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Memorials of Edinburgh in the Olden Time


70 MEMORIALS OF EDINBURGH. meanwhile, the deacons of the corporations were summoned to the rescue of the Provost and Bailies, ‘‘ but they past to their four-hour’s penny, or afternoon’s pint,’’ returning for answer, that since tiley wilt de magistrates alone, let them rule alone! The Provost was compelled at last to seek the mediation of the Governor of the Castle, but the rioters did not disperse, nor permit the magistrates to escape from durance, until after nine o’clock at night, when a public proclamation was made at the Cross, engaging that they should not pursue any one for that day’s work.’ On the 19th of August 1561, Queen Mary landed at Leith, where she was received by the Lord James, her natural brother, and many of the chief nubility; and conveyed in state to the Abbey of Holyrood House. On the news of her arrival, the nobility and leaders, without distinction of party, crowded to Edinburgh, to congratulate her on her return to her native land, and tender their homage and service, while the people testified their pleasure by bonfires and music, and other popular demonstrations of rejoicing. Magnificent entertainments were provided by the town of Edinburgh, as well as by the chief nobility, and everything waa done on her arrival to assure her of the perfect loyalty and affection of her subjects ; yet, if we may believe Brantome, an eye-witness, the Queen could not help contrasting, with a sigh, the inferiority of the national displays on her arrival, when contrasted with the gorgeous pageants to which she had been accustomed at the Court of France.’ Contrary to what had been anticipated, the Queen received the Lord James into special favour, and admitted him to the chief control in all public affairs ; but notwithstanding the countenance shown to him, and other leaders of the Congregation, the religious differences speedily led to dissensions between the Queen and the people. All toleration had been denied to those who still adhered to the old faith, and both priests and laymen were strictly enjoined by the magistrates of Edinburgh to attend the services of the Protestant Chrches. Some of them, instead of joining in the worship, had availed themselves of this compulsory attendance to unsettle the faith of recent converts, on which account they were ordered by proclamation to depart from the city within forty-eight hours. The Queen remonstrated without effect, and the proclamation was renewed with increased rigour; whereupon she addressed a letter to the Council and community of Edinburgh, commanding them to assemble in the Tolbooth, and choose other magistrates in their stead. The Council obeyed her commands, without waiting to learn whom she would recommend for their successors,-a procedure which excited her indignation little less than the contempt of the magistrates she had deposed.’ Shortly after this, Knox visited the Queen at Holyrood, and had a long interview with her, during which he moved her to tears by,the vehemence of his exhortations. The Lord James and other two courtiers were present, but they withdrew sufficiently to permit of perfect privacy in this first conference between the Reformer and Queen Mary. The interview was long, and the Queen s&ciently patient under his very plain spoken rebukes and exhortations, but they parted in the same mind as they had met; Diurnal of Occurrents, p. 284,5. Knox’s History of the Reforniation, 4to, p. 253, where the culprit ia styled Balon. * Brantome, vol. 5. p. 123. Tgtler, vol. vi. Council Register, Oct. 8, 1561. Maitland, p. 21.
Volume 10 Page 76
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