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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. VI


Leith.] THE BARTONS. 203 is the second of the name, who died in 1513, John the senior was certainly dead in 1508. Charles, Duke of Burgundy, was so incensed by the capture of the Juliuna in Flemish waters that he demanded the surrender of Pret and Velasquez to himself, with due compensation to Barton, but failed in both cases. Joam 111. was then King of Portugal. Robert Barton would seem also at one time to have faHen into the hands of the Portuguese ; and there is extant a letter sent by James IV. to the Emperor Maximilian, requesting his influenCe to have him released from prison, and therein the king refers to the quarrel of 1476, and merely states that old John Barton was thrown into a prison also. In 1506, at a tournament held by James IV. in Stirling, we read of a blackamoor girl, captured from the Portuguese by Captain Barton, seated in a triumphal chariot, being adjudged the prize of the victor knight ; but the Bartons sent other gifts to the king, in the shape of casks full of pickled Portuguese heads. In 1498, when Perkin Warbecli and his wife, the Lady Katharine Gordon, left Scotland for Flanders, they were on board a ship which, Tytler says, was commanded by and afterwards the property of the celebrated Robert Barton. Amongst her stores, noted in the ?.Treasurefs Accounts,? are ?? ten tuns and four pipes of wine, 8 bolls of aitmele, 18 marts of beef, 23 muttons, and a hogshead of herring.? Andrew Barton, the brother of the captain (and, like him, a merchant in Leith), is mentioned as having furnished biscuit, cider, and beer, for the voyage. In 1508 this family continued their feud with the Portuguese. In that year Letters of Marque were granted to them by James IV., and they run thus, according to the ?Burgh Records of Edinburgh ? :- ?]~callus Dei Gratia Rex Scatorurn, deZectis semit o d u s nosiris. John Barton and Robert Barton, sons of our late beloved servant John Barton, shipmaster, and other shipmasters our lieges and subjects, in company of the said John Barton for the time (greeting) : ? Some pirates of the nation of Portugal attacked a ship of our late illustrious ancestor (James HI.), which, under God, the late John commanded, and with a fleet of many ships compelled it to surrender, robbed it of its merchandise, of very great value, and stripped it of its armament On account of which, our most serene father transmitted his complaint to the King of Portugal.? Justice not having been done, the document runs, Jarnes 111. decreed Letters of Reprisal against the Portuguese. ? We, moreover, following the footsteps of our dearly beloved ancestor . . . . . concede and grant by these presents to you, John and Robert aforesaid, and our other subjects who shall be in your company for the time, our Letters of Marque or Reprisai, that you may receive and bring back to us from any men whomsoever of the nation of Portugal, on account of the justice aforesaid being. desired, to the extent of 3,000 crowns of money of France . . . . Givenunder our Privy Seal, &c.? Under these letters the brothers put to sea in the quaint argosies of those days, which had low waists with towering poops and forecastles, and captured many Portuguese ships, and doubtless indemnified themselves remarkably well ; while their elder brother, Andrew, an especial favourite of James IV., who bestowed upon him the then coveted honour of knighthood, ? for upholding the Scottish flag upon the seas,? was despatched to punish some Dutch or Flemish pirates who had captured certain Scottish ships and destroyed theircrews with great barbarity. These he captured, with their vessel, and sent all their heads to LeitL in a hogshead. As is well known, he was killed fighting bravely in the Downs on the 2nd August, 1511, after a severe conflict with the ships of Sir Thomas and Sir. Edward Howard, afterwards Lord High Admiral of England, when he had only two vessels with him, the Lion of 36 great guns, and a sloop name$ the. Jenny. The Howards had three ships of war and an armed collier. The Lion was afterwards added to the English navy, as she was found to be only second in size and armament to the famous Great Harry. His grandson Charles married Susan Stedman of Edinburgh, and from them are said tobe descended nearly all of that name in Fife, Kinross, and Holland. For his services as Admiral on the West Coast, John Barton received the lands of Dalfibble ; and in April, 1513, he returned from a diplomatic mission to France, accompanied by the Unicorn Pursuivant; and so important was its nature that he took horse, and rode all night to meet the king, who was then on the eve of departing for Flodden. On the 26th of July in the Same year he joined the squadron, consisting of the Great Michael, the James, Marguret, the S/$ of Lynne (an English prize), a thirty-oared galley, and fourteen other armed ships, commanded by Gordon of Letterfourie (and having on board the Earl of Arran and 3,000 soldiers), which sailed from Leith as a present to Anne, Queen of France-a piece of ill-timed generosity on the part of the princely Jarnes IV., who accompanied the armament as far as the Isle
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204 OLD AND NEW EDINBURGH. [Leith. of May. As history records, Gordon and Arran could not resist doing a little on their own account to annoy the English, so they sacked Carrickfergus, and anchored off Kyle. Sir-Andrew Wood, with a herald, was sent to take command of the fleet, but found that it had sailed; so this little armada, which might have aided in the invasion of England, was eventually destroyed by tempests, and the magnificent Michael (which will be described in a later chapter, in which some voyage to Bourdeaux, or eke die, rather than be taken." His brother Robert was captain of the Great MichaeZ in I 5 r I. James IV., stirred by the discovery of America, was early determined to create a Scottish navy, and he went about it with all the zeal of a Peter the Great. In 1512 he had no fewer than forty-six ships of war ; four of these were of more than 300 tons, and two were of IOO tons. The Lion (Sir SIGNAL TOWER, LEITH HARBOUR, 1829. (A/w S k ~ ~ . ) account will be given of Newhaven) was suffered to rot in the harbour of Brest. Prior to this John Barton had died of fever at Kirkcudbright, and was buried in the churchyard of St. Cuthbert; but he left a son named John, who was captain of the Mav WiZloughby (English prize), the same ship found in Leith Harbour by the Earl of Hertford in 1544. " John-a-Barton is not yet gone to sea," writes Sir Ralph Sadler on the 25th October, 1543 ; " but it is told me that as soon as the wind serveth he will go with the Mary Willoughby and nine sail more, half merchantmen and half men-of-war, as well furnished of men and artillery as any ships that went from Scotland these many years, being determined to accomplish their Andrew Barton's ship), which was built in 1504, was, as has beer. said, only inferior to the Greai Harry, and the MichaeZ was the largest ship in the world. Some of his galleys had triple banks of oars raised over each other, and were capable of containing each sixty inen in complete armour, besides the rowers, who numbered to each galley one hundred and four men. Besides the guns interspersed between the banks of oars, they had both artillery and small arms planted at the forecastle and stern. James encouraged the merchant skippers to extend their voyages, to fully arm their vessels, to purchase foreign ships of war, t6 import artillery, and superintend the construction of large craft at
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