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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. I


66 About this time a strange story went abroad concerning the spectre of Dundee ; the terrible yet handsome Claverhouse, in his flowing wig and glittering breastplate, appearing to bis friend the Earl of Balcarres, then a prisoner in the Castle, and awaiting tidings of the first battle with keen anxiety. .\bout daybreak on the morning when Killiecrankie was fought and lost by the Williamites, the spectre of Dundee is said to have come to Bal- OLD AND NEW EDINBURGH. ?After this??(says C. K. Sharpe, in a note to ? Law?s Memorials I), ? it moved towards the mantelpiece, remained there for a short time in a leaning posture, and thed walked out of the ? chamber without uttering one word. Lord Balcarres, in great surprise, though not suspecting that what he saw WAS an. apparition, called out ?repeatedly on his friend to stop, but received no answer, and subsequently learned that at the very moment the [Edinburgh Castle.? CHAPTER vIr. EDINBURGH CASTLE ( G O Z C ~ ~ ~ ) . The Torture of Neville Payne-Jacobite Plots-Entombing the Regalia-Project for Surprising the Foitress-Right of Sanctuary Abolished- Lord Drummond?s Plot-Some Jacobite Prisoners-? Rebel Ladies?-James Macgregor-The Castle Vaults-Attempts nt Escape-Fears as to the Destruction of the Crown, Sword, and Sceptre-Crown-room opened in ~;rg+-Again in 7817, and the Regalia brought forth-Mons Meg-General Description of the whole Castle. AMONG the many unfortunates who have pined as prisoners of state in the Castle, few suffered more than Henry Neville Payne, an English gentleman, who was accused of being a Jacobite conspirator. About the time of the battle of the Boyne, when the Earl of Annandale, Lord ROSS, Sir Robert hlontgomerie of Skelmorlie, Robert Fergusson ? the plotter,? and others, were forming a scheme in Scotland for the restoration of King James, Payne had been sent there in connection with it, but was discovered in Dumfriesshire, seized, and sent to Edinburgh. Lockhart, the Solicitor- General for Scotland, who happened to be in London, coolly wrote to the Earl of Melville, Secretary of State at Edinburgh, saying, ? that there was no doubt that he (Payne) knew as much as would hang a thousand; but except you put him to the torture, he will shame you all. Pray you, put him in such hands as will have no pity on him!?* The Council, however, had anticipated these amiable instructions, and Payne had borne torture to extremity, by boot and thumbscrews, without confessing anything. On the loth of December, under express instruction signed by King William, and countersigned by Lord Melville, the process was to be repeated; and this was done in the presence of the Earl of Crawford, ?with all the seventy,? he reported, ? that was consistent with humanity, even unto that pitch that we could not preserve life and have gone further, but without the least success. He was so manly and resolute under his sufferings that such of the Council as were not Melville?s Coiiespondence. acquainted with the evidence, were brangled, and began to give him charity that he might be innocent. It was surprising that flesh and blood could, without fainting, endure the heavy penance he was in for two hours.? This unfortunate Englishman, in his maimed and shattered condition, was now thrown into a vault of the Castle, where none had access to him save a doctor. Again and again it was represented to the ?I humane and pious King William? that to keep Payne in prison Id without trial was contrary to law;? but notwithstanding repeated petitions for trial and mercy, in defiance of the Bill of Rights, William allowed him to languish from year to year for ten years ; until, on the 4th of February, 1701, he was liberated, in broken health, poverty, and premature old age, without the security for reappearance, which was customary in such cases. Many plots were formed by the Jacobites-one about 1695, by Fraser of Beaufort (the future Lovat), and another in 1703, to surprise the Castle, as being deemed the key to the whole kingdom-but without success ; and soon after the Union, in 1707, its walls witnessed that which was deemed ?I the last act of that national tragedy,? the entombing of thz regalia, which, by the Treaty, ? are never more to be used, but kept constantly in the Castle of Edinburgh.? In presence of Colonel Stuart, the constable ; Sir James Mackenzie, Clerk of the Treasury ; William Wilson, Deputy-Clerk of Session-the crown, sceptre, sword of state, and Treasurer?s rod, were solemnly deposited in their usual receptacle, the crown-room, on the 26th of March. ?Animated by the sam- glow of patriotism that fired the
