L UCKENBOOTNS AND PARLIAMENT CLOSE. 215 appropriately suspended on the walls, and mentioned in a MS. volume of last century, as ‘‘ taken down when the Court was repaired.” These ancient decorations have since been replaced by statues of Duncan Forbes of Culloden, Lord President Blair, son of the poet, Lord Melville, Lord Chief Baron Dundas, Lord Jeffrey, Lord President Boyle, Lord Cockburn, &c.; and by portraits of Lord Abercromby, Professor Bell, Lord Brougham, Lord Justice-clerk Hope, Lord Colonsay, &c. There are also specimens by .the celebrated Jamesone, the earliest Scottish painter, who studied under Rubens at Antwerp. This great hall is now used as a waiting-room and promenade by the advocates and the various other practitioners connected with the Supreme Courts, and during the sitting of the courts presents a very attractive and animated scene. To a stranger visiting the Scottish capital, no one of its public buildings is so calculated to excite a lively interest as the scene of its latest legislative assemblies ; for while it shares with the deserted palace, and the degraded mansions of the Old Town, in many grand and stirring associations, it still forms the Hallaf the College of Justice, founded by James V.,-at once the arena of the leading Scottish nobles and statesmen of the last two centuries, and the scene of action of many of the most eminent men of Beneath the old roof, thus consecrated by sacred historic memories, the first great movements of the civil war took place, and the successive steps in that eventful crisis were debated with a zeal commensurate to the important results involved in them, and with as fiery ardour as characterised the bloody struggles which they heralded. Here Montrose united with Rothes, Lindsay, Loudon, and others of the Covenanting leaders, in maturing the bold measures that formed the basis of our national liberties; and within the same hall, only a few years later, he sat with the calmness of despair, to receive from the lips of his old compatriot, Loudon, the barbarous sentence which was executed with such savage rigour. When the fatal overthrow of the Scottish army at Dunbar at length laid the capital at the mercy of Cromwell, new scenes were enacted within the Parliament House-“ witness sindry Englisch trouperis quha oppinlie taught there.” ’ If Pinkerton ’ is to be believed, even the General, Cromwell himself, occasionally laid aside the temporal for the spiritual sword, within the same august arena, to the great scandal of the Presbyterian citizens, who were horrified to find that ‘‘ men war not aschamed to tak upone thame the functione of the ministrie, without a lauchfull calling.” But while such novelties were being enacted in the great hall, the laich Parliament Hous ” was crowded with Scottish prisoners, and the building strictly guarded by bands of the same English troopers, equally ready to relieve guard on the outer parade, or to take their turn within, where . our own day. Pulpit drum Ecclesiastic Was beat with fist instead of a stick. The Scottish strongholds, however, proved insufficient for the detention of their old masters, under the care of foreign jailers. On the 17th of May 1654, the whole number of prisoners in the “ laich Parliament House,” effected their escape by cutting a hole in the floor of the great hall above, and all but two got clear OK Only ten days afterwards, Supplement to Court of Session Garland, p. 4. * Nicoll’s Diary, p. 94. Ante, p. 96.
216 MEMORIALS OF EDINBURGH. Lord Kinnoull and several other prisoners were equally successful in getting out of the castle, by letting themselves down over the rock with their sheets and blankets cut into strips ; and others confined in the Canongate Tolbooth effected, by like means, a similar jail delivery for themselves.’ When a better understanding had been established between the Protector and hia Scottish subjects, the old hall was restored to more legitimate uses. There, in the following year, General Monck and the leaders of the Commonwealth were feasted with lavish hospitality, and the courts of law resumed their sittings, with an honest regard for justice scarcely known in Scotland before. glorious Restoration,” under the auspices of the once republican general ; and the vice-regent and royal commissioner, the Duke of York, was feasted with his fair princess and daughter, attended by the beauty and chivalry of Scotland, anxious to efface all memory of former doing in the same place. But sad as was the scene of Scotland‘s children held captive in her own capital by English jailers, darker times were heralded by this vice-regal banquet, when the Duke presided, along with Dalaiell and Claverhouse, in the same place, to try by torture the passive heroism of the confessors of the Covenant, and the astute lawyer, Sir George Mackenzie, played the part of king’s advocate with such zeal, as has won him the popular title which still survives all others, of “ Bluidy Mackenzie.” The lower rooms, that have so long been dedicated to the calm seclusion of literary study, are the same that witnessed €he noble, the enthusiastic, and despairing, alike prostrate at the feet of tyrants, or subjected to cruel tortures by their merciless award. There Guthrie and Argyll received the barbarous sentence of their personal enemies without. form of trial, and hundreds of less note courageously endured the fury of their persecutors, while Mercy and Justice tarried at the door. A glimpse at the procedure of this Scottish Star Chamber,-furnished by Fountainhall, in his account of the trial of six men in October 1681, on account of their religion and fanaticism,”-may suffice for a key to the justice administered there. Garnock,. one of the prisoners, having railed at Dalziell in violent terms, “the General in a passion struck him with the pomel of his shable on the face, till the blood sprung.”a With such men for judges, and thumbekins, boots, and other instruments of torture as the means of eliciting the evidence they desired, imagination will find it hard to exceed the horrors of this infamous tribunal. Aninteresting trial is mentioned by Fountainhall as having occurred in 1685.8 Richard Rumbold, one of Cromwell’s old hopsides, was brought up, accused of being implicated in the Rye House Plot. He had defended himself so stoutly against great odds that he was Then came the 1 The Scottish prisoners would seem to have been better acquainted with the secrete of their own strongholds than their English jailem. Nicoll remarks, “ It waa a thing admirable to considder how that the Scottia prissoneris being so cloalie keepit heir within the Castle of Edinburgh, and in the laich Parliament Hous, and within the Tolbuith of the Cannogait, and daylie and nychtlie attendit with a gaird of sodgeris, sould Ea oft escaip imprisaonment. And now laitlie, npone the 27 day of Maij 1654, being Settirday at midnicht, the Lord Kynnoull, the Laird of Lugtoun, ane callit Marechell, and another callit Hay, by the nioyen of one of the Inglische centrie escapit forth of the Castell of Edinburgh, being lat doun be thairawin bedscheittis and blankettis, hardlie knut. AlI these four, with ane of the Inglische centrie, escapit. Thair waa ane uther prettie gentill man, and a brave sodger, eavaping to do the lyke, he, in his doungoing, fell and brak his neck, the knotia of the scheittia being maid waik by the former persoues wecht that past doun before him.” -Nicoll‘s Diary, p. 128. ’ Fountainhall’s Decisions, voL i. p. 159. Ibid, vol. i p. 365.