Edinburgh Irish Festival:
An Account of the Procession, and Progress of
Dan, King of the Beggars, in Edinburgh.
DANIEL the First, King of the Beggars, and by a strange and wonderful anomaly,
Premier of Great Britain and Ireland, made his entree to the capital of Caledonia on the
17th current, about noon. At an early hour in the morning it was easy to be perceived,
from the unusal bustle among the Emeralders, and the distant yells of the bag pipes and
drums mustering the devotees, that the advent of the Big-Beggar man was at hand. The
denizens of that ancient liberty, the Cowgate, quickly responded to the reveille?many a
hod got a day's rest, and many a donkey brayed in honour of the great O'CONNELL for
the holiday, for the boys were determined that neither pigs nor potatoes would bother
them on that blessed morning?they therefore fell in, and proceeded to join their bre-
thren, the children of holy St. Mary's, where they received their colours, and arranged
the order of march, previous to which, Father Keening, of the Ripale Chapel, blessed
the " army," absolved it from all mortal sin, and gave it the honourable title of the Royal
O'Connell Body Guards, or St. Mary's Rangers. Thereafter the united forces marched
in firm battalion, upwards of 300 strong, (hear it, Joe Hume?every one of them sworn
and incorporated Ribbonmen) up the High-Street to the tune of tunes, St Patrick's Day.
The "brigade," every mother's son of them, were decorated with the usual emblems of
rebellion, green sashes and tri-coloured knots on their breasts, and sported about four or
five banners and standards, on one of which was the good looking countenance of the
great Liberator himself. Thus constituted, the Body Guards joined a tumultuous assem-
blage on the Mound, nicknamed the " Trades," (for the great majority of the respectable
artisans refused to grace or aid the O'Connell rising) consisted of a few starved brick-
layers connected with the " strike," cobblers, sweeps, tailors, tinkers, ropemakers, Re-
form Unions, and other idle blackguards the greater part of whom were raw boys, in all
The whole force then broke up for Newington, to join the rest of the cortege appoint-
ed to conduct Ireland's Jewel into Protestant Edina. For the satisfaction of our general
readers, we give the order of procession as it moved into the City of John Knox :?
Drum and Fife of the Old Town Guard,
A strong body of Police,
Chimney Sweeps, two and two, with new brooms, supporting an effigy of Lord Brougham
with clean hands.
Grave-diggers, with a congratulatory address for O'Connell's encouragement of
their trade in Ireland.
Colliers, with a petition, praying that his Danship may direct coals to be used instead of
fagots, in lighting up the fires of Smithfield, when autos-da-fe for the
Protestants are again commenced.
Gilmerton Carters, with an offer to volunteer to Ireland to assist the Whitefeet during
the ensuing winter.
The Society of Sturdy Beggars, carrying a beautiful portrait of King Dan, their
The Edinburgh Jews, with an offer to contribute a twelvemonth's Christian plunder on
the next Day of Atonement, for the emancipation of " our peoplesh ; ''?twenty
per shent dishcount for ready monish.
The Gentlemen connected with the Liberal Press of Edinburgh, with a memorial as to the
proper application of the Secret-Service Money?with the Editor of the Scratchman
in sackcloth and ashes, eating the Fast-day number of his filthy journal.
Band of Bagpipes, playing the Dead March in Saul.
THE BURGHER SYNOD,
with Potter-row John at their head, supported by the Rev. Messrs Nicebit and Whalley,
habited as Dominican Friars, with their Geneva bands reversed and pinned on their
hinder parts, carrying the Death's-head and Cross-bones, for the edification of
the Irish Protestants and the terror of Scotch Anythingarians.
Barney O'Whack, doorkeeper to the Convent of St Margaret's?originally intended for
the Church, and found wanting, but thought fit enough for the Convent?a servant
of all work, with his truncheon of office in his hand.
THE MOTHER ABBESS,
and 20 Sisters of Charity, leading in their right hands 20 young girls, pupils of the Estab-
lishment, converted to Popery.
Mrs Laidlaw, and the Society of Midwives,with an Address on the prospect of the in-
creasing Papist population.
PRIOR GULL-US OF ACHEUL,
as Ignatius Loyola, in his robes of office.
THE RACK WHEEL,
supported by four familiars of the Inquisition lately escaped from Spain. Bailie M 'Wheeble
and Small-talk Jemmy-son dressed as imps and tormentors.
two and two, supporting a box containing thumb-screws and " dens theology. "
carrying a Bull from the Pope excommunicating the Brothers Finn, for exposing and
insulting the Liberathor.
Brass band?tune, " Erin go brach,"
THREE COMPANIES OF THE ROYAL O'CONNELL GUARDS,
commanded by the celebrated Major Lackey of Ballinahinch.
Tinkers, Tailors, Ropemakers, Cobblers, as aforementioned.
EDINBURGH WHIG CLIQUE,
incog., and in the disguise of gentlemen, closed the procession. Sir James had given the
strictest orders that they should not countenance the Festival in their proper character,
lest they might hurt its respectability.
In the above order the Procession moved along the Bridges till it reached the Water-
loo, where the Great Dan alighted, and received the respective addresses and congratula-
tions abovementioned. The Sisters of Charity then proceeded to exercise that hospitable
token of affection and love, the washing his Sub-holiness' feet in holy water, and which
were then dried by the perfumed handkerchiefs of the pious Sisterhood, the mother abbess
devoutly crossing herself as she passed her hand up and down Dan's brawny leg. The
moved to the hustings on the Calton hill, which were occupied by the ordinary apostles of
froth and sedition. The Beggar man then lifted his voice aloud?cursed the House of
Lords?denounced the Tories?praised Scotland, and declared the Calton mountain finer
than the Hill of Howth ; in which he was joined by Maurish, who declared that he would
rather be obliged to fight D'Israelli than have lost the sight.
A shower of rain at length dispersed the greater part of the crowd, which, owing to the
day, was at first numerous. There was no feeling manifested but that of curiosity and
contempt. It was hardly possible for his partizans to muster a faint cheer, while the
assemblage remained profoundly silent. None cried, " God save him !" and after the
usual balderdash, the Meeting broke up, and the boys went to dress for dinner.
" O' Connell ! the foul calumniator of the best and bravest of the land, the most impu-
dent of mountebanks, the most restless of agitators, the most beggarly of beggars, the
most worthless of slanderers, the bitter enemy of the peace and welfare of his country. "
They who praise him are like unto him, and honour, virtue, and decency they know not.
Reprinted from the AGe, for James Bonnar & Co.
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Probable date of publication:
1835 shelfmark: RB.m.143(175)
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