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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. III


so OLD AND NEW EDINBURGH. [North Loch. THE garden wherein St. David budded trees and cultivated such fruits and flowers as were then known in Britain is a place of flowers and shrubs again, save where it is intersected by the prosaic railway or the transverse Earthen Mound; but those who see the valley now may find it difficult to realise, that for 300 years it was an impassable lake, formed for the defence of the city on the north, when the wall of 1450 was built ; but the well that fed it is flowing still, as when David referred to it in his Holyrood charter. Fed by it and other springs, the loch was retained by a dam and sluice at the foot of Halkerston's Wynd-the dam being a passable footway from the city to the northern fields. In the royal gardens a tournament was held in 1394 by order of Annabel Drummond, queen of Robert III., at which, according to Bower, the continuator of Fordun, her eldest son, David, Duke HOLPROOI) PALACE, WEST FRONT. of Rothesay, the same prince who penshed so miserably at Falkland, presided when in his twentieth year. In 1538, prior to committing the effigy of St. Giles to the flames, the Reformers ducked it in the loch-it being the legal place for sousing all offenders against the seventh commandment. In 1562 the Town Council enacted that all persons of loose life should be ducked in a certain part of the loch, wherein a pillar and basin were formed for the purpose; but this not having the desired effect, all such persons were ordered to be committed, without distinction, to the iron room of the Tolbooth, to be kept therein for a month on tread and water, and to be then whipped out of the city at a cart's tail. The deacon of the fleshers having fallen under this law, the crafts, deeming it an indignity to their order, assembled in arms, broke open the prison, and released him. C H A P T E R X I I . THE MOUND. The North Loch used for Sousings and Duckings-The Boats, Swans, Ducks, and Eels-Accidents in the Loch--Last Appearance of the Loch -Formation of the Mound-" Gcordie Boyd's Mud Brig"-The Rotunda--Royal Irrstitution-Board of Manufactures-History of the Baard -The Equivalent Money-% J. Shaw Lefevre's Report-School of Design-Gallery of Sculpture--Royal Society of Edinburgh-Museum of Antiquiua.
Volume 3 Page 80
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