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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. I


well worth consideration ; but, interesting as it is, it need not detain us long here. In the ? Myrvyian, or Cambrian Archa?ology,? a work replete with ancient lore, mention is made of Caer-Eiddyn, or the fort of Edin, wherein dwelt a famous chief, Mynydoc, leader of the Celtic Britons in the fatal battle with the Saxons under Ida, the flame-bearer, at Catraeth, in Lothian, where the flower of the Ottadeni fell, in 510; and this is believed to be the burgh subsequently said to be named after Edwin. In the list of those who went to the battle of Catraeth there is record of 300 warriors arrayed in fine armour, three loricated bands (Le., plated for defence), with their commanders, wearing torques of gold, ?three adventurous knights,? with 300 of equal quality, rushing forth from the summits of the mighty Caer-Eiddyn, to join their brother chiefs of the Ottadeni and Gadeni. In the ?British Triads? both Caer-Eiddyn (which some have supposed to be Carriden), and also DinasEiddyn, the city of Eiddyn, are repeatedly named. But whether this be the city of Edinburgh it is exceedingly difficult to say; for, after all, the alleged Saxon denominative from Edwin is merely conjectural, and unauthenticated by remote hcts. From Sharon Turner?s ?Vindication of Ancient British Poem%,? we learn that Aneurin, whose work contains 920 lines, was taken prisoner at the battle of Catraeth,* and was afterwards treacherously slain by one named Eiddyn; another account says! he died an exile among the Silures in 570, and that the battle was lost because the Ottadeni ?had drunk of their mead too profusely.? The memory of Nynydac Eiddyn is preserved a beautiful Welsh poem entitled The Drinking Iorn,?by Owain, Prince of Powis. i full of energy. The poem ?? When the mighty bards of yore Awoke the tales of ancient lore, What tide resplendent to behold, Flashed the bright mead in vase of Gold ! The royal minstrel proudly sung Of Cambria?s chiefs when time was young; How, with the drink of heroes flushed, Brave Catraeth?s lord to battle rushed, The lion leader of the strong, And marshal of Galwyiada?s throng ; The sun that rose o?er Itun?s bay Ne?er closed on such disastrous day ; There fell Mynydoc, mighty lord, Beneath stem Osway?s baneful sword ; Yet shall thy praise, thy deathless pame, Be woke on harps of bardic fame, Sung by the Cymri?s tuneful tmb, Aneurin of celestial strain.? DanielWilson,one of the ablest writers on Scottish ntiquities, says that he thinks it useless ?to follow le fanciful disquisitions of zealous anticuarians Zspecting the origin and etymology of Edinburgh ; : has successively been derived, both in origin and 1 name, from Saxon, Pict, and Gael, and in each ase With sufficient ingenuity to leave the subject lore involved than at first? But while on this ubject, it should be borne in mind that the unirtunate destruction of the national records by the waders, Edward I. and Oliver Cromwell, leaves ie Scottish historian dependent for much of his iaterial on tradition, oi information that can only e obtained with infinite labour; though it may o doubt be taken for granted that even if these rchives had been preserved in their entirety they ould scarcely have thrown much, if any, light upon le que& vexata of the origin of the name of ;dinburgh. CHAPTER 11. THE CASTLE OF EDINBURGH. Of its Origin and remoter History-The Legends concaning it-Ebranke-St. Monena-Defeat of the Saxons by King Bridei--King Ed&- Ring Grime-The Story of Grime and Benha of Badlieu-The Starting-point of authentic Edinburgh History-SL Mugarct-Her Piety and vlliaMe Disoosition-Her Chaoel--Ha Dath-Rcstontion of her Oiatary-Her BurLCDonnld Bauc-Khg a v i d L-l?hc Royal Gardens, afterwp;ds the North Lock AFTER the departure of the Romans the jnhabitants of fiorthern Britain bore the designation of Picti, or Picts; and historians are now agreed that these were not a new race, but only the ancient Caledonians under a new name. The most remote date assigned for the origin *The famous Cutrail, or Pictsmrk-ditch, is a u wto have had somc amnection with this battle df cluaeth. (Gdb Cambrrasir. 11.) of the Castle of Edinburgh is that astounding announcement made in Stods ?Summarie of Englyshe Chronicles,? in which he tells us that ?Ebranke, the sonne of Mempricius, was made ruler of Britayne ; he had, as testifieth Policronica, Ganfride, and others, twenty-one wyves, of whom he receyved twenty sonnes and thirty daughters, which he sent into Italye, there to be maryed to
