Picture of Thomas Pennant

Thomas Pennant


places mentioned

July 17-23: The Borders and Edinburgh

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Almost immediately on leaving Berwick , enter

S C O T L A N D,

in the shire of Merch , or Mers .62 A little way from Berwick , on the west, is Halydon hill, famous for the overthrow of the Scots under the regent Douglas , by Edward III. on the attempt of the former to raise the siege of the town. A cruel action blasted the laurels of the conqueror: Seton , the deputy governor,63 stipulated to surrender in fifteen days, if not relieved in that time, and gave his son as hostage for the performance. The time elapsed; Seton refused to execute the agreement, and with a Roman unfeelingness beheld the unhappy youth hung before the walls.

The entrance into Scotland has a very unpromising look; for it wanted, for some miles, the cultivation of the parts more distant from England : but the borders were necessarily neglected; for, till the accession of James VI. and even long after, the national enmity was kept up, and the borderers of both countries discouraged from improvements by the barbarous inroads of each nation. This inattention to agriculture continued till lately; but on reaching the small village of Eytown , the scene was greatly altered; the wretched cottages, or rather hovels of the country, were vanishing; good comfortable houses arise in their stead; the lands are inclosing, and yield very good barley, oats, and clover; the banks are planting: I speak in the present tense; for there is still a mixture of the old negligence left amidst the recent improvements, which look like the works of a new colony, in a wretched impoverished country.

COLDINGHAM.

Soon after the country relapses; no arable land is seen; but for four or five miles succeeds the black joyless heathy moor of Coldingham : happily, this is the whole specimen that remains of the many miles, which, not many years ago, were in the same dreary unprofitable state. Near this was the convent of that name immortalized by the heroism of its Nuns; who, to preserve themselves inviolate from the Danes , cut off their lips and noses; and thus rendering themselves objects of horror, were, in 870, with their abbess Ebba , burnt in the monastery by the disappointed savages. In 1216, it was burnt again by King John , in an inroad little less cruel.

This nunnery was the oldest in Scotland . For in this place the virgin-wife, Etheldreda , took the veil in 670: But by the antient name, Coludum ,64 it should seem that it had before been inhabited by the religious called Culdees . After its destruction by the Danes , it lay deserted till the year 1098, when Edgar founded on its site a priory of Benedictines , in honor of St. Cuthbert ; and bestowed it on the monks of Durham , with all lands, waters, wrecks, &c.65

At the end of the moor came at once in sight of the Firth 66 of Forth , the Boderia of Ptolemy ; a most extensive prospect of that great arm of the sea, of the rich country of East Lothian , the Bass Isle ; and at a distance the Isle of May , the coast of the county of Fife , and the country as far as Montrose .

After going down a long descent, dine at Old Cambus , at a mean house, in a poor village; where I believe the Lord of the soil is often execrated by the weary traveller, for not enabling the tenant to furnish more comfortable accommodations, in so considerable a thoroughfare.

The country becomes now extremely fine; bounded at a distance, on one side, by hills, on the other, by the sea: the intervening space is as rich a tract of corn land as I ever saw; for East Lothian is the Northamptonshire of North Britain : the land is in many places manured with sea tang; but I was informed, that the barley produced from it is much lighter than barley from other manure.

DUNBAR.

On the side of the hills, on the left, is Sir John Hall's , of Dunglas , a fine situation, with beautiful plantations. Pass by Broxmouth , a large house of the Duke of Roxborough , in a low spot, with great woods surrounding it. Reach Dunbar: the chief street broad and handsome; the houses built of stone; as is the case with most of the towns in Scotland . There are some ships sent annually from this place to Greenland , and the exports of corn are pretty considerable. The harbour is safe, but small; its entrance narrow, and bounded by two rocks. Between the harbour and the castle is a very surprising stratum of stone, in some respects resembling that of the Giant's Causeway in Ireland : it consists of great columns of a red grit stone, either triangular, quadrangular, pentangular, or hexangular; their diameter from one to two feet, their length at low water thirty, dipping or inclining a little to the south.

They are jointed but not so regularly, or so plainly, as those that form the Giant's Causeway . The surface of several that had been torn off, appear as a pavement of numbers of convex ends, probably answering to the concave bottoms of other joints once incumbent on them. The space between the columns was filled with thin septa of red and white sparry matter, and veins of the same pervaded the columns transversely. This range of columns faces the north, with a point to the east, and extends in front about two hundred yards. The breadth is inconsiderable: the rest of the rock degenerates into shapeless masses of the same sort of stone, irregularly divided by thick septa. This rock is called by the people of Dunbar , the Isle .

