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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. VI


THE PRECEPTORY OF ST. ANTHONY. 215 Leith] not making any deliberate assault ; but a pistol shot was heard, and in a few minutes the Sieur de la Roche lay dead, with a sword thrust in his body, while Isaac had a finger nearly hewn OK The guard now came on the scene, and Mowat was found under an outer stair, with a bent sword in his hand, bloody from point to hilt, his hand wounded, and the sleeves of his coat stained with blood. On seeing the dead body, he viewed it without emotion, and merely remarked that he wondered who had slain him. The Master, Mowat, and James Sinclair the writer, were all tried for the murder of Elias Poiret before the Court of Justiciary, but the jury brought in a verdict of not proven. The whole affair might have been easily explained, but for heat of temper, intemperance, and the ready resort to arms so usual in those days. The three Frenchmen concerned in it were Protestant refugees who were serving as privates in the Scottish Life Guards. The Mastet of Tarbet became Earl of Cromarty in 1714 and survived the death of Poiret forty years. Two of his sons, who were officers in the Scots-Dutch Brigade, perished at sea, and his eldest, the third and last Earl of Cromarty, was nearly brought to Tower Hill in 1746 for his loyalty to the House of Stuart. No. 141 Kirkgate was long the place of business of Mr. Alexander Watson, who is chiefly remarkable as being the nephew and close correspondent of a very remarkable man, who frequently resided with him-Robert Watson, who was made Principal of the Scots College at Paris by the Emperor Napoleon I., an office which he held for six years. It was to his nephew at Leith, after his escape to Rome (having been tried at the Old Bailey as President of a Corresponding Society), he confided his discovery of a large mass of correspondence known as ? The Stuart Papers,? which he purchased (as stated in the Courunt for 1819.) In one of his letters, dated London, 6th April, 1818, he states that they consist ofhalf a million of pieces, and are valued at ~300,000. ?? The Pope, however, took military possession of them, under the protest that they were of too much importance to belong to a private individual. I protested against the arbitrary proceedings of his Holiness. The Prince Regent sent two ships of war to Civita Vecchia to bring them to London, and they are now in Carlton House.? To his nephew in the Kirkgate he subsequently wrote that a Royal Commissiolr under the Great Seal (including Sir James Mackintosh) was a p pointed to examine these valuable papers ; and in 1824 he wrote that amongst other things of some value which have fallen into my possession, are the carriage and tent-bed of Bonaparte, taken at the battle of Waterloo. Further events will decide to what purposes I may apply it (the carriage), though it is probable I shall keep it for my own use.? This singular person committed suicide in 1838, by strangling himself in a London tavern, in the ninety-second year of his age--?a case of suicide,? it was said, ?unparalleled in the annals of sorrow.? On the east side of the Kirkgate, to take the edifices in succession there, there was founded by Robert Logan of Restalrig, in 1435, a preceptory for the canons of St. Anthony, the only establkhment of the kind in Scotland. Arnot, in his history, unthinkingly mentions ?? the monastery of Knights Templars of St. Anthony? at Leith. These canons, says Chalmers, ? seem to have been an order of religious knights, not Templars. The only document in which they are called Templars is a charter of James VI. in 1614, giving away their establishment and revenues; and this mistake of an ignorant clerk is wildly repeated by Arnot.? Their church, burying-ground, and gardens were in St. Anthony?s Wynd, an alley off the Kirkgate ; and the first community was brought from St Anthony of Vienne, the seat of the order in France They were formed in honour of St. Anthony, the patriarch of monks, who was born at Coma, a village of Heraclea on the borders of Arcadia, in A.D.?z~I, and whose sister was placed in the first convent that is recorded in history. A hermit by habit, he dwelt long in the ruins of an old castle that overlooked the Nile; and after his death (said to have been in 356) his body was deposited in the church of La Motte St. Didier, at Vienne, when, according to old traditions, those labouring under the pest known as St. ,4nthony?s Fire-a species of erysipelas-were miraculously cured by praying at his shrine. Gaston, a noble of Vienne, and his son Gironde, filled with awe, we are told, by these wonderful cures, devoted their lives and estates to found a hospital for those who laboured under this disease, and seven others joined them in their attendance on the sick; and on these Hospitaller Brethren Boniface VIII. bestowed the Benedictine Priory of Vienne, giving them the rules of St. Austin, and declaring the Abbot General of this new orderthe Canons Regular of St, Anthony. The superiors of the subordinate preceptones were called commanders, says Alban Butler, ? and their houses are called commandenes, as when they were Hospitallers? .
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216 OLD AND NEW EDINBURGH. [Leith chapel of St. Jamey at Newhaven, belonged to the preceptory at Leith; and also the little chapel be payit as follows-namely, best of the third of the Preceptone of Sanct Antonis LIO, and the passed in 1587 the preceptory of St. Anthony and the chapel of St. James at Newhaven were, with other benefices, annexed to the Crown. Maitland observes that the vestry of Leith, after the Reformation, ? having purchased the lands and properties of divers religious houses there and in Newhaven, King James VI. granted and confirmed the same by charter in 1614 for the use of the poor. The Session elected the Baron Bailie of St. Anthony, who exercised jurisdiction in Leith and Newhaven, holding his court at uil! and giving sentence without appeal, thus :- ??At Leith, 9th February, 1683.? On Monday last St. Anthonis Court was holden in this place, and is to be keepit att Newheavin at ye first conveniencie.? The last Baron Bailie was Thomas THE ARMORIAL BEARINGS OF MARIA DE LORRAINE, 1560.
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