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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. III


$80 OLD AND NEW EDINBURGH. [Bmughtoa -- REMAINS OF THE VILLAGE OF OLD RROUGHTON, Isj2. (From a Drawing by Gcorp W. Simson ) CHAPTER XXV. THE VILLAGE AND BAKONY OF BROUGHTON. Brouzhton-The Villaee and Baronv-The Loan-Brouehton first mentioned-Feudal Superiors-Wltches Burned-Leslie?s Head-quarters- -Gordon of E1lor;?s Children Murdered-Taken Rei Hand-Th Churches erected in the Bounds of the Barony. ACROSS the once well-tilled slope where now York Place stands, a narrow and secluded way between hedgerows, called the Loan of Broughton, led for ages to the isolated village of that name, of which but a few vestiges still remain. In a mernoir of Robert Wallace, D.D., the eminent author of the ?Essay on the Numbers of Mankind,? and other works, an original member of the Rankenion Club-a literary society instituted at Edinburgh in 1716-we are told, in the Scots Magazine for 1809, that ?he died 29th of July, 1771, at his cuzlntty lodgings in Broughton Loan, in his 75th year.? This baronial burgh, or petty town, about a mile distant by the nearest road from the ancient city, stood in hollow ground southward and eastward from the line of London Street, and had its own tolbooth and court-house, with several substantial stone mansions and many thatched cot- L?olbooth of the Buigh-The Mmute Books-Free Burgesses-Modern tages, in 1780, and a few of the former are still surviving. Bruchton, or Broughton, according to Maitland, signified the Castle-town. If this place ever possessed a fortalice or keep, from whence its name seems to be derived, all vestiges of it have disappeared long ago. It is said to have been connected with the Castle of Edinburgh, and that from the lands of Broughton the supplies for the garrison came. But this explanation has been deemed by some fanciful. The earliest notice of Broughton is in the charter of David I. to Holyrood, ciwa A.D. 1143-7, wherein he grants to the monks, ?Hereth, e2 Broctunam mm suis rectis a?iuisis,? &c. ; thus, with its lands, it belonged to the Church till the Reforrnation, when it was vested in the State. According to the stent roll of the abbey, the Barony of Broughton was most ample in extent,.and, among
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many other lands, included those of ?Lochflatt, Pleasance, Se Leonards, Hillhousefield, Bonnytoun, and Pilrig,? &c. This ancient barony and the surrounding lands comprehended within its jurisdiction were granted by James VI., in 1568, to Adam Bothwell, Bishop of Orkney, in whose time the village tolbooth would seem to have been erected; it remained intact till 1829, and stood at the east of the present Barony ?Street, a quaint edifice, with crowstepped gables and dormer windows. Over its north door, to which a flight of thirteen steps gave access, was the date 1582. It was flanked on one side by a venerable set of stocks, a symbol of justice rare in Scotland, where the ironjougs were always used. The bishop surrendered these lands to the Crown in 1587, in favour of Sir Lewis Bellenden of and -his successors had the power of appointing bailies and holding courts within the limits of the barony. Sir Lewis, a noted trafficker with yizards, died on the 3rd of November, 1606, and was succeeded by his son Sir William Bellenden, as Baron of Broughton, which in those days was notorious as the haunt of reputed witches and war!ocks, who were frequently incarcerated in its old tolbooth. An execution of some of these wretched creatures is thus recorded in the minutes of the Privy Council : ?? 1608, December I. The Earl of Mar declared to the Council that some women were taken in Broughton as witches, and being put to an assize and cmvicted, albeit they persevered in their denial to the end, yet they were burned quick (alive) after such a cruel manner that some of them died in despair, renouiicing and blaspheming (God) ; Broughton was the scene of some encounters between the Queen?smen and King?s-men in the time of the Regent Morton. The latter were in the habit of defying Kirkaldy?s garrison in the Castle, by riding about the fields in range of his guns with handkerchiefs tied to the points of their swords. One of these parties, commanded by Henry Stewart, second Lord Methven, in 1571, ?being a little too forward, were severely reprimanded for their unreasonable bravery ; for, as they stood at a place called Broughton, a cannon bullet knocked his lordship and seven men on the head; he was reputed a good soldier, and had been more lamented had he behaved himself more wisely.? (Crawford of Drumsoy.) Like other barons, the feudal superior of Broughton had powers of ?pit and gallows? over his vassals-so-called from the manner in which criminals were executed-hanging the men upon a gibbet, and drowning women in a pit as it was not deemed decent to hang them. Sir Lewis Bellenden In October, 1627, as the Privy Council was sitting in its chamber at the palace of Holyrood, a strange outrage took place. John Young, a poulterer, attacked Mr. Richard Bannatyne, bailiedepute of Broughton, at the Council-room door, and struck him in the back with his sword, nearly killing him on the spot. In great indignation the Council sent off Young to be tried on the morrow at the tolbooth, with orders : ? If he be convict, that his Majesty?s justice and his depute cause doom to be pronounced against him, ordaining him to be drawn upon ane cart backward frae the tolbooth to the place of execution at the market cross, and there hangit to the deid and quartered, his head to be set upon the Nether Bow, and his hands to be set upon the Water Yett.? Sir William Bellenden, in 1627, disposed of the whole lands to Robert, Earl of Roxburgh, and by an agreement betweed hini and Charles I. this ancient barony passed by purchase to the Governors of Heriot?s Hospital in 1636, to whom the
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