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bosom of Belhaven, the Earl Marischal, after having opposed the Union in all its stages, refused to be present at this degrading ceremony, and was represented by his proxy, Wilson, the Clerk of Session, who took a long protest descriptive of the regalia, and declaring that they should remain within the said crown-room, and -never be removed from it without due intimation being made to the Earl Marischal. A copy of this protest, beautifully illuminated, was then deposited with the regalia, a linen cloth was spread over the whole, and the great oak chest was secured by three ponderous locks; and there for a hundred and ten years, amid silence, obscurity, and dust, lay the crown that had sparkled on the brows of Bruce, on those of the gallant Jameses, and on Mary?s auburn hair -the symbols of Scotland?s elder days, for which so many myriads of the loyal, the brave, and the noble, had laid down their lives on the battle-field -neglected and forgotten.? Just four months after this obnoxious ceremony, and while the spirit of antagonism to it rose high in the land, a gentleman, with only thirty men, undertook to surprise the fortress, which had in it now a party of but thirty-five British soldiers, to guard the equivalent money, ~400,000, and a great quantity of Scottish specie, which had been called in to be coined anew. In the memoirs of Kerr of Kerrsland we are told that the leader of this projected surprise was to appear with his thirty followers, all well armed, at noon, on the esplanade, which at that hour was the chief lounge of gay and fashionable people. Among these they were to mingle, but drawing as near to the barrier gate as possible. While affecting to inquire for a friend in the Castle, the leader was to shoot the sentinel ; the report of his pistol was to he the signal on which his men were to draw their swords, and secure the bridge, when a hundred men who were to be concealed in a cellar near were to join them, tear down the Union Jack, and hoist the Colours of James VIII. in its place. The originator of this daring scheme -whose name never transpired-having commu. nicated it to the well-known intriguer, Kerr of Kerrsland, while advising him to defer it till the chevalier, then expected, was off the coast, he secretly gave information to the Government, which, Burnbank was a very debauched character, who is frequently mentioned in Penicuick?s satirical poems, to put it in a state of defence ; but the great magazine of arms, the cannon, stores, and 495 barrels of powder, which had been placed there in 1706, had all been removed to England. ?But,? says a writer, this was only in the spirit of centralisation, which has since been brought to such perfection.? In 1708, before the departure of the fleet of Admiral de Fourbin with that expedition which the appearance of Byng?s squadron caused to fail, a plan of the Castle had been laid, at Versailles, before a board of experienced engineer officers, who unanimously concluded that, with his troops, cannon, and mortars, M. de Gace would carry the place in a few hours. A false attack was to be made on the westward, while three battalions were to storm the outworks on the east, work their way under the half-moon, and carry the citadel. Two Protestant bishops were then to have crowned the prince in St. Giles?s church as James VIII. ?I The equivalent from England being there,? says an officer of the expedition, ?would have been a great supply to us for raising men (having about 400 officers with us who had served in the wars in Italy), and above 100 chests in money.? Had M. de Gace actually appeared before the fortress, its capture would not have cost him much trouble, as Kerrsland tells us that there were not then four rounds of powder in it for the batteries ! On the 14th of December, 1714 the Castle was: by a decree of the Court of Session, deprived of its ancient ecclesiastical right of sanctuary, derived from and retained since the monastic institution of David I., in I 128. Campbell of Burnbank, the storekeeper, being under caption at the instance of a creditor, was arrested by a messenger-at-arms, on which Colonel Stuart, the governor, remembering the right of sanctuary, released Campbell, expelled the official, and closed the barriers. Upon this the creditor petitioned the court, asserting that the right of sanctuary was lost. In reply it was asserted that the Castle was not disfranchised, and that the Castle of Edinburgh, having anciently been rmtrurn pueZZarum, kas originally a religious house, as well as the abbey of Holyrood.? But the Court decided that it had no privilege of sanctuary ?to hinder the king?s letters, and ordained Colonel Stuart to deliver Burnbank to a messenger.? organised among the Hays, Keiths, and Murrays, and was employed by ?Nicoll Muschat of ill On tidings of this, the Earl of Leven, governor When the seventies exercised by George I. upon
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