Opposite are the ruins of the castle, seated on a rock above the sea; underneath one part is a vast cavern, composed of a black and red stone, which gives it a most infernal appearance; a fit representation of the pit of Acheron ., and wanted only to be peopled with witches to make the scene complete; it appears to have been the dungeon, there being a formed passage from above, where the poor prisoners might have been let down, according to the barbarous custom of war in early days. There are in some parts, where the rock did not close, the remains of walls, for the openings are only natural fissures; but the founders of the castle, taking advantage of this cavity, adding a little art to it, rendered it a most complete and secure prison.

On the other side are two natural arches, through which the tide flowed; under one was a fragment of wall, where there seems to have been a portal for the admission of men or provisions from sea: through which it is probable that Alexander Ramsay , in a stormy night, reinforced the garrison, in spite of the fleet which lay before the place, when closely besieged by the English , in 1337, and gallantly defended for nineteen weeks by that heroine black Agnes , Countess of March .67

Through one of these arches was a most picturesque view of the Bass Isle , with the sun setting in full splendor; through the other of the many island, gilt by its beams.

Over the ruins of a window were the three legs, or arms of the Isle of Man , a lion rampant, and a St. Andrew's cross.

In the church is the magnificent monument of Sir George Hume , Earl of Dunbar , the worthiest and best Scotch Minister of James VI. till he chose his favorites for their personal, instead of their intellectual accomplishments: moderate, prudent, and successfull in the management of the Scotch affairs: and, as Spots-wood remarks,

a man of deep wit, few words, and in his Majesty's service no less faithfull than fortunate: the most difficile affairs he compassed without any noise; and never returned when he was employed without the work performed that he was sent to do:

to his honor, he recommended the temperate, firm, and honest Abbot to the see of Canterbury , and by his assistance gave peace to the Church of Scotland , too soon interrupted by their deaths. Dunbar's merit is evident; for the weaknesses and the infamy of his Master's reign did not commence during the period of his power.

The monument is a large and beautiful structure of marble, decorated with arms, figures, and fluted pillars. The Earl is represented in armour, kneeling; with a cloak hanging loosely on him. The inscription imports no more than his titles and the day of his death, January 29th, 1610.

Near this town were fought two battles fatal to the Scots . The first in 1296; when the Earls of Surrey and Warwick , Generals of Edward I. defeated the army of Baliol , took the castle, and delivered the nobility they found in it to the English monarch, who, with his usual cruelty, devoted them all to death.

The other was the celebrated victory of Cromwel , in 1650; when the covenanting army chose rather to fight under the direction of the Ministers than the command of their Generals: and the event was correspondent. These false prophets gave the troops assurance of victory; and many of them fell in the fight with the lying spirit in their mouths. Cromwel had the appearance of enthusiasm; they the reality; for when the artful usurper saw their troops descend from the heights from whence they might without a blow have starved the whole English army, he, with a well-founded confidence, exclamed, THE LORD HATH DELIVERED THEM INTO OUR HANDS. Cromwel at that instant was in the situation of Hannibal before the battle of Cannę . The exultation of the Carthaginian was the same, delivered indeed by his historian with greater eloquence.68

But the castle has been the scene of very different transactions. In 1567 it was in possession of the infamous Earl Bothwell , who here committed the simulated outrage on the person of the fair Mary Stuart : she certainly seems to have had foreknowlege of the violence; and the affront she sustained, was but a pignus direptum male pertinaci . Here also the Earl retreated, after being given up by his mistress at the capitulation of Carberry hill; and from hence he took his departure for his long, but merited misery.

In this town was a convent of Mathurines , founded by Patrick Earl of Dunbar and March , in 1218; and another of Carmelites or white friers, in 1263.

JULY 18.

Rode within sight of Tantallon castle, now a wretched ruin; once the seat of the powerful Archibald Douglas , Earl of Angus , which for some time resisted all the efforts of James V. to subdue it.


LOCH LEVEN CASTLE.


THE BASS ISLE FROM TANTELLON CASTLE.

BASS ISLE.

