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Memorials of Edinburgh in the Olden Time


CHAPTER VII. HISTORICAL INCIDENTS AFTER THE RESTORATION. )led, at which the Earl of Middleton presided as Commissioner from the.King, and the ancient riding of Parliament from the Palace of Holyrood to the Tolbooth, was revived with more than usual pomp and display. Some of the acts of this Parliament were of a sufficiently arbitrary and intolerant character ; but it more concerns our present subject that the Charter of Confirmation granted to Edinburgh was ratified, and the city’s power of regality over the Canongate confirmed. One of the first proceedings of this Parliament was to revoke the attainder of the Marquis of Montrose, and order his dismembered body to be honourably buried. On Monday, 7th January 1661, according to Nicol, the Magistrate8 and Council of Edinburgh caused the timber and slates nearest to that part of the Tolbooth, where the Marquis’s head was pricked and fixed, to be taken down, and made a large scaffold there, whereon were trumpeters and others standing uncovered, and waiting till his corpse waA brought in from the Borough Muir. Meanwhile, a procession, composed of the chief nobility and Magis- VrorrETT~The Parliament House, about 1646, from J. aordon.
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I 0 0 MEMORIALS OF EDINBURGH. trates, attended by the burgesses in arms, proceeded to the Borough Muir, where the Marquis’s body was taken up from its ignominious grave, put into a coffin, and born back to Edinburgh, under a rich canopy of velvet, amid music and firing of guns, and every demonstration of triumph. The procession stopped at the Tolbooth uutil the head was taken down and placed beside the body, after which the coffin was deposited in the Abbey Church of Ho1yrood.l The other portions of the body ’ were afterwards collected and restored to the coffin, and on the 11th of May following, the mutilated remains of the great Marquis were brought back from the Abbey in solemn funeral procession, and buried in the south-east aisle of St Giles’s Church, (( at the back of the tomb where his grandsire was buried,” and which retained, until recently, the name of Montrose’s aisle. Nicol furnishes a minute account of the proceedings on this occasion. The whole line of street from the Palace to St Giles’s Church was guarded by the burghers of Edinburgh, Canongate, Portsburgh, and Potterrow, all in armour, and with their banners displayed. Twenty-six young boys, clad in deep mourning, bore his arms, and were followed by the Magistrates and all the members of Parliament, in mourning habits. The pall was borne by some of the chief nobility, and the Earl of Middleton, His Majesty’s Commissioner, followed as chief mourner.3 The re-establishment of Episcopacy, in defiance of the most solemn engagements of the King, put a speedy close to the rejoicings of the Scottish nation. The Magistrates of Edinburgh, however, proved sufficiently loyal and complying. On the day of his Majesty’s coronation, the Cross was adorned with flowers and branches of trees, and wine freely. distributed to the people from thence, by Bacchus and his train. After dinner, the Magistrates walked in procession to the Cross, “and there drank the King’s health on their knees, and at sundry other prime parts of the city.”* One of the first proceedings of the dominant party, was the trial and execution of the Marquis of Argyle, who was condemned in defiance of every principle of justice, by judges, each of them more deeply implicated than himself, in the acts for which he was brought to trial. He was beheaded by the instrument called the Maiden, the same that is said to have been invented by the Earl of Morton, and was employed for his own execution. The head of Argyle was exposed on the west end of the Tolbooth, on the same epike from which that of Montrose had so recently been removed with every demonstration of honour and respect ; a circumstance that illustrates, in a striking manner, the strange vicissitudes attendant on civil commotions. The most arbitrary and tyrannical enactments were now enforced, imposing exorbitant penalties on any one found with what were styled seditious books in his dwelling; no one He exhibited the utmost serenity and cheerfulneas after his condemnation. Nicol’s Diary, p. 317. Thoresby, the friend of Evelyne, in the iiccount of his Museum, sags :--“But the moat noted of all the humane curiosities, is the hand and arm cut off at the elbow, positively asserted to he that of the celebrated Marquis of Montrom It hath never been interred, has a severe wound in the wrist, and seems really to have been the very hand that wrote the famous epitaph [Great, God, and Just] for King Charles I., in whose cause he auffered. Dr Pickering would not part with it, till the descent into Spain, when, dreading it should be lost in his absence, he presented it to this Repository, where it has more than once had the same honour that is paid to the greateet eccleiiastical prince in the world.”- Ducatus Leodiensis, by Whitaker, p. 3. Nicol’s Diary, p, 330-2. Ibid, p. 328.
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