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Memorials of Edinburgh in the Olden Time


70 MEMORIALS OF EDINBURGH. meanwhile, the deacons of the corporations were summoned to the rescue of the Provost and Bailies, ‘‘ but they past to their four-hour’s penny, or afternoon’s pint,’’ returning for answer, that since tiley wilt de magistrates alone, let them rule alone! The Provost was compelled at last to seek the mediation of the Governor of the Castle, but the rioters did not disperse, nor permit the magistrates to escape from durance, until after nine o’clock at night, when a public proclamation was made at the Cross, engaging that they should not pursue any one for that day’s work.’ On the 19th of August 1561, Queen Mary landed at Leith, where she was received by the Lord James, her natural brother, and many of the chief nubility; and conveyed in state to the Abbey of Holyrood House. On the news of her arrival, the nobility and leaders, without distinction of party, crowded to Edinburgh, to congratulate her on her return to her native land, and tender their homage and service, while the people testified their pleasure by bonfires and music, and other popular demonstrations of rejoicing. Magnificent entertainments were provided by the town of Edinburgh, as well as by the chief nobility, and everything waa done on her arrival to assure her of the perfect loyalty and affection of her subjects ; yet, if we may believe Brantome, an eye-witness, the Queen could not help contrasting, with a sigh, the inferiority of the national displays on her arrival, when contrasted with the gorgeous pageants to which she had been accustomed at the Court of France.’ Contrary to what had been anticipated, the Queen received the Lord James into special favour, and admitted him to the chief control in all public affairs ; but notwithstanding the countenance shown to him, and other leaders of the Congregation, the religious differences speedily led to dissensions between the Queen and the people. All toleration had been denied to those who still adhered to the old faith, and both priests and laymen were strictly enjoined by the magistrates of Edinburgh to attend the services of the Protestant Chrches. Some of them, instead of joining in the worship, had availed themselves of this compulsory attendance to unsettle the faith of recent converts, on which account they were ordered by proclamation to depart from the city within forty-eight hours. The Queen remonstrated without effect, and the proclamation was renewed with increased rigour; whereupon she addressed a letter to the Council and community of Edinburgh, commanding them to assemble in the Tolbooth, and choose other magistrates in their stead. The Council obeyed her commands, without waiting to learn whom she would recommend for their successors,-a procedure which excited her indignation little less than the contempt of the magistrates she had deposed.’ Shortly after this, Knox visited the Queen at Holyrood, and had a long interview with her, during which he moved her to tears by,the vehemence of his exhortations. The Lord James and other two courtiers were present, but they withdrew sufficiently to permit of perfect privacy in this first conference between the Reformer and Queen Mary. The interview was long, and the Queen s&ciently patient under his very plain spoken rebukes and exhortations, but they parted in the same mind as they had met; Diurnal of Occurrents, p. 284,5. Knox’s History of the Reforniation, 4to, p. 253, where the culprit ia styled Balon. * Brantome, vol. 5. p. 123. Tgtler, vol. vi. Council Register, Oct. 8, 1561. Maitland, p. 21.
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YAMES V. TO ABDICATION OF QUEEN MARY. 71 each of them frankly disclosing opinions, involviig the causes ‘of the collision that speedily followed. The Queen soon after made a progress to the north, and on her return to Edinburgh, preparations were made on a most magnificent scale for welcoming her. On the 3d of September, she dined in the Castle, and thereafter made her public entry. Fifty black slaves, magniiicently apparelled, received her at the west gate of the city; twelve of the chief citizens, dressed in black velvet gowns, with coats and doublets of crimson satin, bore a canopy, under which ahe rode in state, and immediately on her entry, a lovely boy descended from a globe, and addressing her in congratulatory verses, at which she was seen to smile, presented her with the keys of t,he city, and a Bible and Psalter. The most costly arrangements were made for her reception ; all the citizens were required to appear in gowns of fine French satin and coats of velvet, and the young men to devise for themselves some befitting habiliments of taffeta, or other silk, to convey the Court in triumph. A public banquet was given to the Queen and the noble strangers by whom she was accompanied ; and most ingenious masks and pageants provided for her entertainment, peculiarly chagacteristic of the times. A mystery was performed, in which Korah, Dathan, and Abiram were destroyed, while offering strange fire upon the altar, as a warning of the vengeance of God upon idolaters. A still more significant interlude had been provided for her Majesty’s benefit, in which a priest was to have been burnt at the altar while elevating the host; but the Earl of Huntly persuaded them, with aome difficulty, to content themselves with the first allegory. All the public way through which the procession had to pass, was adorned with splendid hangings and devices, and the Nether Bow Port, where the Queen bade adieu to her entertainers, was decorated for the occasion in the most costly fashion.‘ The ancient Tolbooth, or “ Pretorium,” as it is styled in the early Acts of the Scottish Parliaments, had fallen, at this time, into a very decayed and ruinous condition. The Queen addressed a letter to the Town Council, bearing date the 6th of February 1561, charging the Provost, Bailies, and Council to take it down with all possible diligence, and provide, meanwhile, sufficient accommodation elsewhere for the Lords of the Session and others ministering justice. The royal letter expresses a most affectionate dread for “ the skayth and great slaughter” that may happen to the lieges by the downfall of the building, if not speedily prevented ; but no apology seems to have been thought necessary for the very arbitrary demand that the city of Edinburgh should erect, at its own charge, parliament and court-houses for the whole kingdom. The proceedings of the Town Council, for many months after this, are replete with allusions to the many difficulties they had to encounter in raising money and providing materials for the new building. The master of’ the works is ordered “gyf the tymmer of the Auld Tolbuith will serve for the wark of the New Tolbuith, to tak the same as ma serve.” In consequence of the proceedings, in obedience to this order, the renters of the neighbouring booths appear with no very gentle remonstrance against him, complaining “ that presentlie the maister of wark was takand away the jeists above their buthis, quhilk jeists had been bocht be thame, and laid thair, and wes thair awin propir guddis.” The magistrates seem to have pacified them with a ’ Council Register, 3d Sept. 1561. Keith, vol. U. p. 81, 82. Kuox’a Hist., p. 269, Herriea’ Mem., p. 56.
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