A little further, about a mile from the shore, lies the Bass Island, or rather rock, of a most stupendous height; on the south side the top appears of a conic shape, but the other overhangs the sea in a most tremendous manner. The castle, which was once the state prison of Scotland , is now neglected: it lies close to the edge of the precipice, facing the little village of Castleton ; where I took boat, in order to visit this singular spot; but the weather proved unfavorable; the wind blew so fresh, and the waves ran so high, that it was impossible to attempt landing; for even in calmer weather it cannot be done without hazard, there being a steep rock to ascend, and commonly a great swell, which often removes the boat, while you are scaling the precipice; so, in case of a false step, there is the chance of falling into a water almost unfathomable.

GANNETS.

Various sorts of water fowl repair annually to this rock to breed; but none in greater numbers than the Gannets , or Soland geese, multitudes of which were then sitting on their nests near the sloping part of the isle, and others flying over our boat: it is not permitted to shoot at them, the place being farmed principally on account of the profit arising from the sale of the young of these birds, and of the Kittiwake , a species of gull, so called from its cry. The first are sold at Edinburgh 69 for twenty-pence apiece, and served up roasted a little before dinner. This is the only kind of provision whose price has not been advanced; for we learn from Mr. Ray , that it was equally dear above a century ago.70 It is unnecessary to say more of this singular bird, as it has been very fully treated of in the second volume of the British Zoology .

With much difficulty landed at North Berwick , three miles distant from Castleton , the place we intended to return to. The first is a small town pleasantly seated near a high conic hill, partly planted with trees: it is seen at a great distance, and is called North Berwick Law : a name given to several other high hills in this part of the island.

PRESTON PANS.

Pass through Abberladie and Preston Pans : the last takes its name from its salt-pans, there being a considerable work of that article; also another of vitriol. Saw at a small distance the field of battle, or rather of carnage, known by the name of the battle of Preston Pans , where the Rebels gave a lesson of severity, which was more than retaliated the following spring at Culloden . Observed, in this day's ride (I forget the spot) Seaton , the once princely seat of the Earl of Wintoun , now a ruin; judiciously left in that state, as a proper remembrance of the sad fate of those who engage in rebellious politicks.

BATTLE OF PINKIE.

Pinkie and Carberry hill lie a little west of the road, a few miles from Edinburgh ; each of them famed in history. The first noted for the fatal overthrow of the Scots under their Regent, the Earl of Arran , on September the 10th, 1547, by the Protector, Duke of Somerset . Ten thousand Scots fell that day: and by this rough courtship, Mary Stuart , then in her minority, was frightened into the arms of the Dauphin of France , instead of sharing the crown of England with her amiable cousin Edward VI. Twenty years after, Carberry hill proved a spot still more pregnant with misfortunes to this imprudent princess. Her army, in 1567, occupied the very camp possessed by the English before the battle of Pinkie . Here, with the profligate Bothwell , she hoped to make a stand against her insurgent nobles. Her forces, terrified with the badness of the cause, declined the fight. She surrendered to the confederates; while her husband, by the connivance of Morton and others, partakers of his crimes, retired, and escaped his merited punishment.

EDINBURGH.

At Musselburgh cross the Esk near its mouth. There are great marks of improvement on approaching the capital; the roads good, the country very populous, numbers of manufactures carried on, and the prospect embellished with gentlemen's seats. Reach

E D I N B U R G H,71

A city that possesses a boldness and grandeur of situation beyond any that I had ever seen. It is built on the edges and sides of a vast sloping rock, of a great and precipitous height at the upper extremity, and the sides declining very quick and steep into the plain. The view of the houses at a distance strikes the traveller with wonder; their own loftiness, improved by their almost aerial situation, gives them a look of magnificence not to be found in any other part of Great Britain . All these conspicuous buildings form the upper part of the great street, are of stone, and make a handsome appearance: they are generally six or seven stories high in front; but, by reason of the declivity of the hill, much higher backward; one in particular, called Babel , had about twelve or thirteen stories, before the fire in 1700, but is now reduced to ten or eleven. Every house has a common staircase, and every story is the habitation of a separate family. The inconvenience of this particular structure need not be mentioned; notwithstanding the utmost attention, in the article of cleanliness, is in general observed. The common complaint of the streets of Edinburgh is now taken away, by the vigilance of the magistrates,72 and their severity against any that offend in any gross degree.73 It must be observed, that this unfortunate species of architecture arose from the turbulence of the times in which it was in vogue: every body was desirous of getting as near as possible to the protection of the castle; the houses were crouded together, and I may say, piled one upon another, merely on the principle of security.

