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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. III


102 OLD AND NEW EDINBURGH. [Galton Hill, thirteenth century, it was not until 1518, when the Provost James, Earl of Arran, and the Bailies of the city, conveyed by tharter, under date 13th April, to John Malcolme, Provipcial of the Carmelites, and his successors, their lands of Greenside, and the chapel or kirk of the Holy Cross there, The latter had been an edifice built at some remote period, of which no record now remains, but it served as the nucleus of this CarmeIite monastery, nearly the last of the religious foundations in Scotland prior to the Reformation. In December, 1520, the Provost (Robert Logan .of Coatfield), the 3ailies and Council, again con- Jerred the ground and place of ? the Greensyde to the Freris Carmelitis, now beand in the Ferry, for their reparation and bigging to be maid,? and Sir Thomas Cannye was constituted chaplain thereof. From this it would appear that the friary had ,been in progress, and that till ready for their Teception the priests were located at the Queens- .ferry, most probably in the Carmelite monastery built there in 1380 by Sir George Dundas of that ilk. . In October, 1525, Sir Thomas, chaplain .of the pkce and kirk of the Rood of Greenside, got seisin ?thairof be the guid town,? .and delivered the keys into the hands of the magistrates in favour of Friar John Malcolmson, .??Jro mareraZZ (sic) of the ordour,? In 1534, two persons, named David Straiton and Norman Gourlay, the latter a priest, were tried for heresy and sentenced to be burned at the stake. On the 27th of August they were d e d to the Rood of Greenside, and there suffered .that terrible death. After the suppression of the -order, the buildings mus, have been tenantless until 1591, when they were converted into a hospital for lepers, founded by John Robertson, a benevolent merchant of the city, ?pursuant to a vow on his receiving a signal mercy from God.? ? At the institution of this hospital,? says Arnot, .?? seven lepers, all of them inhabitants of Edinburgh, were admitted in one day. The seventy of the lregulations which the magistrates appointed to be .observed by those admitted, segregating them from the rest of mankind, and commanding them to remain within its walls day and night, demonstrate the loathsome and infectious nature of the distemper.? A gallows whereon to hang those who violated the rules was erected at one end of the hospital, and even to open its gate between sunset and sunrise ensured the penalty of death. It is a curious circumstance that, though not a stone remains of the once sequestered Carmelite monastery, there is still perpetuated, as in the case of the abbots of Westminster, in the convent of the Carmelites at Rome, an official who bears the title of IZ Padre Priore rii Greenside. (?Lectures on the Antiquities of Edin.,? 184s.) In- the low valley which skirts the north-eastern base of the hill, now occupied by workshops and busy manufactories, was the place for holding tournaments, open-air plays, and revels. In 1456 King James 11. granted under his great seal, in favour of the magistrates and community of the city and their successors for ever, the valley and low ground lying betwixt the rock called Cragingalt on the east, and the common way and passage on the west (now known as Greenside) for performing thereon tournaments, sports, and other warlike deeds, at the pleasure of the king and his successors. This grant was &ted at Edinburgh, 13th of August, in presence of the Bishops of St, Andrews and Brechin, the Lords Erskine, Montgomery, Darnley, Lyle, and others, This place witnessed the earIiest efforts of the dramatic muse in Scotland, for many of those pieces in the Scottish language by Sir David Lindesay, such as his ?? Pleasant Satyre of the Three Estaits,? were acted in the play field there, ?when weather served,? between 1539 and 1544 ; but in consequence of the tendency of these representations to expose the lives of the Scottish clergy, by a council of the Church, held at the Black Friary in March, 1558, Sir David?s books were ordered to be burned by the public executioner. ? The Pleasant Satyre ? was played at Greenside, in 1544, in presence of the Queen Regent, ?as is mentioned,? says Wilson, ?by Henry Charteris, the bookseller, who sat patiently nine hours on the bank to witness the play. It so far surpasses any effort of contemporary English dramatists, that it renders the barrenness of the Scottish muse in . this department afterwards the more apparent.? Ten years subsequent a new place would seem to have been required, as we find in the ?Burgh Records? in 1554, the magistrates ordaining their treasurer, Robert Grahame, to pay ?? the Maister of Werke the soume of xlij Zi xiij s iiij d, makand in hale the soume of IOO merks, and that to complete the play field, now bigging in the Greensid.? This place continued to be used as the scene of feats of arms until the reign of Mary, and there, Pennant relates, Bothwell first attracted her attention, by leaping his horse into the ring, after galioping ?down the dangerous steeps of the the adjacent hill ?-a very apocryphal story. Until the middle-of the last century this place was all unchanged. ? In my walk this evening,? he writes in 1769, ?I passed by a deep and wide hollow ?
