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Memorials of Edinburgh in the Olden Time


32 MEMORIALS OF EDINBURGH, of the Scottish army from the capital, though familiar to many, are too intimately associated with our local history to be omitted here. The King had already been warned against the war, by an apparition of St John, at Linlithgow; “yet this but hasted him fast to Edinburgh, to make him ready, and to make provision for himself and his army against the day appointed. That is, he had seven great cannons out of the Castle of Edinburgh, called the Seven Sisters, casten by Robert Borthwik, the master-gunner ; furnished with powder and lead to them at their pleasure; and in the meantime, they were taking out the artillery, the King himself being in the Abbey, there was a cry heard at the Market-cross of Edinburgh, about midnight, proclaiming, as it had been, a Bummons, which was called by the proclaimer thereof the summon of Plotcok,’ desiring all earls, lords, barons, gentlemen, and sundry burgesses within the town, to compear before his master within forty days ; and so many as were called, were designed by their own names. But whether this summons was proclaimed by vain persons, night walkers, for their pastime, or if it was a spirit, I cannot tell. But an indweller in the town, called Mr Richard Lawsoun, being evil disposed, ganging in his gallery-stair, foment the Cross, hearing this voice, thought marvel what it should be : So he cried for his servant to bring him his purse, and took a crown and cast it over the stair, saying, ‘ I, for my part, appeal from your summons and judgment, and take me to the mercy of God.’ Verily, he who caused me chronicle this, was a sufficient landed gentleman, who was in the town in the meantime, and was then twenty years of age ; and he swore after the field there was not a man that was calledat that time that escaped, except that one man, that appealed from their judgment.”* But neither this, nor the entreaties of his Queen, who urged that ‘(she had but one son to him, quilk was over weak ane warrand to the realme of Scotland!” could turn back the King from his rash purpose. In defiance, as it seemed, alike of earth and heaven, the gallant, but headstrong and devoted Monarch led forth the flower of Scottish chivalry to perish with him on the bloody field of Flodden. The body of the King having fallen, as is understood, into the hands of the victors, he was believed by many to have gone on his intended pilgrimage to the Holy Land; and popular tradition continued long after to regard him as another King Arthur, or Sebastian, who was yet to return in the hour of danger, and right the nation’s wrongs. We shall close this chapter with a curious, and we believe unique fragment of a ballad, embodying this tradition, with other more local and apposite allusions. An about the mids 0’ the night. He crap to the field 0’ the bluid ; Laigh he bowit an dour he lookit, Eut never a worde he spak.’ He turned the dead knight round about, Till the moon shon on his bree ; But hia Both wm tined wit a bluidy gash, Drumbelee grew his ee. 1 Pluto. Pitscottie, vol. i. p. 266. Probably should be “said”
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YAMES IV. TO THE BATTLE OF FLODDEN. Up and awa my lither foot page, An Scotland and I maun part ; But sweere by the deed in ilk bluidy shrowd, That thou layn my lare i’ thy hart. GifTe I were a King, aa now I’m nane, Ille battell wold I prove, My birde ladie in Halyroode ; Wae worth the wyt 0’ lure. Sanct Giles sal1 ring ilk larum belle, Wauk up the mimes and bowse. Earl Angus has taen hime to Floudenne 1 * iJ * He cut the crosse on his right shoulder 0’ claith 0’ the bluidy redde, An hes hen his ways to the haly land Wheras Christe was quick and dead.’ 33 1 This curious fragment was found by the author in an interleaved copy of “Dalrymple’s remarks on the History of Scotland.” The following note is appended in the same hand :-“This I got from an old man, James Spence, gardener at Earlsha’ ; it had been on the fly leaf of a Psalm-book in the family as long as he remembered.” Two leaves have been torn out, so that these are only the concluding stanzas. I Y
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