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Memorials of Edinburgh in the Olden Time


68 MEMORIALS OF EDINBURGH. Valence and Amiens, and other French commissioners, and a treaty was formally concluded and signed, by which, through the diplomatic skill of Cecil, the objects aimed at by Queen Elizabeth, as well as the real interests of the Congregation, were completely secured, notwithstanding the feeble remonstrances of the French commissioners. A separate convention, agreed to at the same time, bound the French garrison to remove all the artillery from the ramparts of Leith, completely to demolish its fortifications, and immediately thereafter to embark for France. On the 19th of July,-the third day after the embarkation of the French troops at Leith, and the departure of the English forces on their march homeward,-a solemn public thanksgiving was held by the reforming nobles, and the great body of the Congregation, in St Giles’s Church ; and thereafter the preachers were appointed to some of the chief boroughs of the kingdom, Knox being confirmed in the chief charge at Edinburgh. A Parliament assembled in Edinburgh on the 1st of August, the proceedings of which were opened with great solemnity. The lesser barons, from their interest in the progress of the reformed doctrines, claimed the privilege, which they had long ceased to use, of sitting and voting in the Assembly of the Three Estates. This led to the accession of nearly a hundred votes, nearly all of them adhering to the Protestant party. After the discussion of 8ome preliminary questions,-particularly as to the authority by which the Parliament was summoned,-Maitland was appointed their “ harangue maker,” or speaker, and they proceeded to choose the Lords of the Articles. Great complaint was made as to the choice falling entirely on those well affected to the new religion, particularly among the Lords Spiritual, some of whose representatives were mere laymen ;-but altogether without effect. c( This being done,” says Randolph, in an interesting letter to Cecil, U the Lords departed, and accompanied the Duke as far as the Bow,-which is the gate going out of the High Street,-and many down unto the Palace where he lieth; the town all in armour, the trumpets sounding, and all other kinds of music such as they have. . . . . . The Lords of the Articles sat from henceforth in Holyrood House, except that at such times as upon matter of importance the whole Lords assembled themselves again, as they did this day, in the Parliament House.” The Parliament immediately proceeded with the work of reformation, a Confession of Faith was drawn up, and approved of by acclamation, embodying a summary of Christian doctrine in accordance with the views of the majority, and this was seconded by a series of acts rendering all who refused to subscribe to its tenets liable to confiscation, banishment, and even death. Ambassadors were despatched to England with proposals of marriage between the Earl of Arran, eldest 6011 to the Duke of Chatelherault, and Queen Elizabeth, while Sir James Sandilands, grand prior of the knights of St John of Jerusalem, was sent to France to carry an account of their proceedings to the Queen. The latter met with a very cool reception ; he was, however, entrusted with a reply from the Scottish Queen, which, though it refused to recognise the assembly by which he was sent as a Parliament, was yet couched in conciliatory terms, and intimated her intention to despatch commissioners immediately, to convene a legal Parliament ; but ere Sir James arrived at Edinburgh, the news reached him of the death of the young King, her royal consort, anwhich avent caused the utmost rejoicing among the party of the Congregation. MS. Letter St P. O&, 9th August 1560, Tytler.
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YAMES V. TO ABDICATION OF QUEEN MAR Y. 69 The Three Estates immediately assembled at Edinburgh on the 16th of January, and despatched the Lord James, the chief leader of the Congregation, as ambassador to the Scottish Queen, to invite her return to her own dominions. Ere his departure on this mission, four commissioners arrived from the Queen, with assurances of her intention of speedily returning home, and meanwhile bearing a commission to certain of the leading men of Scotland, authorising them to summon a Parliament. About this time a serious riot occurred in Edinburgh. ( L That the work of reformation might not be retarded, Sanderson, deacon of the fleshera, or butchers, was, by the Council, ordered to be carted for adultery.”’ This the trades resented, as a general insult to their body, and assembling in a tumultuous manner, they broke open the prison and released him from durance. The magistrates, on this, applied to the Privy Council for aid against the rioters-a number of the craftsmen were committed prisoners to the Castle, and the corporations so intimidated, that they made humble supplication to the Council for release of their brethren, promising all obedience and submission to the magistrates in time coming. Upon this the craftsmen were released, and the offending deacon, it may be presumed, duly carted according to order. The magistrates the same year removed the Corn Market, from the corner of Marlin’s Wynd, Cowgate (where Blair Street now is), to the east end of the Grassmarket, where it continued to be held till the present century. At the same time, they forbade the continuance of a practice that then prevailed of holding public markets on the Sundays, and keeping open shops and taverns during divine service, under the pain of corporal punishment.z The enforcement of some of the more stringent enactments that had been‘introduced for the reformation of manners, gave rise to another and more serious tumult. Notwithstanding the acts already referred to, the people still attempted the revival of some of their ancient games. On the 21st of June, a number of the craftsmen and apprentices united together for the purpose of playing Robin Hood-“which enormity was of many years left off, and condemned by statute.:’ The magistrates intedeered, and took from them some weapons and an ensign. This the populace keenly resented, the city gates were held by the mob, and numerous acts of violence committed. The magistrates, to appease them, restored the banner and other spoils; but, watching a favourable opportunity, they seized on James Gillon, a shoemaker, one of the ringleaders of the mob, tried him on the charge of stealing ten crowns, and condemned him to be hanged. The deacons of the crafts used all their influence with the magistmtes to obtain his pardon, but in vain. A deputation from the same body waited on John Knox, and besought his influence on behalf of the offender, but he refused to be a patron to their impiety.” A gallows was erected below the Cross, and all preparations completed for the execution, when the rioters resumed their weapens, broke down the gallows, and put the magistrates to flight; pursuing them till they took refuge in a writer’s booth. There they were held captive, while the mob proceeded to assault the Tolbooth within sight of them. They broke in the door with sledge hammers, and set Gillon and all the other prisoners at liberty. On their departure, the magistrates took refuge in the Tolbooth, and thence fired on them on their return from an attempt to pasa out by the Nether Bow Port; Council Register, Nov. 22d, 1560. Maitland, p. 20. Ibid. ...-
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