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Memorials of Edinburgh in the Olden Time


388 MEMORIALS OF EDINBURGH. striking character. On the centre key-stone of the eastern chapel, the monogram of the Virgin is inwrought with the leaves of a gracefully sculptured wreath, and the same is repeated in a simpler form on one of the bosses of the neighbouring aisle. But the most interesting of these decorations are the heraldic devices which form the prominent ornaments on the capital of the pillar. These consist, on the south side, of the arm8 of Robert, Duke of Albany, the second son of King Robert 11. ; and, on the north side, of those of Archibald, fourth Earl of Douglas. In the year 1401, David, Duke of Rothsay, the unfortunate son of Robert III., was arrested by his uncle, the Duke of Albany and Governor of Scotland, with the consent of the king his father, who had been incensed against him by the daily complaints which his uncle contrived to have carried to the old king’s ear. The circumstances of his death have been pictured with thrilling effect in the popular pages of (( The Fair Maid of Perth.” He was committed a close prisoner to the dungeon of Falkland Castle, and there starved to death, notwithstanding the intervention of a maiden and nurse, who experienced a far different fate from that assigned by Scott, though their efforts to rescue the Prince from his horrible death are described with considerable accuracy. “The Blacke Booke of Scone saith, that the Earle Douglas was with the Governour when he brought the Duke from Saint Andrew’s to Falkland,” having probably been exasperated against the latter, who was his own brother-in-law, by the indignity which hiu licentious courses put upon his sister. Such are the two Scottish nobles whose armorial bearings still grace the capital of the pillar in the old chapel. It is the only other case in which they are found acting in concert besides the dark deed already referred to ; and it seems no unreasonable inference to draw from such a coincidence, that this chapel had been founded and endowed by them as an expiatory offering for that deed of blood, and its chaplain .probably appointed to say masses for their victim’s soul. A view of this interesting and beautiful part of the interior of St Giles’s Church-with the gallery and pews removed-forms the vignette at the head of the chapter. The transepts of the church as they existed before 1829, afforded no less satisfactory evidence of the progress of the building. Distinct traces remained of the termination of the south transept a few feet beyond the pillars that separated the south aisle of the choir from Preston’s, or the Assembly Aisle, as it was latterly termed. Beyond this, the groining of the roof entirely differed from the older portion, exhibiting unequivocal evidence of being the work of a later age. This part of the Old Church forms-or rather, we should perhaps say, formed-by far the most interesting portion of the whole building, from its many associations with the eminent men of other days. Here it was that Walter Chepman, a burgess of Edinburgh, famous as the introducer of the printing-press to Scotland, founded and endowed a chaplainry at the. altar of St John the Evangelist, (( in honour of God, the Virgin Mary, St John the Apostle and Evangelist, and all Saints.” The charter is dated 1st August 1513, an era of peculiar interest. Scotland was then rejoicing in all the prosperity and happiness consequent on the wise and beneficent reign of James IV. Learning was visited with the highest favour of the court, and literature wat3 rapidly extending its influence under the zealous co-operation of Dunbar, Douglas, Hume of Godacroft’s Hist. of the Douglases, p. 118. Hume attempts to free the Earl from the charge, but with little a u c c ~ .
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ECCLESIASTICAL ANTIQUITIES. 389 Remedy, and others, with the royal master printer. Only one month thereafter, Scotland lay at the mercy of her southern rival. Her King was slain; the chief of her nobles and warriors had perished on Flodden Field ; and adversity and ignorance again replaced all the advantages that had followed in the train of the gallant James’s rule. Thenceforth the altars of St Giles’s Church received few and rare additions to their endowments. There is good reason for believing that Walter Chepman lies buried in the south transept of the Church, close by the spot where “the Good Regent,” James Earl of Murray, the Regent Morton, and his great rival the Earl of Atholl, are buried, and adjoining the aisle where the mangled remains of the great Marquis of Montrose were reinterred, with every mark of honour, on the 7th of January 1661. This receives strong corroboration from an agreement entered in the Burgh Registers, 30th June 1579, by which the Council ‘‘ grants and permits that upon the west part of Walter Chepmanis Iyle, fernent the Earl of Murrayis tomb, sal be broken, and thair ane burial-place be maid for the Earl of Athole.” The Regent’s tomb, which stood on the west side of the south transept, was on many accounts an object of peculiar interest. As the monument erected to one who had played so conspicuous a part in one of the most momentous periods of our national history, it was calculated to awaken many stirring associations. The scene which occurred when the Regent’s remains were committed to the tomb was itself not the least interesting among the memorable occurrences that have been witnessed in the ancient Church of St Giles, when the thousands who had assembled within its walls were moved to tears by the eloquence of Knox. “Vpoun the xiiij day of the moneth [of Februar, 15701, being Tyisdaye,” says a contemporary, “ my lord Regentis corpis being brocht in ane bote be sey fra Striueling to Leith, quhair it was keipit in Johne Wairdlaw his hous, and thairefter caryit to the palace of Halyrudhous, wes transportit fra the said palace of Halyrudhous to the college kirk of Sanctgeill in this manner ; that is to say, William Kirkaldie of Grange knycht, raid fia the said palice in dole weid, beirand ane pensall quhairin wes contenit ane reid lyoun ; efter him followit Coluill of Cleishe, maister houshald to the said regent, with ane vther pensell quhairin wes contenit my lord regentis armes and bage ; efter thame wes the Erlis of Athole, Mar, Glencarne, lordis of Ruthvene, Methvene, maister of Grahame, lord Lindsay, with diuerse vtheris barronis, beirand the saidis corpis to the said college kirk of Sanctgeill, quhairin the samyne wes placeit befoir the pulpett; and thairefter Johne Knox minister made ane lamentable sermond tuitching the said murther ; the samin being done, the said corpis wes burijt in Sanct Anthoneis ple within the said college kirk.”’ The Regent’s tomb was surmounted with his arms, and bore on the front of it a brass plate with the figures of Justice and Faith engraved thereon, and the epitaph composed by Buchanan a for the purpose :- IACOBO STOVARTO, MORAVIX COMITI, SCOTIAJ PROREGI ; VIRO, BTATIS SVB, LONGE OPTIMO: AB DSIMICIS, OWVIS XEYORIH: DETERRIMIS, EX INSIDIIS EXTINCTO, CEV PATRI COMNVNI, PATRIA MCERENS POSVIT. 1 Diurnal of Occurrents, p. 168. Calderwood’s Ekt, voL ii p. 626.
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