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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. VI


Hawthornden,] HAWTHORNDEN. 353 ROSLIN CHAPEL :-THE @' 'PRENTICE PILLAR." (From a Phtogra#h by G. W. WiAm Ct Co.) CHAPTER XLII. THE ENVIRONS OF EDINBURGH-(codinwed). Hawthornden-The Abernethys-The Drummonds-The Cavalier and Poet-The Cavern+Wallace's Cave and Camp-Count Lockhart's Monument-Captain Philip Lockhart of Dryden--Lauwade-The Ancient Church-The Coal Seams-"The Gray Brother "--soolt-De Quincey-Clerk of Eldin. HAWTHORNDEN, the well-known seat of the Drummond family, stands on the south bank of the North Esk, amidst exquisitely picturesque and romantic scenery. Constructed with reference to strength, it surmounts to the very edge a grey and almost insulated cliff, which starts perpendicularly up from the brawling river. There it is perched high in air amid a wooded ravine, through which the Esk flows between two walls of lofty and 141 abrupt rock, covered by a wonderful profusion of foliage, interwoven with festoons of ivy-a literal jungle of mosses, ferns, and creepers. The greatest charm of the almost oppressive solitude is due to the bold variety of outline, and the contrast of colour, which at every spot the landscape exhibit. On the summit of that insulated rock are still the ruins of a fortalice of unknown antiquity4 vaulted tower, fifteen feet square internally, with
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354 OLD AND NEW EDINBURGH. [Hawthornden. walls seven feet thick, and the remains of a banqueting- hall with large windows, and walls five feet thick. The more modern house of the seventeenth century, which has been engrafted on this fortress (probably destroyed by the English in 1544 or I 547) measures ninety feet long, with an average breadth of twenty-three feet, and exhibits the usual crowstepped gables, massive chimneys, and small windows of the period. In the days of the War of Independence the Castle of Hawthornden belonged to a family called Abernethy. It was then the stronghold of Sir Lawrence Abernethy (the second son of Sir William Abernethy of Saltoun), who, though a gallant soldier, was one of those infamous traitors who turned their swords against their own country, and served the King of England. He it was who, on the day Bannockburn was fought and when Douglas was in hot pursuit of the fugitive Edward II., was met, at the Torwood, with a body of cavalry hastening to join the enemy, and who added to the infamy of his conduct by instantly joining in the pursuit, on learning from Douglas that the English were utterly defeated and dispersed. Three-and-twenty years after, the same traitor, when again in the English interest, had the better of the Knight of Liddesdale and his forces five in one day, yet was at last defeated in the end, and taken prisoner before sunset. All this is recorded in stone in an inscription on a tablet at the west end of the house. At this time, 1338, Sir Alexander Ramsay of Dalhousie, emulating the faith and valour of Douglas, at the head of a body of knights and men-at-arms, whom his fame and daring as a skilful warrior had drawn to his standard, sallied from his secret stronghold, the vast caves of Hawthornden, and after sweeping the southern Lowlands, penetrated with fire and sword into Englaod ; and, on one occasion, by drawing the English into an ambush near Wark, made such a slaughter of them that scarcely one escaped. For these services he received a crown charter from David II., in 1369, of Nether Liberton, and of the lands of Hawthornden in the barony of Conyrtoun, Edinburghshire, ? quhilk Lawrence Abernethy foris fecit? for his treasons ; but, nevertheless, his son would seem to have succeeded. In after years the estate had changed proprietors, being sold to the Douglases; and among the slain at Flodden was Sir John Douglas of Hawthornden, with his neighbour, Sir William Sinclair of Roslin. By the Douglases Hawthornden was sold to .the Urummonds of Carnock, with whom it has since remained ; and the ancient families of Abernethy and Drummond became, curiously enough, united by the marriage of Bishop Abernethy and Barbara Drummond. The most remarkable member of this race was William Drummond (more generally known as ? Hawthornden ?), the historian of the Jameses, the tender lover and gentle poet, the handsome cavalier, whom Cornelius Jansen?s pencil has portrayed, and who died of a broken heart for the execution of Charles I. . His history of the Jameses he dedicates, ? To the Right Honorable my very good Lord and Chiel, the Earl of Perth,? but it was not published till after his death. The repair of the ancient house in its present form took place in 1638 and 1643, as inscriptions record. Few poets have enjoyed a more poetical home than William Drummond, whose mind was, no doubt, influenced by the exquisite scenery amid which he was born (in 1585) and reared. He has repaid it, says a writer, by adding to this lovely locality the recollections of himself, and by the tender, graceful, and pathetic verses he composed under the roof of his historical home. He came of a long line of ancestors, among whom he prized highly, as a member of his family, Annabella Drummond, queen of King Robert 111. Early in life he fell in love with a daughter of Cunninghame of Bames, a girl whose beauty and accomplishments-rare for that age-he has recorded in verse. Their weddingday was fixed, and on its eve she died. After this fatal event Drummond quitted Hawthoroden, and for years dwelt on the Continent as a wanderer; but the winter of 1618 saw him again in his sequestered home by the Esk, where he was visited by the famous Ben Jonson, who, it is said, travelled on foot to Scotland to see him. At the east end of the ruins that adjoin the modern mansion is a famous sycamore, called One of the Four Sisters. It is twenty-two feet in circumference, and under this tree Drunimond was sitting when Jonson arrived at Hawthornden. It would seem that the latter had to fly from England at this time for having slain a man in a duel. Reference is made to this in some of Drummond?s notes, and a corroboration of the story is given by Mr. Collier, in his ?? Life of AIleyn I? the actor, and founder of Dulwich College. Jonson stayed same weeks at Hawthornden, where he wrote two of the short pieces included in his ? Underwoods? and ? My Picture left in Scotland,? with a . lang inscription to his. host.
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