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Memorials of Edinburgh in the Olden Time


EARLIEST TRADITIONS. 7 In the commencement of the following reign, during the unfortunate minority of David IL, the usurper, Edward Baliol, held a Parliament at Edinburgh, 10th February 1333, consisting of what are known as the disinherited darons, with seven bishops, including both William of Dunkeld, and, it is said, Maurice of Dunblane, the Abbot of Inchaffray, who there agreed to the humiliating conditions proposed by Edward 111. It is even affirmed by Tyrrel, though disproved by later authorities, that Edward attended in person, and received the homage of Baliol as Lord Paramount of Scotland; but two years later, Leland informs us of his residence at Edinburgh from the 16th to the 26th September, when ‘(he received the homage of Robert, sunne to the doughter of Robert Bruse, King of Scotland.” Soon after this return of Edward to Scotland, Guy, Count of Namur, landed at Berwick, with a considerable body of men-at-arms, to the assistance of the English ; and marching upon Edinburgh, ita Castle being at that time dismantled and ruinous, he was encountered on the Borough-muir by the Earls of Moray and March, with & powerful force, when a fierce and bloody battle ensued. In accordance with the chivalrous notions of the times, Richard Shaw, a Scottish esquire, was challenged to single combat by a knight in the train of the Count of Namur, when, after a brave encounter, each fell, transiixed by the other’s spear. On the bodies being afterwards stripped of their armour, the chivalrous stranger proved to be a woman, who, from some undiscovered cause, had perilled her life in this romantic and fatal enterprise. While victory Eceemed inclining to the enemy, the opportune arrival of William de Douglas with a reinforcement determined the fortune of the day. The Count’s force gave way and retreated, though still in order, and fighting gallantly with the pursuing enemy. Part of them, retreating through St Mary’s Wynd, were met there by a body of Scots, headed by Sir David de Anand, and suffered great slaughter ; the few who escaped joined the remainder of the force that had effected a retreat to the Castle rock, then dismantled and defenceless, and there piling up a temporary rampart with the dead bodies of their horses, they made a last attempt to hold out against the Scottish forces. But thirst and hunger compelling them to capitulate on the following day, they were suf€ered by the Earl of Moray to depart, on promising not to bear arm against David in the Scottish wars. In the following year the Castle was rebuilt by Edward, and put in a state of complete defence, as one of a chain of fortresses, by which he hoped to hold the nation in subjection ; but while Edinburgh then remained in the hands of the English, the adjacent country was filled with predatory bands of Scots, ever ready to take them at advantage. Alexander Ramsay, in particular, after having succeeded, with a band of only forty resolute men, in raising the siege of Dunbar, concealed himself and his followers in the caves, excavated in the cliff8 beneath the romantic house of Hawthorndeql and so ingeniously constructed for concealment, as to elude the vigilance of the most cunning euemy to whom the secret wag unknown. The entrance is still shown in the side of the draw-well, which served at once to cloak its purpose, and to secure for the hiders a ready 1 On the gable of the old house at Hawthornden, the well-known reaidence of the poet and historian, is a tablet erected by Bishop Abernethy Drummood, with the following inscription :-“ To the memory of Sir Lawrence Abernethy of Hawthornden, 2d son of Sir Williarn Abernethy of Salton, 8 brave and gallant soldier, who, at the head of a party, in 1338, conquered Lord Douglw five times in one day, yet waa taken prisoner before sunset.”-Fordun, lib. xiii. 0. 44.
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8 MEMORIALS OF EDINBURGH. supply of water. From thence they sallied out from time to time, as occasions offered, and not only harassed the enemy in the neighbouring capital, but extended their inroads even as far as into Northumberland.’ In 1341, the Castle was recovered from the English by an ingenious stratagem, planned by William Bullock, who had previously held the castle of Coupar for Baliol. Under his directions, one Walter Curry of Dundee received into his ship two hundred Scots, under the command of William de Douglas, Frazer, and Joachim of Kinbak, and casting anchor in Leith Roads, he presented himself to the governor of the Castle, as master of an English vessel, just arrived with a valuable cargo of wines and provisions on board, which he offered to dispose of for the use of the garrison. “he bait took; and the pretended trader appeared at the Castle, according to appointment, early on the following morning, attended by a dozen armed followers, disguised as sailors. Upon entering the Castle, they contrived to overturn their casks and hampers, so as to obstruct the closing of the gates, and instantly slew the porter and guard. At an appointed signal, Douglas and his men sprung from their concealment in the immediate neighbourhood, and, after a fierce conflict, overpowered the garrison, and took possession of the Castle, in the name of David 11. In the following month the young King, with his consort, Johanna, landed from France, and, within a short time, the English were expelled from Scotland. When, a few years afterwards, the disastrous raid of Durham terminat,ed in the defeat of the Scottish army, and the captivity of the King, we find, in the treaty for his ransom, the merchants and burgesses of Edinburgh, along with those of Aberdeen, Perth, and Dundee, are held bound for themselves, and all the other merchants of Scotland, for its fulfilment. And, ultimately, a Parliament was held at Edinburgh, in 1357, for final adjustment of the terms of the royal ransom, where the Regent Robert, the steward of Scotland (afterwards King Robert II.), presided ; at which, in addition to the clergy and nobles, there were delegates present from seventeen burghs, among which Edinburgh appears for the first time placed at the head. After David 11. returned from England, he resided during his latter days in the Castle, to which he made extensive additions, enlarging the fortifications so recently rebuilt; and adding in particular an extensive building, afterwards known by the name of David’s Tower,” which stood for 200 years, till battered to pieces in the regency of James VI. ; and here he died on the 22d February . 1370, in the forty-second year of his age, and was buried in the church of the Abbey of Holyrood, before the high altar. He was a brave and gifted prince, who in happier times might 1 Caledonia, vol. ii. p. 290. VIQNETTdThe Castle, from a map engraved in 1575, showing King David’s Tower.
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