CASTLE.

The castle is antient, but strong, placed on the summit of the hill, at the edge of a very deep precipice. Strangers are shewn a very small room in which Mary , Queen of Scots was delivered of James VI.

[Plate VI appears near here in the 1800 edition.]

From this fortress is a full view of the city and its environs; a strange prospect of rich country, with vast rocks and mountains intermixed. On the south and east are the meadows, or the public walks, Herriot's hospital, part of the town overshadowed by the stupendous rocks of Arthur's seat and Salisbury Craigs , the Pentland hills at a few miles distance, and at a still greater, those of Muirfoot , whole sides are covered with verdant turf.

To the north is a full view of the Firth of Forth , from Queen's Ferry to its mouth, with its southern banks covered with towns and villages. On the whole the prospect is singular, various, and fine.

RESERVOIR.

The reservoir of water74 for supplying the city lies in the Castlestreet , and is well worth seeing: the great cistern contains near two hundred and thirty tuns of water, which is conveyed to the several conduits, that are disposed, at proper distances in the principal streets; these are conveniencies that few towns in North Britain are without.

ADVOCATE'S LIBRARY.

On the south side of the High-street , is the Parlement Close, a small square, in which is the Parlement House, where the Courts of justice are held. Below stairs is the Advocate's library founded by Sir George Mackenzie , and now contains above thirty thousand volumes, and several manuscripts: among the more curious are the four Evangelists, very legible, notwithstanding it is said to be several hundred years old.

St. Jerome's Bible, wrote about the year 1,100.

A Malabar book, written on leaves of plants.

A Turkish manuscript, illuminated in some parts like a missal. Elogium in Sultan Morad filium filii Soliman Turcici. Script. Constantinopoli. Anno Hegirę . 992.

Cartularies, or records of the monasteries, some very antient.

A very large Bible, bound in four volumes; illustrated with scripture prints, by the first engravers, pasted in, and collected at a vast expence. There are besides great numbers of antiquities, not commonly shown, except enquired after.

The Luckenbooth row, which contains the Tolbooth , or city prison, and the weighing-house, which brings in a revenue of 500 l. per annum , stands in the middle of the High-street , and with the guardhouse, contributes to spoil as fine a street as most in Europe , being in some parts eighty feet wide and finely built.

The exchange is a handsome modern building, in which is the custom-house: the first is of no use in its proper character; for the merchants always chuse standing in the open street, exposed to all kinds of weather.

The old cathedral is now called the New Church, and is divided into four places of worship; in one the Lords of the Sessions attend: there is also a throne and a canopy for his Majesty should he visit this capital, and another for the Lord Commissioner. There is no music either in this or any other of the Scotch churches, for Peg still faints at the sound of an organ. This is the more surprizing, as the Dutch , who have the same established religion, are extremely fond of that solemn instrument; and even in the great church of Geneva the Psalmody is accompanied with an organ.

The part of the same called St. Giles's church has a large tower, oddly terminated with a sort of crown.

ROMAN HEADS.

On the front of a house in the Nether Bow , are two fine profile heads of a man and a woman, of Roman sculpture, supposed to be those of Severus and Julia : but, as appears from an inscription75 made by the person who put them into the wall, were mistaken for Adam and Eve .

Near the Trone church are the remains of the house, (now a tavern) where Mary Stuart was confined the night after the battle of Carberry .

HOLY-ROOD HOUSE.

At the end of the Cannongate-street stands Holy-Rood palace, originally an abby founded by David I. in 1128. The towers on the N. W. side were erected by James V. together with other buildings, for a royal residence: according to the editor of Camden , great part, except the towers above-mentioned, were burnt by Cromwell ; but the other towers, with the rest of this magnificent palace, as it now stands, were executed by Sir William Bruce , by the directions of Charles II.; within is a beautiful square, with piazzas on every side. It contains great numbers of fine apartments; some, that are called the King's, are in great disorder, the rest are granted to several of the nobility.

