20 MEMORIALS OF EDINBURGH. the order of the Blue Blanket was indituted by Pope Urban II., about 1200, and so is older than any order of knighthood in Europe. According to this author, vast numbers of Scottish mechanics having followed to the Holy War, took with them a banner bearing the inscription- “ In bona voluntate tua ed9center muri Jerusalem,” which they styled the banner of the Holy Ghost, though, from its colour, familiarly called “ The Blue Blanket; ” and this, on their return, they dedicated to St Eloi’s altar in St Giles’s Church. Whatever foundation there may be for this remoter origin, it is undoubted that James 111. at this time, in requital of the eminent services of the burghers, confirmed them in many privileges, and bestowed on them this ensign, with their heraldic bearings embroidered by the Queen’s own hands. It has eYer since been kept in the charge of the kirk-master or deacon-convener of the crafts for the time being ; every burgher, not only of the capital, but of Scotland, being held bound to rally at the summons, when it is unfurled. Within a brief period after the incidents related, the Duke of Albany being confined a prisoner in the Castle, succeeded in effecting his escape in a very daring fashion. His rivals having just obtained their own deliverance, “ counselled the King to justfy the Duke his brother ; ” which being known at the court of France, a French ship arrived in Leith Roads the very day before his intended “justification,” the captain of which sent a messenger to the Duke, offering to supply him with a stock of wines ; and a confidential servant being thereupon sent for “two bosses full of Malvesy ; ” they were returned by him, the one containing a letter informing him of the design against his life, and the other filled with cord to aid him in his escape. Acting on this advice, he invited the captain of the Castle to supper, and so liberally dispensed the supposed new supply of wine among his guard, that watching his opportunity, he and his faithful attendant succeeded in overpowering them, and putting them to the sword; and escapiug to an unguarded wall of the Castle, they let themselves down by the cord, and so escaped to the French ship ; the Uuke carrying his attendant on his back, his thigh having been broken in dropping from the wall. So that his escape was not discovered till the nobles arrived on the following morning to wait on the King-then himself residing in the Castle-and to witness the execution. During this and succeeding reigns, the Parliaments continued to assemble generally at Edinburgh, although Stirling Castle was the favourite residence of‘ James IIL, where he retired from the cares of the state ; and there in particular he found opportunity for displaying that love for “ building and trimming up of chapels, halls, and gardens,” ’ with which Drummond charges him, as a taste that usually pertains to the lovers of idleness. His love of display seems to have been shown on every opportunity during his residence at Edinburgh. We learn from the same authority, he acquired an easily won character for devotion, by his habit of riding in procession from the Abbey of Holyrood to the churches in the high town, every Wednesday and Friday. King James 111. was slain on the 8th of June 1488, by his own rebellious nobles, on the field of Stirling, nearly on the same arena as had been the scene of Scotland’s greatest victory under the Bruce. Whatever view the historian may take of this Monarch’s character and influence on the nation, he contributed more than any other of the , Put to death. Hawthornden, p. 81.