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the blood of the Trojans. In Albanye (now called Scotland) he edified the Castell of Alclude, which is Dumbreyton j he made the Castell of Maydens, now called Edinburgh; he also made the Castell .of Banburgh, in the twenty-third year of his reign.? All these events occurred, according to Stow, in the year 989 beJore Christ ; and the information is quite as veracious as much else that has been written concerning the remote history of Scotland. From sources that can scarcely be doabted, a ? fortress of some kind upon the rock would seem to have been occupied by the Picts, from whom it was captured in 452 by the Saxons of Northumbria under Octa and Ebusa; and from that time down to the reign of Malcolm 11. its history exhibits but a constant struggle for its possession between them and the Picts, each being victorious in turn; and Edwin, one of these Northumbrian invaders, is said to have rebuilt it in 626. Terri- * tories seemed so easily overrun in those times, that the latter, with the Scots, in the year 638, under the reign of Valentinian I., penetrated as far as London, but were repulsed by Theodosius, father of the Emperor of the same name. This is the Edwin whose pagan high-priest Coifi was converted to Christianity by Paulinus, in 627, and who, according to Bede, destroyed the heathen temples and altars. A curious and very old tradition still exists in Midlothian, that the stones used in the construction of the castle were taken from a quarry near Craigmillar, the Craig-moiZard of antiquity. Camden says, ?The Britons called it CasfeZ Mynedh Agnedh-the maidens? or virgins? castlebecause certain young maidens of the royal blood were kept there in old times.? The source of this Oft-repeated story has probably been the assertion of Conchubhranus, that an Irish saint, or recluse, named Monena, late in the fifth century founded seven churches in Scotland, on the heights of Dun Edin, Dumbarton, and elsewhere. This may have been the St. Monena of Sliabh-Cuillin, who died in 5r8. The site of her edifice is supposed to be that now occupied by the present chapel of St. Margaret-the most ancient piece of masonry in the Scottish capital; and it is a curious circumstance, with special reference to the fable of the Pictish princesses, that close by it (as recorded in the CaZedonian Mercury of 26th September, 1853), when some excavations were made, a number of human bones, apparently aZZ of females, were found, together with the remains of several coffins. ? Castmm PuelZarum,? says Chalmers, ?? was the learned and diplomatic name of the place, as appears from existing charters and documents Edinburgh, its vulgar appellation f while Buchanan asserts that its ancient names of the Dolorous Valley and Maiden Castle were borrowed from . ancient French romances, ? devised within the space of three hundred years ? from his time. The Castle was the nucleus, so to speak, around which the city grew, a fact that explains the triple towers in the arms of the latter-three great towers connected by a curtain wall-being the form it presented prior to the erection of the Half-Moon Battery, in Queen Mary?s time. Edwin, the most powerful of the petty kings of Northumberland, largely extended the Saxon conquests in the Scottish border counties; and his possessions reached ultimately from the waters of Abios to those of Bodoria-i.e., from Humber to Forth ; but Egfrid, one of his successors, lost these territories, together with his liie, in battle with the Pictish King Bridei, or Brude, who totally defeated him at Dun-nechtan, with temble slaughter. This was a fatal blow to the Northumbrian monarchy, which never regained its previous ascendency, and was henceforth confined to the country south of Tweed. Lodonia (a Teutonic name signifying marshes or borders) became finally a part of the Pichsh dominiops, Dunedin being its stronghold, and both the Dalriadic Scots and Strathclyde Britons were thus freed from the inroads of the Saxons. This battle was fought in the year 685, the epoch of the bishopric of Lindisfasne, and as the Church of St. Giles was a chaplainry of that ancient see, we may infer that some kind of townof huts, doubtless-had begun to cluster round the church, which was a wooden edifice of a primitive kind, for as the world was expected to end in the year 1000, sacred edifices of stone were generally deemed unnecessary. From the time of the Saxon expulsion to the days of Malcolm 11.-a period of nearly four hundred years-everything connected with the castle and town of Edinburgh is steeped in obscurity or dim tradition. According to a curious old tradition, preserved in the statistical account of the parish of Tweedmuir, the wife of Grime, the usurper, had her residence in the Castle while he was absent fighting against the invading Danes. He is said to have granted, by charter, his hunting seat of Polmood, in that parish, to one of his attendants named Hunter, whose race were to possess it while wood grew and water ran. But, as Hogg says in his ?Winter Evening Tales,? ?There is one remarkable circumstance connected with the place that has rendered it unfamous of late years, and seems to justify an ancient prediction that the hunters of Polmood were mer foprospr..?
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