In the Earl of Breadalbane's , are some good portraits,

William Duke of Newcastle , by Vandyck ;

And by Sir Peter Lely , the Duke and Dutchess of Lauderdale , and Edward Earl of Jersey . There is besides a very good head of a boy by Morrillio , and some views of the fine scenes near his Lordship's seat at Taymouth .

At Lord Dunmore's lodgings is a very large piece of Charles I. and his Queen going to ride, with the sky showering roses on them; a Black holds a grey horse; the celebrated Jeffery Hudson 76 the dwarf with a spaniel in a string, and several other dogs sporting round: the Queen is painted with a love-lock, and with browner hair and compaction, and younger, than I ever saw her drawn. It is a good piece, and was the work of Mytens , predecessor in fame to Vandyck . In the same place are two other good portraits of Charles II. and James VII.

The gallery of this palace takes up one side, and is filled with colossal portraits of the Kings of Scotland .

In the old towers are shewn the apartments where the murther of David Rizzo was committed.

CHAPEL.

That beautiful piece of gothic architecture, the church, or chapel, of Holy-Rood Abby , is now a ruin, the roof having fallen in, by a most scandalous neglect, notwithstanding money had been granted by Government to preserve it entire. Beneath the ruins lie the bodies of James II, and James V. Henry Darnly , and several other persons of rank: and the inscriptions on several of their tombs are preserved by Maitland . A gentleman informed me, that some years ago he had seen the remains of the bodies, but in a very decayed state: the beards remained on some; and that the bones of Henry Darnly proved their owner by their great size, for he was said to be seven feet high.

PARKS.

Near this palace is the Park , first inclosed by James V.; within are the vast rocks,77 known by the names of Arthur's Seat and Salisbury's Craigs ; their fronts exhibit a romantic and wild scene of broken rocks and vast precipices, which from some points seem to over-hang the lower parts of the city. Great columns of stone, from forty to fifty feet in length, and about three feet in diameter, regularly pentagonal, or hexagonal, hang down the face of some of there rocks almost perpendicularly, or with a very slight dip, and form a strange appearance. Beneath this stratum is a quarry of free-stone. Considerable quantities of stone from the quarries have been cut and sent to London for paving the streets, its great hardness rendering it excellent for that purpose. Beneath these hills are some of the most beautiful walks about Edinburgh , commanding a fine prospect over several parts of the country.

On one side of the Park are the ruins of St. Anthony's chapel, once the resort of numberless votaries; and near it is a very plentiful spring.

HERRIOT'S HOSPITAL.

The south part of the city has several things worth visiting. Herriot's hospital is a fine old building, much too magnificent for the end proposed, that of educating poor children. It was founded by George Herriot , jeweller to James VI, who followed that monarch to London , and made a large fortune. There is a fine view of the castle, and the sloping part of the city, from the front: the gardens were once the resort of the gay; and there the Scotch poets often laid, in their comedies, the scenes of intrigue.

In the church-yard of the Grey Friars, is the monument of Sir George Mackenzie , a rotunda; with a multitude of other tombs. This is one of the few cemeteries to this populous city; and from it is a very fine view of the castle, and the lofty street that leads to that fortress. The college is a mean building; it contains the houses of the Principal and a few of the Professors: the Principal's house is supposed to be on the site of that in which Henry Darnly was murdered, then belonging to the Provost of the Kirk of Field . The students of the university are dispersed over the town, and are about six hundred in number; but wear no academic habit. The students are liable to be called before the Professors, who have power of rebuking or expelling them: I cannot learn that either is ever exerted; but, as they are for the most part volunteers for knowlege, few of them desert her standards. There are twenty-two professors of different sciences, most of whom read lectures: all the chairs are very ably filled; those in particular which relate to the study of medicine, as is evident from the number of ingenious physicians, eleves of this university, who prove the abilities of their masters. The Museum has for many years been neglected.

INFIRMARY.

The royal infirmary is a spacious and handsome edifice, capable of containing two hundred patients. The operation-room is particularly convenient, the council-room elegant, with a good picture in it of Provost Drummond . From the cupola of this building is a fine prospect, and a full view of the city.

Not far from hence are twenty-seven acres of ground designed for a square, called George Square : a small portion is at present built, consisting of small but commodious houses, in the English fashion. Such is the spirit of improvement, that within these three years sixty thousand pounds have been expended in houses of the modern taste, and twenty thousand in the old.

