224 MEMORIALS OF EDINBURGH. quhill ane hour efter dinner ; and the saidis dyvoris, before thair libertie and cuming furth of the tolbuith, upon thair awn chairges, to cause mak and buy ane hat or bonne‘t of yellow colour, to be worn be thame all the tyme of their sitting on the said pillery, and in all tyme thairefter, swa lang as they remane and abide dyvoris.”l Sundry modifications of this singular act were afterwards adopted. In 1669 ‘‘ The Lords declare that the habite is to be a coat and upper garment, which is to cover their cloaths, body and arms, whereof, the one half is to be of yellow, and the other half of a brown colour, and a cap or hood, which they are to wear on their head, party coloured, as said is,” a coloured, as is enacted at a subsequent period, “conform to a pattern delivered to the magistrates of Edinburgh to be keeped in their Tolbooth.” The effect of such a custom, if revived in our day, amid the bustle and fever of railway schemes, and ‘‘ bubble speculations” of all kinds, could not fail to exercise a very pleasing influence in diversifying the monotony of our unpicturesque modern attire, and giving some variety to our assemblies and promenades ! How far commercial solvency would be promoted by the frequenters of the Stock Exchange being thus compelled to wear their credit on their sleeve, we must leave these shrewd speculators to determine at their leisure. Cowper, in his ‘‘ Epistle to Joseph Hill, Esq.,” discusses a somewhat analogous device, adopted by an Eastern sage, for distinguishing hone& men from knaves, and which consisted in the convicted defaulter wearing only half a coat thereafter ; but he adds for the comfort of all contemporaries :- 0 happy Britain ! we have not to fear Such hard and arbitrary measures here ; Else could a law, like that which I relate, Once have the sanction of our triple state, Some few, that I have known in days of old, Would run most dreadful risk of catching cold ! In the steep and narrow closes that diverge on each side of the High Street, were once the dwellings of the old Scottish nobility, and still they retain interesting traces of faded grandeur, awaking many curious associations which well repay the investigator of their intricate purlieus. Dunbar’s Close, of which we furnish a view, has already been mentioned as the place pointed out by early tradition where Cromwell’s ‘( Ironsides ” were lodged, and its whole appearance is both unique and singularly picturesque. Over the entrance to the Rose and Thistle Tap,-the traditional guard-room of the victors of Dunbar,-there is a beautifully carved inscription, bearing one of the oldest dates now left on any private building in Edinburgh. The stone is rebuilt into a new portion of the house, but is still nearly as sharp as when fresh from the chisel ; the inscription is :- FAITH * IN - GRIST a ONLIE a SAVIT * 1567. 1 Acts of Sederunt, 17th May 1606. 4 The following Act of Sederunt, for 13th December 1785, describes the latest version of the Edinburgh Cross, if we except the radiated pavement that marks its site :-“ The Lords having considered the representation of the Lord Provost and Magistrates of the city of Edinburgh, setting forth, that when the Cross was taken away in the year 1756, a stone was erected on the side of a well on the High Street, adjacent to the place where the Cross atood, which, by Act of Sederunt, was declared to be the Market Cross of Edinburgh from that period. That since removing the city guard, the aforesaid well was a great obstruction to the free passage upon the High Street, which therefore they intended to remove, and instead thereof to erect a stone pillar, a few feet distant from the said well, on the same side of the High Street, opposite to the head of the Old Assembly Close. Of which the Lords approve, and declare the new pillar to be the Market Cross.” We suppose the more economical marking of the pavement was the only result. Ibid, 26th February 1669. Ibid, 18th July 1688.
THE HIGH STREET. 225 On another part of the building the initials I D ., and K * T *, appear attached to some curiously-formed marks, and are doubtless those of the original owners ; but unfortunately all the early titles are lost, EO that no clue now remains to the history of this singular dwelling. The lower story, which is believed to have formed the black-hole or dungeon of the English t.roopers, is vaulted with stone, and around the massive walls iron rings are affixed, as if for the purpose of securing the prisoners once confined in these vaults. The east wall of the main room above is curiously constructed of eliptic arches, resting on plain circular pillars, and such portions of the outer wall as are not concealed by the wooden appendages of early times, exhibit polished ashlar work, finished with neat mouldings and string courses. Immediately to the north of this ancient mansion, there is a large land eutering from the foot of Sellar’s Close, which has two flat terraced roofs at different elevations, and forms a prominent and Eiomewhat graceful feature of the Old Town as seen from Princes Street. This is known by the name of (( The Cromwell Bartizan,” a and is pointed out, on the same traditional authority, as having been occupied by the General, owing to its vicinity to his guards, and the commanding prospect which its terraced roof afforded of the English fleet at anchor in the Firth. Over a doorway, which divides the upper from the lower part of this close, a carved lintel bears this variation of the common legend :-THE . LORD . BE . BLEIST . FOR . AL. HIS. GIFTIS .3 A building on the west side, finished in the style prevalent about the period of James VI., has the following inscription over a window on the third floor :- @- THE LORDIS TEIE PORTION OB MINE INHERITANCE AND OF MY CUP ; THOU MAINTAINEST MY LOT. PSALX.V I. VERSE 5. In the house which stood opposite, a very large and handsome Gothic lire-place remained, in the same style as those already described in the Guise Palace. In Brown’s Close adjoining this, Arnot informs us that there existed in his time a private oratory,” containing -a ‘( baptismal font,” or sculptured stone niche ; but every relic of antiquity has now disappeared ; and nearly the same may be said of Byres’ Close, though it contained only a few years since the town mansion built by Sir John Byres of Coates, the carved lintel of which was removed by the late Sir Patrick Walker, to Coates House, the ancient mansion of that family, near Edinburgh. It bears the inscription, “ Blissit be God in a1 His giftis,” with the initials I B a, and 31 B ., and the date 1611.4 Dunbar’s, Brown’s, and Sellar‘s closea, mentioned in this chapter, are now obliterated by recent city improvementa. ’ Vide p. 95, some confusion exists in the different attempts‘ to lix the exact house, but these discrepancies tend to confirm the general probability of the tradition; the name BartiZan, however, would seem to determine the building now assigned in the text 8 In that amusing collection “Satan’s Invisible World Discovered,” written for the purpose of confounding atheiste, the following is given as an Eat Lothian grace, ‘‘in the time of ignorance and superstition :” Lord be bless’d for all His gifts, Defy the Devil and all his shifts. Qod send me mair d e r . Amen. . * The front land to the west of Byree’ Close, wan long the residence, Post Office, and miscellaneous establishment of the noted Peter Williamson, who advertised himself as “from the other world I ” and published an ingenioua narrative of his Adventures in America, and Captivity among the Red Indians.--Piale Kq’r Portraits, voL i. p. 137. 2 F