the 25th, or old Edinburgt regiment, which bears on its colours the tripk castle, with the motto, ?? Nisi Dominus Frustra,?* go you ? ? - There was a second regiment, called the bth. or Royal Edinburgl Volunteers, raised by Major-General Sir William Erskine. Bart., in 1777 It served rinder Cornwallis in the American War, and wasdibanded ai the close thereof. Its Lieuteoant-Colooel was Dundas of Fingask, wh< died at Guadaoupe and the 26th, or Cameronians, whose appointments bear the five-pointed mullet-the .arms of their first colonel ; while three battalions of the Scots Brigade, from Holland, were on their march, under Lieutenant-General Hugh Mackay of Scoury, to press the siege. Daily matters looked darker and darker for the gallant Gordon, for now seventy-four rank and file demanded their discharges, and were, like their predecessors, stripped and expelled. The gates were then barricaded, and preparations made for resistance to the last; but though Sir James Grant of Dalvey (fomierly King?s Advocate), and Gordon of Edintore, contrived to throw in a supply of provisions, the that he could not hold out beyond the month of June unless relieved. The entire strength of the garrison, including okers and gentlemen- volunteers, was only eighty-six men, who had to work twentv-two Dieces of @j duke wrote King James - (exclusive of FACSIMILE OF THE MEDAL OF THE EDINBURGH REfield- pieces) ranging VOLUTION CLUB. from 42 to I a-pounders. They had no doctor, no engineer, no money, Mnrl in 1688.) (=nick in 1753 in ~ommn~mmtiom a d ~,ztrtu 6,. Wiziiam aw of the recmwy of tkir Rrligwr and only thirty barrels of powder in actual quantity. It was truly a desperate hazard ! By the 18th the entire rock was fully and hopelessly invested by the Earl of Leven, a Brandenburg colonel, who displayed a great want of skill; and on the following night the battlements were blazing with bonfires and tar barrels in honour of King Jam& safe arrival in Ireland, of which tidings had probably been given by Grant of Dalvey. On the 25th came Mackay, with the three battalions of the Scots Brigade, each consisting of twelve companies, all splendidly-trained soldiers, a brigade of guns, and a great quantity of woolpacks with which to form breastworks. A11 within the Castle who had gun-shot wounds suffered greatly from the want of medical attendance, till the duke?s family physician contrived to join him, probably by the postern. On the 13th of March he heavily cannonaded the western entrenchments, and by dint of shot and shell retnded the working parties; but General Mackay now formed a battery of 18-pounders, at the Highnggs, opposed to the royal lodging and the half-moon. On the 3rd of April the Duke discovered that the house of Coates, the ancient
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