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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. III


62 OLD AND NEW EDINBURGH. vestments, bearing the arm-bone of the saint ; then they passed the Cross, the fountain of which flowed with wine, ? whereof all might drink,? says Leland. Personages representing the angel Gabriel, the Virgin, Justice treading Nero under foot, Force bearing a pillar, Temperance holding a horse?s bit, and Prudence triumphing over Sardanapalus, met them at the Nether Bow; and from there, preceded by music, they proceeded to Holyrood, where a glittering crowd of ecclesiastics, abbots, and friars, headed by the Archbishop of St. Andrews, conveyed them to the high altar, and after Te Deum was sung, they passed through the cloisters into the new palace. Fresh ceremonies took place in a great chamber thereof, the arras of which represented Troy, and the coloured windows of which were filled with the arms of Scotland and England, the Bishop of Moray acting as master of the ceremonies, which seems to have included much ?? kyssing ? all round. On the 8th of August the marriage took place, and all the courtiers wore their richest apparel, James sat in a chair of crimson velvet, ?the pannels of that sam gylte under hys cloth of estat, of blue velvet figured with gold.? On his right hand was the Archbishop of York, on his left the Earl of Surrey, while the Scottish prelates and nobles led in the girl-queen, crowned ?with a vary nche crowne of gold, garnished with perles,? to the high altar, where, amid the blare of trumpets, the Archbishop of Glasgow solemnised the marriage. The banquet followed in a chamber hung with red and blue, where the royal pair sat under a canopy of cloth of gold ; and Margaret was served at the first course with a slice from ? a wyld borres hed gylt, within a fayr platter.? Lord Grey held the ewer and Lord Huntly the towel. The then famous minstrels of Aberdeen came to Holyrood to sing on this occasion, and were all provided with silver badges, on which the arms of the granite city were engraved. Masques and tournaments followed. James, skilled in all the warlike exercises of the time, appeared often in the lists as the savage knight, attended by followers dressed as Pans and satyrs. The festivities which accompanied this mamage indicate an advancement in refinement and splehdour, chiefly due to the princely nature kindness, and munificence of James IV. ?? The King of Scotland,? wrote the Spanish ambassador Don Pedro de Ayala, ?is of middle height ; his features are handsome ; he never cuts his hair or beard, and it becomes him well. He expressed himself gracefully in Latin, French, German, Flemish, Italian, and Spanish. His pronunciation of Spanish was clearer than that of other foreigners. In addition to his own, he speaks the language of the savages (or Celts) who live among the distant mountains and islands. The books which King James reads most are the Bible and those of devotion and prayer. He also studies. old Latin and French chronicles. . . . , . . He never ate meat on Wednesday, Friday, or Saturday. He would not for any consideration mount horseback on Sunday, not even to go to mass, Before transacting any business he heard twa masses. In the smallest matters, and even when indulging in a joke, he always spoke the truth. . . . . The Scots,? continues De Ayala, ?are often considered in Spain to be handsomer, than the English. The women of quality were free in their manners and courteous to strangers The Scottish ladies reign absolute mistresses in their own. houses, and the men in all domestic matters yield a. chivalrous obedience to them. The people live well, having plenty of beef, mutton, fowl, and fish. The humbler classes-the women especially-are of a very religious turn of mind. Altogether, I found, the Scots to be a very agreeable and, I must add,, an amiable people.? Such, says the author of the ?? Tudor Dynasty,?? was the Scotland of the sixteenth century, a period described by modem writers as one of barbarism, ignorance, and superstition ; but thus it was the Spanish ambassador painted the king and his, Scots of the days of Flodden. ? In the year 1507,? says Hawthornden, ?James, Prince of Scotland and the Isles, was born at Holyrood House the 21st of January,? and the queen being brought nigh unto death, ?the king, overcome by affection and religious vows,? went on a pilgrimage to St. Ninian?s in Galloway, and (? at his return findeth the queen recovered.? In 1517 we read of a brawl in Holyrood, when James Wardlaw, for striking Robert Roger to the effusion of blood within ?? my Lord Governor?s chalmer and palace of pece,? was conveyed to the Tron, had his hand stricken through, and was. banished for life, under pain of death. The governor was the Regent Albany, who took office after Flodden, and during his residence at Holyrood he seems to have proceeded immediately with the works at the palace which the fatal battle had interrupted, and which James IV. had continued till his death. The accounts of the treasurer show that building was in progress then, throughout the years 1515 and 1516 ; and after Albany quitted the kingdom for the last time, James V. came to Holyrood, where he was crowned in 1524, and remained there, as Pitscottie tells, for ?the
