294 MEMURIALS OF EDINBURGH. Moray House, which is one of the most remarkable objects of interest in the Canongate, formed until 1835 part of the entailed estate of the noble house of Moray, in whose possession it remained exactly two hundred years, having become the property of Margaret, Countess of Moray, in 1645, by an arrangement with her younger sister, h u e , then Countess of Lauderdale, and co-heiress with her of their mother, the Countess of Home, by whom Moray House was built.’ This noble mansion presents more striking architectural features than any other private building in Edinburgh, and is associated with some of the most interesting events in Scottish history. It was erected in the early part of the reign of Charles I. by Mary, Countess of Home, the eldest daughter of Edward, Lord Dudley, and then a widow. Her initials, M. H., are sculptured over the large centre window of the south gable, surmouuted by a ducal coronet; and over the corresponding window to the north are the lions of Home and Dudley, impaled on a lozenge, in accordance with the ancient laws of heraldry. The house was erected some years before the visit of Charles I. to Scotland, and his coronation at Holyrood in 1633. It can scarcely, therefore, admit of doubt that its halls ’have been graced by the presence of that unfortunate monarch, though the Countess soon after contributed largely towards the success of his opponents, as appears by the repayment by the English Parliament, in 1644, of seventy thousand pounds which had been advanced by her to the Scottish Covenanting Government-an unusually large sum to be found at the disposal of the dowager of a Scottish earl. On the first visit of Oliver Cromwell to Edinburgh, in the summer of 1648, he took up his residence at “ the Lady Home’s lodging, in the Canongate,” as it then continued to be called; and entered into friendly negotiations with the nobles and leaders of the extreme party of the Covenanters. According to Guthrie, ‘‘ he did communicate to them his design in reference to the King, and had their assent thereto ; ” in consequence of which (‘ the Lady Home’s house, in the Canongate, became an object of mysterious curiosity, from the general report at the time that the design to execute Charles I. was there first discussed and approved.”a This, however, which, if it could be relied on, would add so peculiar an interest to the mansion, must be regarded as the mere cavalier gossip of the period. Even if we could believe that Cromwell’s designs were matured at that time, he was too wary a politician to hazard them by such premature and profitless confidence j but there can be no doubt of the future measures of resistance to the King having formed a prominent subject in their discussions. In the year 1650, only two years after the Parliamentary General’s residence in the Canongate, the fine old mansion was the scene of joyous banquetings and revelry on the occasion of the marriage of Lord Lorn-afterwards better known as the unfortunate Earl of Argyle-with Lady Mary Stuart, the eldest daughter of the Earl of Moray. The weddingfeast took place on the 13th of May, and the friends were still celebrating the auspicious the cmce of this bruche, thair to remane the space of ane houre.” On the 6th October 1572, the treasurer is ordered “to vpput and big sufficiently the corce,” which had probably suffered in some of the reforming mobs, and may have been then, for the first time, elevated on a platform.-Canongate Burgh Register, Mait. Wit. vol. ii. pp. 303, 326. l The entail was broke by a clause in one of the Acts of the North British Railway Company, who had purchased the ancient Trinity Hospital for their terminus, and proposed to fit up Moray House in ita stead; an arrangement which it is to be regretted has not been carried into effect. The name of Regent blul.ray’a House, latterly applied to the old mansion, is a spurious tradition of very recent origin. - ’ (tuthrie’s Memoira, p. 298. 3 Napier’s Life of Montrose, p, 441.
THE CANONGA TE AND ABBEY SANCTUAR Y. 295 alliance of these two noble families, when, on Saturday the 18th of May, the already excommunicated and doomed Marquis of Montrose was brought a captive to Edinburgh. About four o’clock in the’afternoon, the magistrates and guard received their prisoner at the Water Gate, and, after reading to him his barbarous sentence, he was ignominiously bound to a low cart provided for the occasion’. The common hangman, who acted as master of the ceremonies, having uncovered the Marquis, he mounted the horse before him, and the melancholy procession moved slowly up the Canongate, a band of meaner prisoners, bound two and two, going bareheaded before him. The striking contrast presented in this scene is painfully illustrative of the vicissitudes that accompany civil war. Montrose had fought with and overthrown his great rival the Marquis of Argyle, father of the young Lord Lorn, and had driven him almost a solitary . fugitive to the sea, while he wasted his country with &e and sword. As the noble captive was borne beneath the windows of Moray House, the wedding guests, including the Earl of Loudoun, then Lord Chancellor, Lord Warriston, and the Countess of Haddington, along with the Marquis of Argyle, and the bride and bridegroom,’ stepped out on the fine old stone balcony that overhangs the street to gaze upon their prostrate enemy. It is said that the Lady Jane Gordon, Countess of Haddington, Argyle’s niece, so far forgot her sex as to spit upon him as he passed, in her revengeful triumph over their fallen foe. But the marriage party quailed before the calm gaze of the noble captive. Though suffering from severe wounds, in addition to the mortification and insult to which he was exposed, he preserved the same composure and serenity with which he afterwards submitted to a felon’s death, appearing even on the scaffold-as Nicoll relates-in a style ‘‘ more becoming a bridegroom, nor a criminal going to the gallows.” On Montrose turning his eye on the party assembled on the balcony at Moray House to rejoice over his fall, they shrank back with hasty discomposure, and disappeared from the windows, leaving the gloomy processiou to wend onward on its way to the T~lbooth.T~h is remarkable incident acquires a deeper interest, when we consider that three of these onlookers, including the gay and happy bridegroom, perished by the hand of the executioner on the same fatal spot to which the gallant Marquis was passing under their gaze. The period of which we write was one of rapid change. Little more than four months had elapsed when the army of the Covenanters, with Leslie at its head, was signally defeated at Dunbar, and the victorious General Cromwell entered the Scottish capital as a conqueror, and once more took up his quarters at Moray House. Throughout the winter of 1650, its stately halls were crowded with Parliamentary commissioners and military and civil courtiers attendant on the General’s levee.4- Its next occupant of note was the Lord Chancellor Seafield, who appears to have resided there at the period of the Union, and peopled its historic halls with new associations, as the scene of the numerous secret deliberations that preceded the ratification of that treaty. The stately old terraced gardens remain nearly in the same state as when the peers and commoners of the last Scottish Parliament frequented its avenues. The picturesque summer-house, adorned with - It WBB reported that, in 1650, when the Marquia of Montroae was brought up prisoner from the Water Gate in a cart, this Argile waa feeding his eyea with the eight in the Lady Murrayes balcony in the Canongate, with hir daughter, his lady, to whom he was new married, and that he waa seen playing and smiling with her.”-Fountainhall’a Historical Observes, 1685, p. 185. a Nicoll’s Diary, p. 13. Wigton Papera ; Hait. Misc. vol. i i pp. 482, 483. ‘ Ante, p. 95.