‹‹‹ prev (502)

(504) next ›››

The Scots being averse to Republicanism, proclaimed the
exiled Charles the Second as their king, and crowned him at
Stirling, ist January, 1651. In December, 1650, after the
battle of Dunbar, Cromwell was in possession of Edinburgh
and its castle, but the magistrates had fled to Stirling, the
head-quarters of Charles, leaving the city to be governed by
thirty chosen citizens. The battle of Worcester having
placed Scotland completely in the power of Cromwell, com"
missioners were sent by him from England to rule the king-
dom, who arrived at Dalkeith in January, 1652 ; and from
them the humble citizens were obliged to obtain consent
ere they could elect new magistrates. Under the sway of
Cromwell, Edinburgh and Leith enjoyed repose ; but so
greatly were they impoverished by so many years of strife,
that very few of the inhabitants were in a condition to pay
their debts, and the magistrates were served with a charge
of horiiinc/ for .^SSO.ooo Scots (.^43,833 6s. 8d. sterling"),
which, with dithcalty, the,s- obtained time to pay.
. During the period of the Commonwealth many reforms
were introduced in the municipal regulations At the
restoration of Charles II. in 1660 the town council, in return
for a donation of ;^i,ooo made to his Majesty, received per-
mission to levy a tax upon the citizens of one-third of a
penny on each pint of ale, and twopence on each pint of wine
consumed in -the city. Adam Woodcock, at this period, was
licensed by the town council to run a coach between Edin-
burgh and Leith, the fare to be fourpence each person ; and
the baron bailie of Broughton had a grant made to him of
the goods and chattels of all women condemned for witch-
craft. In August, 1660, the English tribunals gave place to
the ancient forms of government, and the first Parliament,
which assembled ist January, 1661, rescinded all Acts passed
during the last twenty-three years, and restored episcopacy
Seventies towards the Presbyterians followed. The Coven-
anters of the west and south rose in arras. They reached
the Pentland Hills on the 28th IS'ovember, 1666, where they
were overtaken by General Dalziel, with a body of cavalrv,
and dispersed. About fiftj' were killed, and one hundred
and fifty taken prisoners— twenty of these were executed at
Edinburgh. In 1672 the Court of Justiciary was instituted.
In 1678, It appears from a " list of the hail possessors (of
houses) in the different parishes," taken under authority of
the magistrates, that there were at this time within the
royalty, 3,333 families, so that, taking five as the average
number of each, the population amounted to 16,665.
In 1679 the Duke of York ( afterwards James II.) came to
reside in Edinburgh, but though popular at first gradually
estranged the people by his attachment to the ancient faith
and by having a private chapel for the Roman ritual arranged
in the palace. In January, 1685, an equestrian statue of
C'harles II. was ordered for the Parliamentary square, and
in February of the same year the king died, and James was
proclaimed at the Cross as VII. of Scotland and II. of
England. In June, 1685, the 9th Earl of Argyll was
executed for a rising in favour of the Duke of Monmouth ; the
earl having been indebted to Heriot's Hospital to the amount
of £5'^A°3 los- Scots, the corporation of Edinburgh was
compelled to pay the money. The suspension of the test
soon disclosed the intentions of the king. Early in 1686
every printer and bookseller in Edinburgh was forbidden by
the Privy Council to print or sell any book animadverting on
the Romish faith ; this brought abont several riots, which
were energetically suppressed by the magistracy, and the
king as a recognition of their attachment restored to them the
impost upon ale. Upon the arrival of the Prince of Orange,
the Presbyterians got the upper hand, and the abbey was
pillaged and the Chapel Royal destroyed, while the Ear! of
Perth (the chancellor) fled from the city.
On the 14th of March, 1689, the Convention of Estates
assembled— the most momentous meeting that Edinburgh
ever witnessed. It resolved that James having forfeited the
crown, it should be offered to William and Mary ; a second
result of their deliberations was the memorable " claim of
rights ; " a new election of municipal officers was advised,
by poll of the burgesses paying, watching and warding, and
liable for other public claims ; several ministers were
deprived of their pulpits for refusing to pray for the new
sovereigns ; the convention became a parliament, and the
established religion was declared Presbyterian. The Duke
of Gordon held the castle for James, but surrendered it in
June, 1690. Towards the close of William's reign, six ships
sailed from the Firth of Forth to plant a colony on the
Isthmus of Darien ; and when the failure of this scheme
became known in March, 1699, the miscarriage of the enter-
prise was attributed to the influence of the king, and
serious riots took place. On Saturday, the 3rd of February,
1700, a fire broke out on the south side of Parliament
square, which destroyed an extensive pile of buildings,
including the Advocates' Library and the Bank of Scotland,
and rendered houseless nearly 200 families.
In the reign of Queen Anne the discussion of the terms ol
Union caused disturbances from the early part of 1703