Watson's hospital should not be forgot: a large good building, behind the Grey Friers church; an excellent institution for the educating and apprenticing the children of decayed merchants; who, after having served their time with credit, receive fifty pounds to set up with.

The meadows , or public walks, are well planted, and are very extensive: these are the mall of Edinburgh , as Comely Gardens are its Vauxhall .

The Cowgate is a long street, running parallel with the High- Street , beneath the steep southern declivity of the city, and terminates in the Grass-market , where cattle are fold, and criminals executed. On several of the houses are small iron crosses, which, I was informed, denoted that they once belonged to the Knights of St. John .

On the north side of the city lies the new town, which is planned with great judgment, and will prove a magnificent addition to Edinburgh ; the houses in St. Andrew's square cost from 1800 l. to 2000 l. each, and one or two 4000 or 5000 l. They are all built in the modern style, and are free from the inconveniences attending the old city.

These improvements are connected to the city by a very beautiful bridge, whose highest arch is ninety-five feet high.

In the walk of this evening, I pasted by a deep and wide hollow beneath Calton Hill, the place where those imaginary criminals, witches and sorcerers, in less enlightened times, were burnt; and where, at festive seasons, the gay and gallant held their tilts and tournaments. At one of these, it is said that the Earl of Bothwell made the first impression on the susceptible heart of Mary Stuart , having galloped into the ring down the dangerous steeps of the adjacent hill; for he seemed to think that

Women born to be control's!
Stoop to the forward and the bold.

The desperate feats were the humour of the times of chivalry: Brantome relates, that the Duc de Nemours galloped down the steps of the Sainte Chappel at Paris , to the astonishment of the beholders. The men cultivated every exercise that could preserve or improve their bodily strength; the ladies, every art that tended to exalt their charms: Mary is reported to have used a bath of white wine; a custom strange, but not without precedent. Jacques du Fouilloux , enraptured with a country girl, enumerating the arts which she scorned to use to improve her person, mentions this:

Point ne portoit de ce linge semelle
Pour amoindrir son seing et sa mammelle.
Vasquine nulle, ou aucun pelicon
Elle ne portoit, ce n'estoit sa facon.
Point ne prenoit vin blanc pour se baigner ,
Ne drogue encore pour sour son corps Alleger.78

At a small walk's distance from Calton Hill, lies the new botanic garden,79 consisting of five acres of ground, a green-house fifty feet long, two temperate rooms, each twelve feet, and two stoves, each twenty-eight: the ground rises to the north, and defends the plants from the cold winds: the soil a light sand, with a black earth on the surface. It is finely stocked with plants, whole arrangement and cultivation do much credit to my worthy friend Dr. Hope , Professor of Botany, who planned and executed the whole. It was begun in 1764, being founded by the munificence of his present Majesty, who granted fifteen hundred pounds for that purpose.

During this week's stay at Edinburgh , the prices of provisions were as follow:

      Beef, from 5d. to 3d. ½.
      Mutton, from 4d. to 3d. ½.
      Veal, from 5d. to 3d.
      Lamb, 2d. ½.
      Bacon, 7d.
Butter, in summer, 8d. in winter, 1s.
      Pigeons, per dozen, from 8d. to 5s.
      Chickens, per pair, 8d. to 1s.
      A fowl, 1s. 2d.
      Green goose, 3s.
      Fat goose, 2s. 6d.
      Large turkey, 4s. or 5s.
      Pig, 2s.
      Coals, 5d. or 6d. per hundred, delivered.

LEITH.

Many fine excursions may be made at a small distance from this city. Leith , a large town, about two miles north, lies on the Firth , is a flourishing place, and the port of Edinburgh . The town is dirty and ill built, and chiefly inhabited by sailors; but the pier is very fine, and is a much-frequented walk. The races were at this time on the sands, near low-water mark: considering their vicinity to a great city and populous country, the company was far from numerous; a proof that dissipation has not generally infected the manners of the North Britons .

Craigmellar castle is seated on a rocky eminence, about two miles south of Edinburgh ; is square, and has towers at each corner. Some few apartments are yet inhabited; but the rest of this great pile is in ruins. Mary Stuart sometimes made this place her residence.

Newbottle , the seat of the Marquess of Lothian , is a pleasant ride of a few miles from the capital. It was once a Cistercian abby, founded by David I. in 1140; but, in 1591, was erected into a lordship, in favour of Sir Mark Ker , son of Sir Walter Ker , of Cessford . The house lies in a warm bottom, and, like most other of the houses of the Scotch nobility, resembles a French Chateau , by having a village or little paltry town adjacent. The situation is very favorable to trees, as appears by the vast size of those near the house; and I was informed, that fruit ripens here within ten days as early as at Chelsea .

The Marquiss possesses a most valuable collection of portraits, many of them very fine, and almost all very instructive. A large half-length of Henry Darnly represents him tall, aukward and gauky, with a stupid, insipid countenance; most likely drawn after he had lost by intemperance and debauchery, those charms which captivated the heart of the amorous Mary .

A head of her mother, Marie de Guise ; not less beautiful than her daughter.

A head of Madame Monpensier , and of several other illustrious persons, who graced the court of Lewis XIII.

Prince Rupert and Prince Maurice , in one piece.

Some small portraits, studies of Vandyck ; among which is one of William Earl of Pembroke , of whom Lord Clarendon gives so advantageous a character.

A beautiful half-length of Henrietta , Queen of Charles I. Her charms almost apologize for the compliances of the uxorious monarch.

His daughter, the Dutchess of Orleans .

The wife of Philip the bold, inscribed Marga Mala, Lodo Mala .

Head of Robert Car , Earl of Somerset ; the countenance effeminate, small features, light flaxen or yellowish hair, and a very small beard: is an original of that worthless favorite, and proves that the figure given as his among the illustrious heads is erroneous, the last being represented as a robust black man. A print I have of him by Simon Pass is authentic: the plate is of octavo size, represents him in hair curled to the top; and in his robes, with the George pendent.

His father, Sir Robert Car of Fernihurst .

An Earl of Somerset? of whom I could get no account; handsome; with long light hair inclining to yellow: a head.

A full length of James I. by Jameson . Another of Charles I. when young, in rich armour, black and gold: a capital piece.

Lady Tufton ; a fine half-length.

Earl Morton , regent: half-length; a yellow beard.

A head of General Ruthven , Sir Patrick Ruthven , a favorite of Gustavus Adolphus ; knighted in his Majesty's tent in presence of the whole army at Darsaw in Prussia , on the 23d of September 1627. As potent in the campaigns of Bacchus as of Mars , and serviceable to his great master in both. He vanquished his enemies in the field; and by the strength of his head, and goodness of understanding, could in convivial hours extract from the ministers of unfriendly powers, secrets of the first importance. He passed afterwards into the service of Charles I. and behaved with the spirit and integrity that procured him the honors of Earl of Forth in Scotland , and afterwards Earl of Brentford in England . He died in a very advanced age in 1651.

Two very curious half-lengths on wood: one of a man with a long forked black beard; his jacket slashed down in narrow stripes from top to bottom, and the stripes loose: the other with a black full beard; the same sort of stripes, but drawn tight by a girdle.

The Doge of Venice , by Titian .

Three by Morillio ; boys and girls in low life.

A remarkable fine piece of our three first circum-navigators, Drake, Hawkins , and Candish ; half-length.

The heads of Mark Earl of Lothian , and his lady, by Sir Antonio More .

Mark Ker , prior of Newbottle , who, at the reformation, complied with the times, and got the estate of the abby.

SUBTERRANEOUS ROOMS.

In the woods adjacent to this seat are some subterraneous apartments and passages cut out of the live rock: they seem to have been excavated by the antient inhabitants of the country, either as receptacles for their provisions, or a retreat for themselves and families in time of war, in the same manner, as Tacitus relates, was customary with the old Germans .80

DALKEITH.

Two or three miles distant from Newbottle is Dalkeith , a small town, adjoining to Dalkeith House, the seat of the Duke of Buccleugh : originally the property of the Douglases ; and, when in form of a castle, of great strength; and during the time of the Regent Morton's retreat, styled the Lion's Den .

The portraits at Dalkeith are numerous, and some good: among others, the

First Duke of Richmond and his Dutchess.

TheDutchess of Cleveland .

Countess of Buccleugh , mother to the Dutchess of Monmouth , and Lady Eglington , her sister.

The Dutchess and her two sons: the Dutchess of York ; her hand remarkably fine: the Dutchess of Lenox .

Mrs. Lucy Waters , mother of the Duke of Monmouth , with his picture in her hand.

Dutchess of Cleveland and her son, an infant; she in character of a Madonna : fine.

The Duke of Monmouth , in character of a young St. John .

Lord Strafford and his Secretary; a small study of Vandyck .

Henry VIII. and Queen Catherine , with the divorce in her hand; two small pieces, by Holbein. Anna Bullen , by the same, dressed in a black gown, large yellow netted sleeves, in a black cap, peaked behind.

Lady Jane Gray , with long hair, black and very thick; not handsome; but the virtues and the intellectual perfections of that suffering innocent, more than supplied the absence of personal charms.

A large spirited picture of the Duke of Monmouth on horseback. The same in armour. All his pictures have a handsome likeness of his father.

Dutchess of Richmond , with a bow in her hand, by Sir Peter Lely .

A fine head of the late Duke of Ormond .

A beautiful head of Mary Stuart ; the face sharp, thin and young; yet has a likeness to some others of her pictures, done before misfortunes had altered her; her dress a strait gown, open at the top and reaching to her ears, a small cap, and small ruff, with a red rose in her hand.

In this palace is a room entirely furnished by Charles II, on occasion of the marriage of Monmouth , with the heiress of the house.

At Smeton , another seat of the Duke of Buccleugh , a mile distant from the first, is a fine half-length of General Monk looking over his shoulder, with his back towards you; he resided long at Dalkeith , when he commanded in Scotland .

Nell Gwynne , loosely attired.

A fine marriage of St. Catherine , by Vandyck .


62 Boethius says, that in his time bustards were found in this county; but they are now extirpated: the historian calls them Gustardes. Desc. Scot . xiii.

63 Keith , the Governor, having a little before left the place, in order to excite Archibald Douglas , Regent of Scotland , to attempt to raise the siege.

64 Bede , lib. IV. c. 19.

65 Anderson's Dipl . No. IV.

66 Bodetria of Tacitus , who describes the two Firths of Clyde and Forth , and the intervening Isthmus, with much propriety; speaking of the fourth summer Agricola had passed in Britain , and how convenient he found this narrow tract for shutting out the enemy by his fortresses, he fays, Nam Glota (Firth of Clyde) et Bodotria, diversi maris estu per immensum revecti, angusto terrarum spatio dirimuntur . Vit. Agr.

67 Buchanan. lib . ix. c. 25. The English were obliged to desist from their enterprize. Agnes was eldest daughter of Sir Thomas Randal , of Stradown , Earl of Murray , and nephew to Robert Bruce . She was called black Agnes , fays Robert Lindesay , because she was black-skinned.

68 Polybius , lib. III. C 23.

69 SOLAN GOOSE.

There is to be sold, by John Watson, Jun. at his Stand at the Poultry, Edinburgh , all lawful days in the week, wind and weather serving, good and fresh Solan Geese. Any who have occasion for the same may have them at reasonable rates.

    Aug 5. 1768.                                     EDINBURGH ADVERTISER.

70 Ray's Itineraries , 192.

71 Known throughout the Highlands by the name Dun-edin .

72 The streets are cleaned early every morning. Once the city payed for the cleaning; at present it is rented for four or five hundred pounds per annum .

73 In the closes, or allies, the inhabitants are very apt to fling out their filth, &c. without regarding who passes; but the sufferer may call every inhabitant of the house it came from to account, and make them prove the delinquent, who is always punished with a heavy fine.

74 It is conveyed in pipes from the Pentland hills five miles distant.

75 In sudore vultus tui w/sceris pane . Anno 1621. These heads are well engraven in Gordon's Itinerary, tab . iii.

76 For a further account of this little hero consult Mr. Walpole's Anecdotes of Painting, II. p. 8.

77 According to Maitland , their perpendicular height is 656 feet.

78 L'Adolescence de Jaques du Fouilloux , 88.

79 The old botanic garden lies to the east of the new bridge: an account of it is to be seen in the Museum Balfourianum .

80 Solent et subterraneos specus aperire, cosque multo insuper fino onerant, suffugium biemi, et receptaculum frugibus, quia rigorem frigorum ejusmodi locis molliunt: et si quando hostis advenit aperta populatur: Abdita autem et defossa, aut ingorantur, aut co ipsa fallunt, quod quarenda sunt . De Moribus Germanorum, c. 16.

Thomas Pennant, A Tour in Scotland 1769 (London: Benjamin White, 1776)

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