Edinburgh Bookshelf

Old and New Edinburgh Vol. I


soldiers of the garrison made a fruitless defence till the 6th of June, 1296, when they were compelled to capitulate-the weather being intensely sultry and the wells having dried up. In accordance with Edward?s usual sanguinary policy, the whole garrison was put to the sword with ruthless cruelty, and Walter de Huntercombe, a baron of Northumberland, was made governor of the new one; but in the next year Wallace with his patriots swePt like a torrent over the Lowlands. Victorious at Stirling, in particular, he slew Cressingham, and recaptured all the fortresses - Edinburgh among them. Scotland was cleared of the English ; but the invasion of I zg8 followed ; Wallace was betrayed, and too well do we know how he died. The year 1300 saw ?Johan de Kingeston, Connestable et Gardeyn du Chaste1 de Edenburgh,? and four years afterwards he was succeeded by Sir Piers de Lombard, a brave Robert Bruce was now in arms. He in turn had became conqueror ; he invaded England in 1311, and by the following year had re-captured nearly every castle but that of . knight of Gascony. was made on the night of the 14th of March-which proved dark and stormy-at the most difficult part of those precipitous blxffs which overhang the Princes? Street Gardens, where a fragment of ruin, named Wallace?s Cradle, is still visible. Under his guidance, with only thirty resolute men, Randolph scaled the walls at midnight, and, after a fierce resistance, the garrison was overpowered. There are indications that some secret pathway, known to the Scottish garrison, existed, for during some CHANCEL ARCH OF ST. MARGARET?S CHAPEL. Edinburgh, the reduction of which he entrusted to the noble Sir Thomas Randolph of Strathdon, Earl of Moray, who has been described as ?a man altogether made up of virtues.? The English or Norman garrison suspecting the fidelity of Sir Piers, placed him in a dungeon, and under a newly-elected commander, were prepared to offer a desperate resistance, when a romantic incident restored the Castle to the king of Scotland. Among the soldiers of Randolph was one named William Frank, who volunteered to lead an escalade up a steep and intricate way by which he had been accustomed in former years to visit a girl in the city of whom he was enamoured. Frequent use had made him familiar with the perilous ascent, and it - operations in 1821 traces were found of steps cut in the rock, about seventyfeetabove the fragment named ? Wallace?s Cradle ?- a path supposed to have been completcd by a movable ladder. Sir Piers de Lombard (sometimes called Leland) joined King Kobert, who, according to Barbour, created him Viscount of Edinburgh; but afterwards suspecting him of treason, and ?that he had an English hart, made him to be hangit and drawen.? To prevent it from being re-captured or r e-ga rri son e d, R a ndolph dismantled the Castle, which for fourand- twenty years afterwards remained a desolate ruin abandoned to the bat and the owl. shattered walls afforded While in this state its shelter for a single night, in 1335, to therouted troops of Guy, Count of Namur, who had landed at Berwick, and was marching to join Edward III., but was encountered on the Burghmuir by the Earls of Moray and March, with powerful forces, when a fierce and bloody battle ensued. Amid it, Richard Shaw, a Scottish squire, was defied to single combat by a Flemish knight in a closed helmet, and both fell, each transfixed by the other?s lance. On the bodies being stripped of their armour, the gallant stranger proved to be a woman ! While the issue of the battle was still doubtful, the earls were joined by fresh forces under Sir Alexander Ramsay of Dalhousie, William Douglas, and Sir David de Annan. The
Volume 1 Page 24
  Shrink Shrink   Print Print   Pictures Pictures