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Wton Hill.] THE BURGH OF CALTON. 103 r beneath the Caltoun Hill, the .place where those imaginary criminals, witches, and sorcerers in less enlightened times were burned ; and where at festive seasons the gay and gallant held their tilts and tournaments.? On the north-westem shoulder of the hill stands the modern Established Church of Greenside, at the end of the Royal Terrace, a conspicuous and attractive feature among the few architectural decorations of that district. Its tower rises IOO feet above the porch, is twenty feet square, and contains a bell of 10 cwt. The main street of the old barony of the Calton was named, from the ancient chapel which stood there, St. Ninian?s Row, and a place so called still exists; and the date and name ST. NINIAN?S Row, 1752, yet remains on the ancient well. 01 old, the street named the High Calton, was known as the Craig End. In those days?a body existed known as the High Constables of the Calton, but the new Municipality Act having extinguished the ancient boundaries of the city, the constabulary, in 1857, adopted the following resolution, which is written on vellum, to the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland :- ? The district of Calton, or Caldton, formed at one time part of the estate.of the Elphinstone family, one of whom-% James, third son of the third Lord Elphinstone-was created Lord &Imerino in 1603-4 In 1631 the then Lord Balmerino granted a charter to the trades of Calton, constituting them a society or corporation ; and in 1669 a royal charter was obtained from Charles II., erecting the district into a burgh of barony. A court was held by a bailie appointed by the lord of the manor, and there was founded in . connectiontherewith, the Societyof Highconstables of Calton, who have been elected by, and have continued to act under, the orders of succeeding Baron Bailies. Although no mention is made 01 our various constabulary bodies in the ? Municipality Extension Act, 1856,? the venerable office of Baron Bailie has thereby become extinct, and the .ancient burghs of Canongate, Calton, Eastern and Western Portsburgh, are now annexed to the city. UnGer these circumstances the constabulary of Calton held an extraordinary meeting on the 17th of March, 1857, at which, infer alia, the following inotion was carried with acclamation, viz. ? That the burgh having ceased to exist, the con stabulary, in order that some of the relics and other insignia belonging to this body should be preserved for the inspection of future generations, unanimously resolve to present as a free gift to the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Scotland the. following, viz :-Constabulary baton, I 747, moderator? s official baton, marble bowl, moderator?? state staff, silver-mounted horn with fourteefi medals, members? small baton; report on the origin and standing of the High Constables OF Calton, 1855, and the laws of the society, 1847.?? These relics of the defunct little burgh are consequently now preserved at the museum in the Royal Institution. A kind of round tower, or the basement thereof, is shown above the south-west angle of the CaltoE cliffs in Gordon?s view in 1647 ; but of any such edifice no record remains ; and in the hollow where Nottingham Place lies now, a group of five isolated houses, called ? Mud Island,? appears in the maps. of 1787 and 1798. In 1796, and at many other times, the magistrates ordained that ? All-hallowfair be held on the lands of Calton Hill,? as an open and uncnclosed place, certainly a perilous one, for tipsy drovers and obstinate cattle. An agriculturist named Smith farmed the hill and lands adjacent, now covered by great masses of building, for several years, till about the close of the 18th century; and his son, Dr. John Smith, who was born in 1798, died only in February, 1879, afterbeing fifty years physician tQ the old charity workhouse in Forrest Road, . In 1798, when the Rev. Rowland Hill (thefamous son of Sir Rowland Hill, of Shropshire). visited Edinburgh for the first time, he preached in some of the churches every other day, but the crowds became so immense, that at last he was induced to hold forth from a platform erected on the Calton Hili, where his audience was reckoned. at not less than 10,000, and the interest excited by his eloquence is said to have been beyond all precedent. On his return from the West, he preached on the hill again to several audiences,. and on the last of these occasions, when a collection, was made for the charity workhouse, fully zo,oom were present. Long years after, when speaking to a. friend of the multitude whom he had addressed, there, he said, pleasantly, ? Well do I remember the spot ; but I understand that it has now been converted into a den of thieves,? referring to the gaol now built on the ground where his platform stood. The first great cba,nge in the aspect of the hill was effected by the formation of the Regent Road, which was cut through the old burying-ground, the soil of which avenue was decently carted away, covered with white palls, and full of remnants of humanity, to the new Calton burying-ground on] the southern slope ; and the second was the open
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