HISTORICAL INCIDENTS AFTER THE RESTORATION. 1 I7 terior, with the embrasures and loop-holes, aa it appeared before the erection of the Infant School there. We have already mentioned the erection of the wall in Leith Wynd, a considerable portion of which still remains, by virtue of an Act of Parliament in 1540.' Maitland describes another addition in 1560, extending from thence to the end of the North Loch, at the foot of Halkerston's Wynd.' The southern wall of the west wing of Trinity Hospital included part of this ancient defence. It stood about six feet south from the present retaining wall of the North British Railway, in the Physic Gardens: and was a piece of such substantial masonry, that its demolition, in 1845, was attended with great labour, requiring the use of wedges to break up the solid mam. In 1591, the citizens were empowered, by Parliament, to raise money on all lands and rents within Edinburgh, towards strengthening the town, by an addition of height and thickness to its walls, with forcing places, bulwarks, or flankers, 8;c. ; * and finally, the Common Council having, in 1618, bought from Tours of Innerleith ten acres of land at the Creyfriars' Port, they immediately ordered it to be enclosed with a wall, a considerable portion of which forms the western boundary of the Heriot's Hospital grounds. It only remains to be added, that the last attempt made to render these walls an effective defence, wa.s in the memorable year 1745; with how little success has already been narrated. From the evidence brought out in the course of Provost Stewart's trial, they seem to have been, at that period, in a most ruinous condition, and it is improbable that any efforts were made after that to stay their further decay. The changes wrought upon the town itself during the same period are no less remarkable. Owing to its peculiar situation, crowning the ridge of the hill, on the highest point of which the Castle is perched, and sloping off to the low grounds on either side, its limits seemed to our ancestors to be defined almost beyond the possibility of enlargement. The only approach to the main street, from the west, previous to the commencement of the North Bridge, in 1765, was up the steep and crooked thoroughfare of the West Bow, by which kings and nobles so often entered in state, and from thence it extended, in unbroken continuity to St Mary's and Leith Wynds. The remainder of the street, through the Canongate, has fortunately, as yet, escaped the revision of '' improvements commissioners," and presents, in the continuation of the principal thoroughfare through the Nether Bow to the Palace, many antique features, awaking associations of the period when the Scottish nobility resided there in ciose vicinity to the Court. A very few years, however, have sufficed to do the work of centuries in the demolition of time-honoured and interesting fabrics. St Giles's Church has been renovated externally, and reduced to the insipid standard of modern uniformity. George IV. Bridge, and its approaches, have swept away nearly all the West Bow, Gosford's and the Old Bank Closes, Libberton's Wynd, and some of the most interesting houses in the Cowgate. The projectors of the New College have taken for its site another portion, including the Guise Palace, in. Blyth's Clow, which bore, on its north front, the earliest date then existing on any private building in Edinburgh ; and the same parties, in their zeal to do honour to Knox's , 1 Ante, p. 44. a Maitland, p. 20, where it ia defined aa at the foot of Libbwton'r Wynd, but this is obviously an error. ' So called from having long been the site of the Botanical Gardens. ' Kaitland, p, 45.
I 18 MEMORIALS OF EDINBURGH. memory, have devoted his picturesque old domicile to destruction. The Collegiate Church of Mary of Guelders is destined to a similar fate; and, in truth, it would seem as if a regular crusade had been organised by all classes, having for its object to root out everything in Edinburgh that is ancient, picturesque, or interesting, owing to local or historical associations, and to substitute in their stead the commonplace uniformity of the New Town. One effect, however, of all this has been, by so greatly diminishing these ancient fabrics, to awake an increased interest in the few that remain, while, even by the demolition of others, many curious features have been brought to light, which would otherwise have remained unknown. It is earnestly to be desired that a lively veneration for these monuments of past times may be more widely diffused, and produce such a wholesome spirit of conservatism, as may at least preserve those that remain from reckless destruction. An antiquary, indeed, may at times seem to resemble some querulous crone, who shakes her head, with boding predictions of evil at the slightest variance from her own narrow rule ; but the new, and what may be called- the genteel style of taste, which has prevailed during the earlier portion of the present century, has too well justified his complaints. The old Parliament Close, with its irregular Elizabethan Court homes, and the ancient Collegiate Church (which on that side at least was ornate and unique), have been remodelled according to the newest fashion, and, to complete the change, the good old name of Close, which is pleasingly associated with the cloistral courts of the magnificent cathedrals and abbeys of England, has been replaced by the modern, and, in this case, ridiculous one of Square. In full accordance with this is the still more recent substitution of the name of North British Close for that of Hrtlkerstonís Wynd-the only thing that remained about that ancient alley to commemorate the death of David Halkerstoun of Halkerstoun, while bravely defending this passage against the English in 1544. Modern imitations of the antique, such as have been attempted in the newest thoroughfares in the Old Town, are easily erected, with more or less taste, and as easily replaced. But if the Old Town of Edinburgh is once destroyed, no wealth can restore the many int.eresting associations that still linger about its ancient halls. VIGNETTE-Ancient Doorway in Halkerstonía Wynd.