418 HEMORIALS OF EDINBURGH. English invaders; and in 1567, its whole possessions passed into the hands of laymen,- and its inmates were driven forth from the cloisters within whose shelter they had maintained the ‘severe rules of their order with such strictness that even the pungent satirist, Sir David Lindsay, exempts them from the unsparing censure of his pen. In the first act of The Satyre. of the Three Estaitis, Veritie enters with the English Bible in her hand, and is forthwith pronounced by the Parson a Lutheran, and remanded to the stocks. Chnstitie follows, and in vain appeals to the Lady Prioress, the AGbot, the Parson, and my Lord Temporalitie, all of whom give the preference to Dame Sensualitie, and ignominiously dismiss her, until at length she is also consigned to the stocks. In her appeal to my Lord Temporalitie, she tells him she has come to prove “ the temporal state,” because the nuns have driven her out of doors. Nevertheless, in The Complaynt of the Papingo, when scared by the sensuality of ‘( The sillie nunnis,” “ Chaistitie thare na langer wald abyde ; Sa for refuge, fast to the freiris scho fled, Quhilkis said, thay waId of ladpis tak na cure : Quhare bene scho now, than said the gredie Gled 4 Nocht amang yow, said echo, I yow rasure : I traist scho bene, upon the Burrow-mure, Besouth Edinburgh, and that richt rnony menis, Profeat amang the sisteris of the Schenis. Thare hes scho fund hir mother Povertie, And Devotioun her awin sister carnal1 : Thare hath scho fund Faith, Hope, and Cheritie, Togidder with the vertues cardinall : Thare hes scho fund ane convent, yet unthrdl, To dame Sensuall, nor with Riches abuait, Sa quietlye those lad* bene inclusit.” About three miles to the south of the Convent of St Katherine de Sienna is the Balm Well of St Katherine, celebrated in ancient times for its miraculous powers in curing all cutaneous diseases, and still resorted to for its medicinal virtues. St Katherine, it is said, was commissioned by the pious Queen of Malcolm Canmore, to bring home some oil from Mount Sinai, and staying to rest herself by this well on her return, she chanced to drop some of the oil into the water, from which its peculiar characteristic, as well as its miraculous powers, were affirmed to be derived. A black bituminous substance constantly floats on the water, believed to be derived from the coal-seams that abound in the neighbourhood, and perhaps justly commands the faith still reposed in it as a remedy for the diseases to which it is applied. A chapel was erected near it, and dedicated to St Margaret, but no vestige of it now remains. Thither, it is said, the nuns of the convent on the Borough Moor were wont to proceed annually in solemn procession, to visit the chapel and well, in honour of St Katherine. When James VI. returned to Scotland in 1617, he visited the well, and commanded it to be enclosed with an ornamental building, with a flight of steps to afford ready access to the healing waters; but this was demolished by the soldiers of Cromwell, and the well now remains enclosed with plain stone work, as it was partially repaired at the Restoration.’ With the last foundation of the adherents of the old faith we may fitly close these Memo- ] Archaeol. $cot. vol. i. p. 323.
ECCLESIA S TICA L ANTIQUITIES. 419 rials of the olden time. An unpicturesque fragment of the ruins of the Convent of St Katherine de Sienna still remains, and serves as a sheep-fold for the flocks that pasture in the neighbouring meadow ; and the name of the Sciennes, by which the ancient Mure-burgh is now known, preserves some slight remembrance of the abode of I‘ the Sisters of the Schenis,” where Chastitie found hospitable welcome, at a time when the bold Scottish satirist represents her as spurned from every other door. A few notes, in reference to more recent ecclesiastical erections, are reserved for the Appendix ; but there is something in the flimsy and superficial character of our modern religious edifices, which, altogether apart from the sacred or historical associations attached to them, deprives them of that interest with which we view the architectural remains of the Middle Ages. Instead of stuccoed ceilings and plaster walls, we h d , in the old fabrics, solid ribs of stone, and the arched vaulting adorned with intricate mouldings and richly sculptured bosses. The clustered piers below, that range along the solemn aisles, are like the huge oaks of the forest, and their fan-like groinings like the spreading boughs, from whence their old builders have been supposed to have drawn the first idea of these massive columns and the o’erarching roof. After all, the olden time with which we have dealt is a comparatively modern one. ‘She relics even of St Margaret’s Chapel, and St David‘a Monastery, and the Maiden Castle, which Chalmera ranks only as “ first of modern antiques,” mould possess but poor claims to our interest, as mere antiquities, beside the temples of Egypt or the marble columns of the Acropolis. The Castle, indeed, is found to have been occupied as a stronghold as far back as any trustworthy record extends ; and beyond this our older British chroniclers relate, as authentic, traditions which assip to it an origin nearly coeval with the Temple of Solomon, and centuries before the founding of Rome I Wyntoun records of the renowned Kyng Ebrawce,” who flourished 989 years before the Christian era :- “ He byggsd EDYNBWBwGyEth t-alle, And gert thaim Allynclowd it calle, The Maydyn castell, in Bum place The sorowful Hil it callyd waa.” Coming down a little nearer our own day, we arrive at the era of Fergus the First, the famed progenitor of one hundred and eighteen sovereigns, ‘( of the same unspotted blood and royal line,” who began his reign 330 years before Christ. Fergus, however, was no plebeian upstart. He again traced his descent from Mileaius, who reigned in Ireland 1300 years before. the Christian era, and “ who makes the twenty-sixth degree inclusively from Noe ; the twenty-first from Niul, a son of Fenius-farsa, king of Scythia, a prince very knowing in all the languages then spoken ; the twentieth from Gaedhal-Glass, a contemporary with Moses and Pharaoh ; the seventeenth inclusively from Heber-Scot, an excellent bow-man I ” a Upon the whole, we are put in the fair way of tracing King Fergus’s genealogy back to Adam,-a very satisfactory and credible beginning, in case anyeof its more recent steps should be thought to stand in need of additional proof. Leaving such famous worthies of the olden time, we come thereafter to Edwin, king of Northumbria, of whom we possess trustworthy historic account, and who, there seems no reason to doubt, gave his Caledonia, vol. ii. p. 669. ’ Dr Matthew Remedy, Ahercromby’a Martial Achievements, voL i p. 4.