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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. IV


244 OLD AND NEW EDINBURGH. [Cowgate. farlane sent for the magistrates, who secured the house and servants. -4 contemporary says :- ?? I saw his (Cayley?s) corpse after he was unclothed, and saw his blood where he lay on the floor for 04 hours after he died just as he fell, so it was difficult to straighten him.? (? Dom. Ann.,?? Vol. 111.) Criminal letters were raised against .Mrs. Macfarlane by the Lord Advocate, Sir David Dalrymple, and the father and brother of the deceased, who was a native of York. Not appearing for trial she was declared an outlaw, while her husband was absolved from all blame. Mrs. Murray, Cayley?s landlady, who kept a grocery shop in the Cowgate, vindicated herself in a pamphlet from imputations which Mrs. Mac- In wild terror Mrs. Macfarlane now rushed from the room, locked the door, and sending for her husband showed him the body, and told him all that had transpired. ? Oh, woman !? he exclaimed, in misery, ?what have you done?? His friends whom he consulted advised her instant flight, and at six o?clock that evening she walked down the High Street, followed by her husband at a little distance, and disappeared. By ten that night-deeming her safe-Mr. Mac- Walter Scott, related to him more than once, that when she, a little girl, was once left alone in Swinton House, Berwickshire, she wandered into the dining-room, and there saw an unknown lady, ?beautiful as an enchanted queen, pouring out teg at a table. The lady seemed equally surprised as herself, but addressed the little intruder kindly, in particular desiring her to speak first to her mother Sy herself of what she had seen.? Margaret for a moment looked out of the window, and when she turned the beautiful lady had vanished! On the return of the family from church, she told her mother of what she had seen, was praised for her discretion, and pledged to secresy in what seemed to be a dream. Subfarlane?s accusations had thrown upon her character, and denying that the lady had been in the house on the Saturday before the murder; ?but evidence was given that she was seen issuing from the close in which Mrs. Murray resided, and after ascending the Back Stairs was observed passing through the Parliament Square towards her own house.? Of this Scottish Lucretia the future is unknown, and the only trace seems something of the marvellous. Margaret Swinton, a grand-aunt of Sir OLD HOUSES IN THE COWGATE.
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Cowgate.1 EXCAVATIONS IN THE COWGATE. 24F Captain Cayley?s slayer, who had found a temporary shelter in the house of the Swintons as a kinswoman, and had a hiding-place concealed by a sliding panel. Sir Walter Scott, who introduced the incident into ?Peveril of the Peak,? states in a magnificent piece of masonry, when compared with the hasty erection of 15 r3. On the slope nearer -the Cowgate, at fourteen feet below the present surface, there was found a range of strong oak coffins, lying close together, and full of human EAST END OF THE COWGATE, LOOKING TOWARDS THE SOUTH BACK OF CANONGATE. (A#m a Paintiq in Se* @ Gcogc Mansor: irr porrrrsion #for. 1. A. Sidq). note to that work, that she afterwards returned to Edinburgh, where she lived and died. When excavations were made for the erection of the new Courts of Law in 1844, and the site of the old Back Stairs was cleared, some curious discoveries were made, illustrative of the changes that had taken place in the Cowgate during the preceding 400 years. A considerable fiagment of the wall of James 11. ,remains. In form these coffins were remarkable, being quite straight at the sides, with lids ridged in the centre. The same operatioins brought to light, beyond the first city wall, and at the depth of eighteen feet below the present level of the Cowgate, a common shaped barrel, six feet high, standing upright, embedded eighteen inches deep in a stratum of blue clay, and with a massive stone beside it. The appearance of the whole I
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