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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. I


and ?married Henry Stuart Lord Methven, on finding that the former was about to seize her dower-lands, fled, with her third husband and all his vassals, to the Castle of Edinburgh, and, joining her son, prepared to resist to the last; but Earl Archibald only laughed when he heard of it ; and, displaying his banner, invested the fortress at the head of his own vassals and those of the Crown. Margaret found that she dared not disobey, and her soldiers capitulated. Bathed in tears, on her knees, at the outer gate, quailing under the grim eye of one who was so recently her husband, at his command she placed the keys ?? in the hands of her son, then a tall and handsome yodth, imploring pardon for &er husband, for his brother Sir James Stuart, and lastly for herself. Angus smiled scornfully beneath his barred helmet at her constrained submission, and haughtily directed the Lord Methven and others to be imprisoned in the towers from which they had so lately defied him.? In 1528, James, at last, by a midnight flight with only two attendants, escaped the Douglas thrall, and fled to Falkland Palace, after which event, with a decision beyond his years, he proceeded to assert his own authority, and summoned the estates to meet him at Stirling. The Douglases were declared outlaws and traitors, whereupon Angus and all the barons of his name fled to England. On the death of James V., in 1542, the Regent Arran thoroughly repaired the Castle, and appointed governor Sir James Hamilton of Stanehouse, a gallant soldier, who proved worthy of the trust reposed in him when, in 1544, Henry VIII., exasperated at the Scots for declining to fulfil a treaty, made by an English faction, affiancing the young Queen Mary to his only son Edward, sent the Earl of Hertford with an army, and zoo sail under Dudley Lord PIsle to the Forth, with orders, so characteristic of a ferociouk despot, ? to put all to fire and sword ; to burn Edinburgh, raze, deface, and sack it ; to beat down and overthrow the Castle ; to sack Holyrood and as many towns and villages as he could; to sack Leith, burn, and subvert it, and all the rest ; putting man, woman, and child, to fire and sword, without exception.?* Hertford suddenly landed with 10,000 men near an old fortalice, called the Castle of Wardie, on the beach that bordered a desolate moor of the same name, and seized Leith and Newhaven. Cardinal Beaton and the Regent Arran lay in the vicinity with an army. The former proposed battle, but the latter, an irresolute man, declined, and - Tytla. retired in the night towards Linlithgow with his hastily levied troops. Lord Evers, with 4,000 horse, had now joined the English from Berwick, and Hertford arrogantly demanded the instant surrender of the infant queen ; and being informe4 that the nation would perish to a man rather than submit to terms so ignominious, he advanced against Edinburgh, from whence came the Provost, Sir Adam Otterburn, to make terms, if possible ; but Hertford would have nothing save an unconditional surrender of life and property, together with the little queen, then at Stirling. ? Then,? said the Provost, ? ?twere better that the city should stand on its defence!? He galloped back to put himself at the head of the citizens, who were in arms under the Blue Blanket. The English, after being repulsed with loss at the Leith Wynd Port, entered by the Water Gate, advanced up the Canongate to the Nether Bow Port, which they blew open by dint of artillery, and a terrible slaughter of the citizens ensued. All resisted manfully. Among others was one named David Halkerston of Halkerston, who defended the wynd that for ?300 years bore his name, and perished there sword in hand. Spreading through the city like a flood, the English fired it in eight places, and as the High Street was then encumbered with heavy fronts of ornamented timber that erst had grown in the forest of Drumsheugh, the smoke of the blazing mansions actually drove the invaders out to ravage the adjacent country, prior to which they met with a terrible repulse in an attempt to attack the Castle. Four days Hertford toiled before it, till he had 500 men killed, an incredible number wounded, and some of his guns dismounted by the fire of the garrison. Led by Stanehouse, the Scots made a sortie, scoured the Castle hill, and carried off Hertford?s guns, among which were some that they had lost at Flodden. The English then retreated, leaving Edinburgh nearly one mass of blackened ruin, and the whole country burned and wasted for seven miles around it When, three years after, the same unscrupulous leader, as Duke of Somerset, won that disastrous battle at Pinkie-a field that made 360 women of Edinburgh widows, and where the united shout raised by the victors as they came storming over Edrnondston Edge was long remembered-stanehouse was again summoned to surrender; but though menaced by 26,000 of the English, he maintained his charge till the retreat of Somerset Instead of reconciling the Scots to an alliance with England-in those days a measure alike unsafe and unpalatable-all this strengthened the
Volume 1 Page 43
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