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Memorials of Edinburgh in the Olden Time


84 HEMORIALS OF EDINBURGH. nobility. The simple eloge pronounced by the Regent over his grave, has been remembered from its pointed force--“ There lies he who never feared the face of man.” The old churchyard has long since been payed, and converted into the Parliament Bquare, and all evidence of the spot lost. It cannot but excite surprise that no effort should have been made to preserve the remains of the Reformer from such desecration, or to point out to posterity the site of his resting-place.’ If the tradition mentioned by Chambers a may be relied upon, that his burial place was a few feet from the front of the old pedestal of King Charles’s statue, the recent change in the position of the latter must have placed it directly over his grave ;-perhaps as strange a monument to the Great’ Apostle of Presbyterianism as fancy could devise I On the death of the Earl of Mar, Morton was elected Regent, and the brief truce speedily brought to a close. Within two days thereafter, Kirkaldy sallied out of the ’ Castle towards evening, and set fire to the houses on the south side of the Castle rock ; a strong wind was blowing at the time from the west, and the garrison of the Castle kept ’ up a constant cannonade, so as to prevent any succour being attempted, so that the whole mass of houses was burnt down eastward to Magdalen Chapel,-a piece of useless cruelty, that gained him many enemies, without answering any good purpose. The EngIish Queen now sent Sir William Drury, with a body of troops and a train of artillery, to assist the Regent in reducing the Castle, the last stronghold of the adherents of Queen Mary. . The fortress was gallantly defended by Sir William Kirkaldy, and the siege is perhaps one of the most memorable in its history. The narrative of an eye-witness, given in Holinshed’s Chronicles, shows, even by its exaggerated descriptions, the difficulties experienced by the besiegers. It is understood to have been written by Thomas Churchyard, the poet, who was present at the siege, and has been reprinted in the Bannatyne Miscellany, accompanied by aJemarkably interesting bird’s-eye view of the town and Castle during the siege, engraved, as is believed, from a sketch made on the spot. In anticipation of the siege, the citizens erected several strong defences of turf and faggots, so as to protect the Church and Tolbooth. One is especially mentioned in the Diurnal of Occurrents, 88 ‘ I biggit of diffet and rnik,’ betuix the thevis hoill, and Bess Wynd, tua e h thick, and on the gait betuix the auld tolbuyth, and the vther syid tua speir heicht.”’ About three weeks latet, on the 17th of January, ‘‘ the nobility, with my Lord Regent, passed through St Giles’s Church, at an entrance made through the Tolbooth wall to the laigh council-house of the town, on the west side of the Tolbooth, and there choose the Lords of the Articles, and returned the same way. The Earl of Angus bore the Crown, the Earl of Argyle the Sceptre, and the Earl of Morton the Sword of Honour. These were made of brass, and double overgilt with gold, because the principal jewels were in the Castle of Edinburgh, and might not be had.”6 So effectual did these ramparts prove, that the Parliament assembled as safely in the Tolbooth, and the people went as quietly to church, as they at any time did before the war began.e The brave Captain, Sir Williarn Kirkaldy of Grange, was already short of provisions . . . A few paces to the west of King Charles’s atatue, there has recently been placed 8 amall surface-bronzed stone in the ground, with the iuitials “ J. K.,” indicating the Reformer’s burial-place. * Traditions, voL ii. p. 195. i.e., Turf and mud. ’ Diurnal of Occurrenta, p. 332. Diurnal of Occurrenta, p. 324. Journal of the Siege, Bannatyne Misc., vol. ii. p. 74.
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YAMES VI. TO RESTORATION OF CHARLES II. 85 when the siege commenced, and all further supplies were then completely cut off; yet he held out gallantly for thirty-three days, until reduced to the last extremities, and. threatened with the desertion and mutiny of his men. The garrison did not despair until the besiegers had got possession of the spur, within which was the well on which they mainly depended for water. This battery stood on the Esplanade, nearest the town, as may be seen in the view given at the head of Chapter III., and was demolished in the year 1649, by order of the Committee of Estates. , Holinshed mentions also the spring at the Well-house Tower, under the name of “ St Margaret’e Well, without the Castle, on the north side,” by which some of the garrison suffered, owing to its being poisoned by the enemy. The only well that remained within the Castle was completely choked up with the ruins, and so great was the general devastation, that when a parley was demanded, the messenger had to be lowered. over the walls by a rope.’ The brave commander was delivered up by the English General to the vindictive power of the Regent, and he and -his brother James, along with two burgesses of the city, were ignominiously ‘‘ harlit in cartis bakwart” to the Cross of Edinburgh, and there hanged and quarteredY4 and their heads exposed upon the Castle wall.’ The Regent put the Castle into complete repair, and committed the keeping of it to his brother, George Douglas of Parkhead. He was at the same time Provost of the city, though he was speedily thereafter deprived of the latter o%c& Morton was now firmly established in the Regency, and he immediately proceeded to such acts of rapacity and injustice as rendered his government odious to the whole nation ; until the nobles at last united with the people in deposing him. He succeeded, however, in speedily regaining sufficient influence to Secure the cufitody of the King’s person. The loyalty which the citizens of Edinburgh displayed at various times, until the King’s full assumption of the reins of government, obtained from him epecial acknowledgments of gratitude. In 1578, one hundred of their choicest young men were well accoutred and sent to Stirling as a royal guard’ They sent him also, at a later period, costly gifts of plate, though they remonstrated, with considerable decision, when he attempted to interfere with their right of election of Magistrates ; apologising, at the same time, for not sending the bailies to assign their reasons to him personally, because two of them were absent, and (‘ the thrid had his wyfe redy to depart furth of this warld.” The King at length summoned a Parliament to assemble at Edinburgh in October 1579, and made his first public entry into his capital. He was received at the West Port by the Magistrates, under a pall of purple velvet ; and an allegory of King Solomon with the twa wemen,” was exhibited as a representation of the wisdom of Solomon ; after which the sword and sceptre were presented to him. At the ancient gate in the West BOW, the keys of the city were given him in a silver basin with the usual device of a Cupid descending from a globe, while (4 Dame Music and hir scollars exercisit hir art with great melodie.” At the Tolbooth, he was received by three gallant virtuous ladies, to wit, Peace, Plenty, and Justice, who harangued him in the Greek, Latin, and Scotch languages; and, as he approached St Giles’s Church, Dame Religion showed herself, and in the Nebrm 1 Bannatyne Misc. vol., ii. p. 76. Diurnal of Occuaents, p. 535. Idid, p. 37. ’ Hkt. of James the Sext., p. 145. Maitland, p. 36.
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