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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. VI


196 OLD AND NEW EDINBURGH. [Leith. prisoners, who were praying intently, when Sir Adolphus Oughton stepped forward, and, displaying pardons, exclaimed, c( Recover arms.? ?? Soldiers,? he added, ?? in consequence of the distinguished valour of the Royal Highlanders, to which two of these unfortunates belong, his Majesty has been graciously pleased to forgive them all.? So solemn and affecting was the scene that the prisoners were incapable of speech. Reverently lifting their bonnets, they endeavoured to express engaged in commercial speculations by which he realised a considerable sum of money, and adopting the cause of the revolted colonists in America, was appointed first lieutenant of the Ayred, on board of which, to use his own words, ?he had the honour to hoist with his own hands the flag of freedom, the first time it was displayed in the Delaware.? After much fighting in many waters, he obtained from the French Government command of the Dztras, a 42-gun ship, which he named ST. NINIAN?S CHURCH. their gratitude, but their voices failed them, and, overcome by weakness and the revulsion of feeling, the soldier of the 7 1st sank prostrate on the ground. More than forty of their comrades who were shot, or had died of mortal wounds, were interred in the old churchyard of St. Mary?s at Leith, and a huge grassy mound long marked the place of their last repose. The next source of consternation in Leith was the appearance of the noted Paul Jones, with his squadron, in the Firth in the September of the same year. This adventurer, whose real name was John Paul, son of a gardener in Kirkcudbright, became a seaman. about 1760, and as master and supercargo lk Ban Honime Rich~d, and leaving St. Croix with a squadron of seven sail (four of which deserted him on the way), he appeared off Leith with three, including the Pallas and the Vengeance. It was on the 16th of September that they were seen working up the Firth by long tacks, against astormy westerly breeze, but fully expecting, as he states, ?to raise a contribution of ~zoo,ooo sterling on Leith, where there was no battery of cannon to oppose our landing.? Terror and confusion reigned supreme in Leith, yet, true to their old instincts, the people made some attempt to defend themselves. Three ancient pieces of cannon, which had long been in what was called the Naval Yard, drawn by sailors
Volume 6 Page 196
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