to 1707, which showed how unpopular the measure was
and the parliament and commissioners were compelled
to seek the protection of the military during the ratification
of the articles. F'rom the ist May, 1707, when the Act of
Union came into operation, the aspect of the Scottish capital
became strikingly changed, improvement ceased, and for
nearly half a century little activity or energy was displayed.
In 1715 two attempts were made by the Jacobite party to
get possession of the city, both of which failed. In 1730, at
the execution of Wilson for smuggling, a riot occurred, and
Captain Porteous, commandant of the town guard, ordered
his men to fire on the people, killing some ; for this he was
committed for trial, but the populace suspected that he
would be let off, and early one morning a small but well
organised mob, preceded by the town drummer of the Can-
ongate, marched up the High street, disarmed the town
guard, broke open the Tolbooth, and taking Porteous out
hung him from a dyer's pole in the Grassmarket, dispersing
immediately he was dead ; and it is not the least extra-
ordinary circumstance connected with this singular affair,
that none of the actors in the tragedy were ever discovered,
although a large reward was offered. In 1745, Prince
Charles Edward, after the king's cavalry brigade had retired
in disorder from Corstorphine, sent forward a regiment of
Athol Highlanders, who took possession of the town but failed
to get the castle. The prince entered Holyrood, where he
held levees and gave balls, and on 21st September he left
to fight the battle of Prestonpans and march on London.
In 1778, the mutiny of Lord Seaforth's Highland regiment,
on account of their being ordered to India without payment
of some arrears, and a stipulation as to the limit of their
service, occasioned a considerable sensation. The mutineers
ascended the lofty eminence of Arthur's Seat, where they
remained encamped until an adjustment was effected by
Lords Dunmore and Macdonald. During the long war
which ensued on the French revolution, and when the
country was in dread of invasion, volunteer companies were
formed in Edinburgh. The visit of George IV. lasted from
15th August, 1822, to the 29th He took up his abode at
Dalkeith House, as the guest of the Duke of Buccleuch, held
a levee at Holyrood, and attended public worship on Sunday
in the High Church. On the 20th the king was present at
the ball of the Caledonian Hunt, and next evening he saw
" Rob Roy " performed at the theatre. A splendid banquet
was prepared for his Majesty, in the great hall of the Parlia-
ment House, by the lord provost, magistrates and town
council. The lord provost received a baronetcy.
On the ist September, 1842, Her Majesty Queen Victoria
landed at Granton, and proceeded to Dalkeith ; the reception
was a quiet one, as the magistracy of Edinburgh did not
expect the landing to take place so early, and did not get to
the city boundary in time. A levee and drawing room were
held at Holyrood Palace, and there was a procession through
the city. On Tuesday morning, September 6th, Her
Majesty took her departure for the north. On Monday, the
14th, the Queen again passed through Edinburgh on hei
way to Dalkeith, to embark at Granton.
The Castle of Edinburgh, founded in 617, on the site of the
Pictish Tower of Refuge, used by them for the protection of
their women and valuables, occupies the western and highest
extremity of the central ridge on which the old town is
built. It is a polygonal fort, standing on a scarped rock
rising abruptly about 400 feet from the plain, south of the
north rock, and accessible only from the eastern side ; its
principal faces lying east, where the Halfmoon battery
dominates the approach ; south, where the old palace and
barracks overhang the Grassmarket ; south-west, where the
new barracks look down on Castle terrace ; north-west,
backed by the storehouse and magazine and looking towards
the Dean cemetery ; and the north front, which (trending
rather to the south-east) contains the Argyll battery, over-
looking the site of the old North loch. The entrance to the
castle is from the head of the Castle hill, across the Esplanade,
on which stand monuments to the Duke of York, to the officers
and men of the 78th Regiment (Ross-shire Buffs) and to Col.
Mackenzie, 92nd Highlanders. Over a dry ditch by a road
passing below the Halfmoon, and reaching the crest of the
hilj, near the governor's house and new barracks, a turn
to the left then leads to the chapel of St. Margaret. Here is
to be seen a curious piece of ancient ordnance, called " Mens
Meg," made of longitudinal bars of hammered iron, girt
with iron hoops ; it is 13 feet in length and 20 inches in
calibre. Stone balls were fired from it, and some of them
lie beside it. It is supposed to have been made at Mons, in
the 15th century. It burst in 16S2, on bfing fired in
honour of the Duke of York's visit to Scotland. It was
carried to London in 1754, and brought back in 1S29. To
the right a passage at the rear of the Halfmoon gives access

Images and transcriptions on this page, including medium image downloads, may be used under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence unless otherwise stated. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence