صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني


MARCH, 1831.


(With an Engraving.)

THERE are few monuments of human art in Scotland more interesting to the antiquary, or more renowned in history, than the mouldering remains of Holyrood Abbey, and the still existing palace with which the venerable ruins stand connected. The former carries us back to the ages of superstition and darkness, and the latter introduces us to scenes of human vicissitude, the characters of which are too frequently written in blood.

But although these periods, with their crimes and follies, have disappeared, never again, we hope, to return, these subsisting memorials forcibly recal to our recollections the melancholy events with which they are still associated in history; nor can they pass under our inspection, without carrying us back to the periods which we remember to deplore. A building may be demolished, and many occurrences may be forgotten, unless the records of history have rendered them imperishable, but, whether recollected or unknown, truth can suffer no alteration from the lapse of time.

The ancient Abbey of Holyrood, founded by David I. in the year 1128, appears to have been one of the richest religious establishments in Scotland. It stood at the east end of Canongate, and extended over the site which the palace now occupies. Of this venerable pile, the only remains at present are, what is called the Chapel Royal, surrounded with memorials of human grandeur, now silent in the dust. In this chapel are deposited the mortal remains of David II. James II. Prince Arthur, third son of James IV. James V. Magdalen his queen, Arthur second son of James V. and Henry Darnley.

This chapel, in its days of splendour, displayed in much magnificence the English or pointed style of architecture, and, in the midst of its dilapidations, the memorials of its former greatness may still be distinctly traced. Its west front bears some resemblance to Melrose Abbey, Ely, and York Cathedral; but of its original symmetry and beauty, no accurate conception can at present be formed. The highly enriched windows, which formerly lighted the rood-loft, have never failed to attract the attention, and command the admiration, of all who visit this monument of desolated grandeur. The columns, moulding, and sculptures, which ornament the west door-way, exhibit the boldest style of alto relievo. The devices are various and grotesque, but the whole appears to have been designed and executed with much elegance of taste. In a small square stone immediately above the door, is engraven the following inscription-" He shall build ane house for my name, and I will establish his throne for ever."

Like most other edifices of great antiquity, the north side is both ornamented and supported by buttresses; and in the time of James III. the summits were decorated with niches and pinnacles by Abbot Crauford. The south side has also its buttresses; but they appear to be of a different description from those on the north. At the east end is the great window,

2D. SERIES, No. 3.-VOL. I.

147.-VOL. XIII.

the tracery of which was thrown down by a storm in 1795; but these embellishments have since been replaced.

Of these venerable ruins, the front of the exterior may be seen in the Engraving, contiguous to the palace. This is the principal object that can be presented to the eye of the spectator. In no other portion of what remains, are the effects of human ingenuity, art, and effort, so conspicuous. But in this front, though fast sinking into decay, a sufficiency is yet standing, as an evidence of hoary magnificence, to enable us to catch the outline of its features, before the fading glory for ever disappears.

Closely connected in situation and name with the ancient Abbey, is the present Palace of Holyrood, partially occupying its site, receiving the visits of royalty, and furnishing an asylum to greatness in distress. Holyrood is said to be the only palace in Scotland, that has not fallen into ruins; and on some occasions it is still appropriated to national purposes.

Respecting the period of its foundation, several accounts have found their way into circulation. By some its origin has been attributed to nearly the same age with the ancient Abbey, but others have assigned it to a more modern date.

It appears undeniable, however, that a royal establishment has existed here from the days of Robert Bruce, who flourished in the year 1290; but of its real condition at that remote period little only is known. It is recorded of James V. that in the spring of 1525, he built a "fair palace with three towers, in the Abbey of Holyrood House." These three towers are in the north-west part of the building, with the name of James inscribed on them.

During the wars which prevailed between the Scotch and the English in subsequent years, this ancient edifice was destroyed by the latter; but it was soon rebuilt, and remained a superb and extensive pile, until the time of the Commonwealth, when it was again reduced to ruins by the army of Cromwell. Some time after the Restoration, the present edifice was planned by Sir William Bruce, and built under the direction of Robert Mylne, since which time it has sustained several disasters.

Holyrood Palace, as it now stands, is a handsome and stately quadrangular building, enclosing a square of 230 feet in the inside, surrounded by piazzas. The western front consists of double towers, joined by an elegant building of two stories; above which is a double balustrade. The gateway of the grand entrance in the centre, is decorated with double columns of the Doric order. Below the entablature of these, appear the royal arms of Scotland; and above a double balustrade an octagonal turret rises, over which is placed an imperial crown. The double balustrade and a flat roof distinguish this from the other sides of the building, which are three stories high. A pediment, enclosing the arms assumed by Scotland since its union with England, is placed in the centre of the eastern side, opposite the grand



On the south side, a large staircase conducts to the state rooms. great gallery on the north is 150 feet long, by 27 wide, and 28 high. This is decorated with portraits of one hundred and eleven Scottish kings, painted by De Witt. These paintings, however, furnish decisive evidence of the injuries they sustained from the wanton brutality of the soldiers, who occupied this Palace, after the defeat of the Royalists in 1745.

In this Palace the Duke of Hamilton, as hereditary keeper, possesses apartments; and here the Scottish peerage assemble, to elect their representatives in Parliament. Several relics of the unfortunate Mary are preserved in this abode of her confinement. Among these is the royal bed, ornamented


with crimson damask, bordered with green fringes; but these are in a decayed state. There are also some chairs, covered with crimson velvet, once belonging to this unfortunate princess.

In the wainscot, strangers are shewn a portion, which, turning on hinges, opens a communication with a secret passage leading to the rooms below. Through this passage Lord Darnley and the conspirators are said to have rushed, to murder the unhappy Rizzio; and large dark coloured spots, visible on the floor, are believed to have been occasioned by his blood.


In a room assigned to Lord Dunmore, is a fine painting, by Vandyke, representing Charles I. and his queen, in their hunting costume. rooms above the royal apartments, are occupied by the Duke of Argyle, as hereditary master of the household. The singular privilege of affording an asylum to insolvent debtors is yet allowed. It extends as far as the limits of the environs of the Castle, including within this sanctuary a field called St. Anne's Yards, the extensive enclosure called the King's Park, the Duke's Walk, Arthur's Seat, Salisbury Craigs, and St. Leonard's Hill.

Among the disasters which Holyrood Palace has been destined to sustain, that which occurred at the time of the Revolution in 1688 deserves to be distinctly noticed.

"No sooner was it known that the Prince of Orange had landed, and that the regular troops were withdrawn to reinforce the English army, than the Presbyterians, and other friends to the Revolution, flocked from all quarters to Edinburgh. About the same time that the king withdrew from London, the Earl of Perth, chancellor, retired from Edinburgh, leaving the provincial government in the hands of such of the council as chose to remain. At this moment the mob broke loose, and, after parading the city with drums beating and colours flying, proceeded in great numbers to demolish the chapel at Holyrood House. Here they were opposed by a party of about a hundred of James's adherents, by whom they were fired on, and repulsed, with the loss of twelve killed, and thrice that number wounded.

"In a short time, however, they returned, headed by the magistrates, the town guard, trained bands, and heralds at arms, with a warrant from the privy counsellors, ordering Wallace, the commander of the royal party, to surrender; and, upon his refusal, another skirmish ensued, in which he was defeated, some of his party killed, and the rest made prisoners. The populace then proceeded to demolish the royal chapel, which they despoiled of its ornaments, at the same time pulling down the College of Jesuits, and plundering the houses of several Catholics."

Not content with thus injuring the living, and demolishing a splendid mansion, in which their political antagonists had found an asylum, their unholy zeal led them to violate the sanctuaries of the dead. They broke into the sepulchres of the kings, and, dragging their relics with sacrilegious hands from the slumbers of the grave, exposed and dispersed them with savage wantonness. Nor did this brutal act of momentary frenzy terminate with the impulse of passion that gave it birth. To the scandal of common decency, the ribs and bones thus torn from the tombs, long formed a part of the curiosities exhibited to all strangers who visited Holyrood House. Among these were the thigh-bones of Darnley, which, from their great length, indicated his unusual height. This disgraceful exhibition has, however, been at length prohibited. The bones have again been consigned to silence and darkness, and the sepulchres have been repaired.

In the cellars of the Earl of Perth, which at this time were well stocked with suitable materials, the mob soon found an additional stimulant to their furious zeal against popery. But no national characteristic can be inferred

The instability of human purposes much greater certainty from the At this eventful crisis, the town

from an infuriated and drunken rabble. and resolutions, may be gathered with conduct of those in more exalted stations. council of Edinburgh, who had only a few months before declared to King James, that they would stand by his sacred person on all occasions," were now among the foremost in " offering their services to the Prince of Orange, and in complaining of the hellish attempts of Romish incendiaries, and of the just grievances of all men, relating to conscience, liberty, and property." Such, however, is friendship, loyalty, and man!

Early in the year 1796, Charles X. the late king of France, then Count D'Artois, and his son the Duke d'Angouleme, found an asylum in Edinburgh, and took up their abode at Holyrood House. These royal fugitives were received with every mark of respect due to their rank; and having been driven about from one part of the continent to another, in imminent danger of their lives, this favourable reception must have been peculiarly gratifying to their feelings. At Holyrood Palace they resided about three years, during which time they held levees, and had mass regularly performed in the gallery. Edinburgh exhibited at this time a constant scene of activity, bustle, and gaiety. In addition to its inhabitants, vast numbers repaired thither from various parts, to have a view of the illustrious exiles, to sympathize in their destiny, and to join in anticipations respecting their future fate.

But it was not merely in expressions of commiseration, that the inhabitants of Edinburgh displayed their kindness. By the politeness and courtesy of their behaviour, the royal exiles ingratiated themselves with all ranks, and this was amply repaid by more substantial proofs of hospitality and kindness. Of this marked attention Charles was not insensible, nor can any one who reads the following letter, written to the Lord Provost and magistrates, at the time of his departure in 1799, accuse him of ingratitude.


"Circumstances relative to the good and service of the king my brother, making it requisite that I should leave this city, where, during my residence, I have received the most distinguished marks of attention and regard, I should reproach myself, were I to depart without expressing to its respectable magistrates, and through them to the inhabitants at large, the grateful sense with which my heart is penetrated, for the noble manner in which they have seconded the generous hospitality of his Britannic Majesty. I hope I shall one day have it in my power to make known, in happier moments, my feelings on this occasion, and express to you more fully the sentiments with which you have inspired me; the sincere assurance of which, time only permits me to offer you at present." "CHARLES PHILIPPE."

Of the visit paid by his late Majesty George IV. to the Scottish metropolis, and his official residence in Holyrood Palace, the papers of the day gave minute and circumstantial accounts. This event is too recent to have been forgotten; in addition to which, it is now incorporated in the history of our country. Nevertheless, an epitome of its more prominent features may not be unacceptable to many of our readers.

His Majesty having honoured Ireland and Hanover with his royal presence, resolved to confer on Scotland, also, a similar mark of his distinguishing regard. He accordingly embarked at Greenwich, on board the Royal George Yatch, on the 10th of August, 1822, and without any accident reached the port of his destination. Having landed, and passed through the ceremonials observed on these occasions, his Majesty, in an open carriage



drawn by eight horses, advanced in the procession towards Holyrood House, which had been prepared for his reception.


Arriving at the city boundary, below Picardy Place, where the magistrates in their robes were assembled to receive him, a herald came forward, and knocked thrice at the gate, after which Sir Patrick Walker, usher of the white rod, advanced, and required the gates to be opened in the name of the king. This demand being complied with, Sir Patrick went forward to the lord-provost, and claimed admission for the procession. These ceremonies being finished, the whole train entered, amid the loud and reiterated acclamations of the multitude, which his Majesty repeatedly acknowledged by taking off his hat and bowing. When the royal carriage entered the barrier, the lord-provost advanced, and delivered the keys of the city, which his Majesty graciously returned with a compliment. The procession now moved on towards Holyrood Palace, where a formal introduction of the magistracy took place. After going through this ceremonial, the King returned to the carriage, and, accompanied by the same noblemen, set out for Dalkeith, where he remained the whole of the following day, absorbed in grief at the melancholy intelligence of the death of the Marquis of Londonderry.

"On Saturday morning his Majesty set out for Holyrood House, where a levee was held at twelve. Along the streets, in the line appointed for carriages, were placed divisions of the Scotch Greys to prevent interruption, and the court-yard was occupied by the archers, while three bands of music played national airs on the lawn. All the officers of state, judges, and law officers of the crown, had precedence, by a different entrance from that to the public. One hundred and forty carriages conveyed the nobility and gentry to the royal presence. The greater part of the company appeared in military uniform. After the levee the King had a select party at dinner, and in the evening he returned to Dalkeith.

"The next day he spent in retirement, which greatly disappointed the people of Edinburgh, who fully expected that he would have attended the High Kirk. On Monday his Majesty held a court and closet levee, to receive upon the throne various addresses. At ten minutes after two o'clock the King reached Holyrood House, and, having changed his dress for that of the Highland uniform, took his seat on the throne, surrounded by a number of chieftains arrayed in the same national costume. The first address presented to the monarch was that of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland; next came the senior bishop of the Scotch episcopal church, and his brethren; after whom followed the representatives of the different universities and public bodies. At the close of this long and fatiguing scene the King returned to Dalkeith, the guards being stationed on each side of the carriage, to prevent the obtrusive familiarity of the crowd. On the 20th his Majesty held a drawing-room at Holyrood, and, after the lapse of nearly two centuries, this ancient edifice, where often feasted the chiefs of Scotland's power, became again the seat of splendour and chivalrous gaiety. The company, who began to assemble as early as eleven o'clock, consisted of the principal nobility and gentry of North Britain. The gentlemen were mostly in military dress; and the ladies in white satin. The King arrived at halfpast two, in his travelling chariot drawn by six horses. He wore a full field-marshal's uniform, and was received at the private entrance by all the officers of state. On this occasion it was observed that he appeared in better spirits than he had shewn since his coming into Scotland. Crowds of well-dressed persons were in waiting to greet him; to whom he repeatedly bowed and smiled with the utmost affability and condescending grace."

But these days of returning festivity and grandeur at Holyrood House

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