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Memorials of Edinburgh in the Olden Time


YAMES K TO ABDICA TION OF QUEEN MAR Y. 61 The priests, resolving not to permit the day to pass without the usual celebration, borrowed a small statue of the saint from the Grey Friars, which they firmly secured with iron clamps to the “ fertorie ” or shrine,‘ in which it was usually borne aloft. And the more fully to do honour to the occasion, and to overawe the turbulent populace, the Fiegent was prevailed on to grace the procession with her presence. The statue was borne through the principal streets of Edinburgh in great pomp, attended by the canons of St Giles’s Church, and all the chief clergy in full canonicals, “ with tabrons and trumpets, banners and bagpipes. It was convoyed about, and brought down the Hie Street to the common Cross. The Queen Regent dined that day in Alexander Carpenter’s house, betwixt the Bowes. When the idol returned back, she left it and went in to her dinner.”= The presence of the Regent had produced the desired effect in restraining the populace from violence, but no sooner did she withdraw, than the Little St Giles,” as they contemptuously styled the borrowed statue, was attacked with the most determined violence, and speedily shared the fate of its predecessor. The scene is thus graphically told by the same historian from whom we have already quoted ;-‘( Immediately after the Queen entered her lodging, some of them drew near to the idol, as willing to help to bear him up, and getting the fertorie upon their shoulders, beganne to shudder, thinking thereby the idol should have fallen. Then began one to cry ‘ Down with the Idol I down with it ! ’ So without delay it was pulled down. The patrons of the priests made some brags at the first ; but when the priests and friars saw the feebleness of their god, they fled faster than they did at Pinkey Cleugh.’ One of the professors [of the reformed doctrines) taking Saint Giles by the heels, and dadding his head to the causeway, left Dagon without head or hands ; exclaiming, Fy on thee, Young Saint Giles, thy father would not have been so used ! ’ The friars fleeing,” and as Knox exultingly declares, ‘( down go the crosses, off go the surplices, round caps and cornets with the crowns. The Grey Friars gaped, the Black Friars blew, the Priests panted and fled, and happy was he that got first to the house, for such a sudden fray came never among the generation of antichrist within this realm before.” ‘ This same year, 1558, Knox issued his famous “ first blast of the trumpet against the monstrous regiment of women,” in which he attacks the Regent, along with Mary Queen of England, and, indeed, all female rule ; by which he afterwards brought on himself the personal enmity of Queen Elizabeth, even more than that of those against whom it was directed. By his instructions the reforming party had organised themselves under the name of the CONGREQATIOaNn,d their leaders now assumed the guidance in all the great movements that occurred, entering into negotiations and treaties like a sovereign power. The accession of Queen Elizabeth to the throne of England further added to their influence, as she failed not to strengthen, by every available means, the hands of the Protestant party, and it consisted with her wonted course of policy thus to maintain her ascendancy by undermiuing the power of an opponent, rather than incur the consequences of an open rupture. The unfortunate claim which the chiefs of the house of Guise, uncles to the youthful Queen of Scotland, put forward in her name, as the legitimate successor of Queen May of Eng- . The Queen Regent led the ring for honour of the feast. But that chance was prevented by yron nailes. . ’ Calderwood‘e Hiatory, VOL i p. 346. ’ Koor’s Hist, p. 95. Pertow, a little coffer or chest ; a casket-Jamieson. a Ante, p. 51.
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62 MEMORIALS OP EDINB UR GH. land, romed in the mind of Elizabeth that vindictive jealousy, which so largely contributed to all the miseries that attended the course of Mary of Scotland, from the first moment of her return to her native land. From this time forward a fatal change took place in the policy of the Queen Regent. She abandoned the moderate measures which her own natural disposition inclined her to ; she lent herself en’tirely to the ambitious projects of the French Court and the Chiefs of the house of Guise, and the immediate result was a collision between the Catholic and Protestant parties. Some concessions had been granted at the request of the Lords of the Congregation ; but now these were entirely withdrawn, a proclamation was issued for conformity of religion, and several of the leaders of the reforming party were summoned A provincial synod, worthy of notice, as the last ever held in Scotland during Roman Catholic times, was convened on the 2d of March, this year, in the Blackfriare’ Church, Edinburgh, to consult what wae required for the safety of the Church thus endangered. Resolutions were passed for the amendment of life in the clergy, and the removal of other crying abuses ; but it can hardly be wondered at that their general tone was by no means conciliatory ; the decrees of the Council of Trent were again declared obligatory ; the use of any other language than Latin, in the services of the Church, was expressly forbid ; and, by an act of this same synod, Sir David Lindsay’R writings were denounced, and ordered to be burnt.’ According to Calderwood, this, the last synod ‘of the Church, was dissolved on the 2d of May, the same day that John Knox arrived at Leith,-too striking a coincidence to be overlo~ked.~ The conducting of the public religious services in an unknown language had long excited opposition ; and the popularity of such writings as those of Dunbar, Douglas, and Lindsay, in the vernacular tongue, doubtless tended to increase the general desire for its u8e in the services of the Church, as well as on all public occasions. In Kitteis Confeessioun, a satirical poem ascribed to Sir David Lindsay, the dog-lath of an ignorant father-confeseor is alluded to with sly humourto answer for their past deeds.‘ . . I He speirit monie strange case, How that my lufe did me embrace, Quhat day, how oft, quhat sort, and quhair 1 Quod he, I wad I had been thair. He me absolvit for ane plack, Thocht he with me na price wald rnak ; And rnekil Latine did he mummill; I heard na thing bot Aumrnill burnmill. The poet was already in his grave when his writings were thus condemned. The last years of hie life had been spent in retirement, and the exact time of his death is unknown, but‘Henry Charteris, the famous printer, who published Lindsay’s works in 1568, says that This occurred in 1558, from which it may be inferred, that he died towards the cloae of the previous year, 1557.4 shortly after the death of Sir David, they burnt auld Walter Mill.” 1 Tytler, vol. vi. pp 109,110. Pitscottie, vol. ii. p. 526. * Calderwood, vol. i. p. 438. ’ Chalmera’ Sir D. Lindsay, vol. i p. 42. Keith, vol. i p. 156.
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