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Memorials of Edinburgh in the Olden Time


44 MEMORIALS OF EDINBURGH. champions ; and the verity which was found, was, that they dared both to fight in close arms ! ” - In the month of June 1538, the new Queen, Mary of Guise, destined to enact so prominent a part in the future history both of the city and kingdom, was welcomed home with costly gifts and every show of welcome, and ‘‘ on Sanct Margarete’s day thairafter, sho maid her entres in Edinburgh, with greit trivmphe, and als with ordour of the hail1 nobillis; hir Grace come in first, at the West Port, and raid doun the hie gait to the Abbay of Halyrudhous, with greit sportis playit to hir Grace throw all the pairtis of the toun.” a Pitscottie adds, that the Queine was richlie rewairdit and propyned by the proveist and tounschip, both with gold and spyces, wynes, and curious playes made to her by the said tom;”!’ and, indeed, such was the zeal of the good town to testify its gratulations on the King’s speedy escape from widowhood, that we find, shortly after, “ the city cash had run so low, as to render it necessary for the council to mortgage the northern vault of the Nether Bow Port, for the sum of 100 mcrks Scots, to repair the said port or gate withal.” From this state of exhaustion, they do not seem to have again recovered during the King’s lifetime, as in 1511, the year before his death, they had to borrow from him 100 merks Scots, to put the park walls of Holyrood in repair,-a duty that seems to have been somewhat unreasonably imposed on the town. In the year 1539, Sir David Lindsay’s Sutyre of the Thrie Estaitis, the earliest Scottish drama, if we except the Religious Mysteries, that we have any account of, was represented for the first time at Linlithgow, at ‘‘ the feaste of the epiphane,” in presence of the Court. At a later date, it was “ playit beside Edinburgh, in presence of the Queen Regent, and ane greit part of the nobilitie, with ane exceiding greit nowmber of pepill; lestand fra n p e houris afore none, till six houris at euin,”-an extent of patience in the listeners that implies no slight degree of entertainment. The extreme freedom with which the Pardoner, and others of the dramatis persow, treat of the clergy, and the alleged corruptions of the Church, may excite our surprise that this satire should have obtained, thus early, RO willing an audience. Dr Irving has inferred from this, that the King was better inclined to a reformation than is generally supposed,’ but the more probable explanation is to be sought for in the favour of the author at Court. Not long after, Killor, a blackfriar, constructing a drama on the Passion of Christ, which was performed before the King on Good Friday morniug, and wherein the author indulged in the same freedom, he was condemned to the flames. In the seventh Parliament of this reign, held at Edinburgh, in March 1540, a curious and interesting Act was passed ‘( %itching the bigging of Leith Wynde,” wherein ‘‘ it is ordained that the Provost, Baillies, and Council of Edinburgh, warne all manner of persones that hes ony landes, biginges, and waistes, upon the west side of Leith Wynde, that they within zeir and day, big and repaire, honestlie, their said waistes and ruinous houses, and gif not, it sal1 be leifful to the saidis Proveste and Baillies to cast down the said waiste landes, and with the stuffe and stanes thereof, bigge ane honest substantious wall, fra the Porte of the Nether Bow, to the Trinitie College. And because the easte side of the saide Wynde perteines to the abbot and convente of Halyrude-house, it is ’ Hawthornden, p. 105. a Diurnal of Occurrent; p. 22. 8 Pitecottie, vol. ii. p. 378. ‘ Disaertation on the early Scottish Drama. Lives of Scot. Poets, vol. i. p. 209.
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BATTLE OF FLODDEN TO DEATH OF YAMES V. 45 ordained that the Baillies of the Cannongate garre sik like be done upon the said east side.” Although all the Parliaments during this reign assembled at Edinburgh, the Palace of Holyrood was only the occasional residence of James V. Yet he seems to have diligently continued the works begun here by his father, and tradition still assigns to him, with every appearance of truth, the erection of the north-west towers of the Palace, the only portion of the original building that has survived the general conflagration by the English in the following reign. On the bottom of the recessed pannel of the north tower, could be traced, about thirty years since, in raised Roman letters, gilt, the words, . The last occurrence of local interest in the lifetime of this Monarch, is thus recorded in the Diurnal of Occurrents :-“Upon the last day of Februar, their was ane certaine of persones accusit for heresie in abbay kirk of Halyrudhous ; and thair was condempnit twa blackfreris, ane Channon of Sanct Androis, the vicar of Dollour ; ane preist, and ane lawit man that duelt in Stirling, were brynt the same day on the Castell Hill of Edinburgh.”’ Thus briefly is recorded an occurrence, which yet is the pregnant forerunner of events that crowd the succeeding pages of Scottish history, until the Stuart race forfeited the throne. Our subject does not require us to deal further with the character of James V., or the general events of his reign. He died at Falkland on the 14th of December 1542, and his body was thereafter conveyed to Edinburgh, where his faithful servitor and friend, Sir David Lindsay, must have directed the mournful ceremony that laid his royal master by the side of Queen Bhgdalene, his first young bride, in Holyrood Church. The sumptuous display, that can neither lighten grief nor ward off death, attended, as usual, on the last rites of the poet King. From the household books of the Cardinal Beaton, we learn that he spent “for a manual at the King’s funeral, 10s.; for a mitre of white damask, 42s.; for four mourning garments, S3, 18s. lOd.,” wherewith to officiate in the services of the church, that committed the remains of his royal master to their final resting-place. Of the general manners of the age, considerable insight may be obtained from the acts of the Parliaments held during this reign, regulating inn-keepers and travellers, bailies, craftsmen, judges, and beggars, all of whom are severally directed in their callings, with careful minuteness. But the satires of Sir David Lindsay are still more pointed and curious in their allusions to this subject. His Supplication to tAe Kingis grace in Contemptioun of Syde Tail&, attacks a fashion that had already excited the satiric ire of Dunbar, as well as the graver but less effectual censures of the Parliament ; and already, in thia early poem, he begins to touch with sly humour on the excesses of the clergy, even while dealing with this humble theme. Though bishops, he says,-with seeming commendation,-for the dignity of their ofiice, have men to bear up their tails, yet that is no reason -LACOBVS REX SCOTORVM. That every lady of the land Suld have hir hill 80 q d e trailland 1 Scota Acta, 12mo. vol. i. p. 248, ’ Diurnal of Occurrenb, p. 23.
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