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Edinburgh Past and Present


AND THE VALE OF THE ESK. 141 ‘by Sir John Vanbrugh. Here she lived in almost regal splendour till her death at the age of eighV4ne. She was buried in the aisle of Dalkeith Chapel. Dalkeith PaIace is one of the favourite pilgrimages of the Scottish tourist : Twice a week, during the absence of the present Duke’s family, the grounds, the Palace, and the picture-galleries, are thrown open to visitors. The Palace stands on a slightly rising ground between the two rivers. In front of it a fine lawn stretches almost down to the banks of the wooded South Esk. At the back of the Palace, in a deeper channel, seen from the terraces above, flows the North Esk. Both wind through the grounds towards the sea, and between the two the land is laid out in deer park, in hay fields, and in farms. Herds of homed deer lie breastdeep in the long grass of the park, their ears alert at the most distant sound, and their mild bright eyes raised to scan the passing pedestrian. About a mile below the Palace, the two Esks at last converge, the meetingpoint being hidden from the road above by the mass of foliage on the banks. At this point, however, a path winds down among the tangle to the water edge; and from a rustic seat under a rock the ‘meeting of the waters ’ may be seen. And now the Esk proper, larger and fuller than before, flows on in its rocky bed, with only three miles between it and the blue Firth of Forth. INVERESK TO MUSSELBURGH. For these three miles the river flows through the parish of Inveresk, the site of a great Roman settlement or mzcllicz~ium, remains of which have from time to time been discovered in its soil Bath-houses, altars, and sepulchres have been excavated in the neighbourhood of Inveresk hill, with coins, pots of fireclay earthenware, and wreath-omamented urns. Inveresk ploughshares have been known to strike against Roman pavements in the fields ; and the corn has died from being sown upon a substratum of Roman cement. In this parish, on the right bank of the Esk, is the field of the Battle of Pinkie. When the news came from the Border that the Protector Somerset was approaching at the head of 14,000 men to extort a mamage between the baby Queen of Scots and young award VI., the l Fiery Cross ’ was sent out through Scotland, and, in immediate answer to the summons, no fewer than 36,000 Scots assembled around Pinkie. The battle was fought and lost. The English pursued the Scotch in three directions, with great slaughter ; so that ‘ the dead
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142 ROSLIN, HAWTHORNDEN, bodies lay as thick as a man may notte cattell grasing in a full plenished pasture, and 'the ryvere ran a1 red with blood.' 1 At nightfall the English mustered again near Inveresk and gave a shout that the people heard in the streets of Edinburgh. Next morning the English set to work to bury their dead ; and, some halfcentury ago, a great number of the skeletons were excavated at Pinkie-bum. A copsewood has been planted to mark out these rows ; and on the spot where the Protectois tent was pitched, on the outskirts of Eskgrove, a memorial pillar stands with this inscription upon it :- THEP ROTECTORD, UKEO F SOMERSET, Encamped here, 9th September, 1547. The marriage between the children of the two realmsnever tookplace. Somerset withdrew into England, and the little Mary was shipped off to France. Twenty years elapsed, and once more two hostile forces met on the banks of the Esk, within sight of the battlefield of Pinkie. Mary Stuart and Bothwell, with some 2000 followers, were stationed upon Carberry Hill, while at a little distance, on the other side of a hollow, were ranged the forces of the Confederate Lords, flaunting their banner, on which was painted the figure of a dead man. AI1 through the June day the Lords conferred with Bothwell and the Queen, who, sitting upon a stone, clad in her runaway garb of short jacket and red petticoat, was alternately fierce, tearful, and haughty. Then, as evening was closing in, the Lords made their last proposition, and Mary knew she must submit to it. Bothwell was to go free, and Mary was to be led away captive. She consented, and on the green slope of Carbemy Hill they parted for ever. Bothwell rode away upon his horse ; and Mary was taken back into Edinburgh, dusty, tear-stained, and desperate, amidst the execrations of the crowd.' ' Cover my face for me : I cannot heave my hand up to my head ; Mine arms are broken.-Is he got to horse 7 I 'do not think one can die more than this. I did not say fare~ell.'~ At Musselburgh, the Roman bridge, now preserved in the clutches of strong iron bands, and succeeded, for all rougher traffic, by a broad modem 1 Patten's Expedicimn : vide Statistical Account. 3 Froude's ffistmy of EngZand, 1865, vol. ix. p. ga. a EothwcZl, by A. C. Swinbume.
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