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Holyrocd.] HOWIESON OF BRAEHEAD. 63 space of one year, with great triumph and mem ness.? He diligently continued the works begur by his gallant father, and erected the north-wes towers, which have survived more than one con flagration, and on the most northern of which coulc be traced, till about 1820, his name, IACOBVS RE) SCOTORVM, in large gilt Roman letters. In 1528 blood was again shed in Holyrooc during a great review of Douglases and Hamilton: held there prior to a march against the Englis? ?borders. A groom of the Earl of Lennox perceiv ing among those present Sir James Hamilton o Finnart, who slew that noble at Linlithgow, intent or vengeance, tracked him into the palace ?by a dad staircase which led to a narrow gallery,? and then attacked him, sword in hand. Sir James en deavoured to defend himself by the aid of hi: . velvet mantle, but fell, pierced by six wounds, nonc of which, however, were mortal. The gates wen closed, and while a general mClCe was on the poin of ensuing between the Douglases and Hamil tons, the would-be assassin was discovered With hi: bloody weapon, put to the torture, and then hi: right hand was cut 04 on which ?he observed with a sarcastic smile, that it was punished les: than it deserved for having failed to revenge tht murder of his beloved master.?? James V. was still in the palace in 1530, as we find in the treasurer?s accounts for that year : ?? Item, tc the Egiptianis that dansit before the king in Holy rud House, 40s.? He was a monarch whose pure benevolence of intention often rendered his roman. tic freaks venial, if not respectable, since from his anxiety to learn the wants and wishes of his humbler subjects he was wont, like Il Boadocan4 or Haroun Alrdschid, to traverse the vicinity of his palaces in the plainest of disguises ; and two comic songs, composed by himself, entitled ?We?ll gang nae mair a-roving,? and ?The Gaberlunzie Man,? are said to have been founded on his adventures while masked as a beggar; and one of these, which nearly cost him his life at Cramond, some five miles frum Holyrood, is given in Scott?s ?? Tales of a Grandfather.? While visiting a pretty peasant girl in Cramond village he was beset by four or five persons, against whom he made a stand with his sword upon the high and narrow bridge that spans the Almond, in a wooded hollow. Here, when well-nigh beaten, and covered with blood, he was succoured and rescued by a peasant armed with a flail, who conducted him into a barn, where he bathed his wounds; and in the course of conversation James discovered that the summit of his deliverer?s earthly wishes was to be proprietor of the little farm of Braehead, on which he was then a labourer. Aware that it was Crown property, James said, ?? Come to Holyrood, and inquire for the gudeman of Ballengeich,? referring to a part of Stirling Castle which he was wont to adopt as a cognomen. The peasant came as appointed, and was met by the king in his disguise, who conducted him through the palace, and asked him if he wished to see the king. John Howison-for such was his name-expressed the joy it would give him, provided he gave no offence. But how shall I know him?? he added. ? Easily,? replied James, ?All others will be bareheaded, the king alone will wear his bonnet.? Scared by his surroundings and the uncovered crowd in the great hall, John Howison looked around him, and then said, naively, ?The king must be either you or me, for all but us are bareheaded.? James and his courtiers laughed ; but he bestowed upon Howison the lands of Braehead, ?? on condition that he and his successors should be ready to present an ewer and basin for the king to wash his hands when His Majesty should come to Holyrood or pass the bridge of Cramond. Accordingly, in the year 1822, when George IV. came to Scotland, a descendant of John Howison, whose hmily still possess the estate, appeared at a solemn festival, and offered His Majesty water from a silver ewer, that he might perform the service by which he held his land.? Such pranks as these were ended by the king?s marriage in I 53 7 to the Princess Magdalene, the beautiful daughter of Francis I., with unwonted splendour in the cathedral of Notre Dame, in presence of the Parliament of Paris, of Francis, the Queens of France and Navarre, the Dauphin, Duke of Orleans, md all the leading peers of Scotland and o( France. On the 27th of May the royal pair landed at Leith, amid every display of welcome, md remained a few days at Holyrood, tin the mthusiastic citizens prepared to receive them in state with a procession of magnificence. Magdalene, over whose rare beauty consump- :ion seemed to spread a veil more tender and rlluring, was affectionate and loving in nature. On anding, in the excess of her love for James, ;he knelt down, and, kissing the soil, prayed God :o bless the land of her adoption-scotland, and ts people. The ? Burgh Records ? bear witness how anxious he Provost and citizens were to do honour to the )ride of ?? the good King James. All beggars were varned off the streets : ?lane honest man of ilk :lose or two,? were to see this order enforced ; the vbbish near John Makgill?s house and ?the litster
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