The Ancient Markets – The House of Adam Bothwell, Bishop of Orkney – The Bishop and Queen Mary – His Sister Anne – Sir William Dick of Braid – His Colossal Wealth – Hard Fortune – The “Lamentable State” – Advocates’ Close – Sir James Stewart’s House – Andrew Crosbie, “Counsellor Pleydell” – Scougal’s House – His Picture Gallery – Roxburghe Close – Warriston’s Close – Lord Philiphaugh’s House – Bruce of Binning’s Mansion – Messrs. W. and R. Chambers’s Printing and Publishing Establishment – History of the Firm – House of Sir Thomas Craig – Sir Archibald Johnston of Warriston.
PREVIOUS to 1477 there were no particular places assigned for holding the different markets in the city, and this often caused much personal strife among the citizens. To remedy this evil, James III., by letters patent, ordained that the markets for the various commodities should be held in the following parts of the city, viz.:-
In the Cowgate, the place for the sale of hay, straw, grass, and horse-meat, ran from the foot of Forester’s Wynd to the foot of Peebles Wynd.
The flesh market was to be held in the High Street, on both sides, from Niddry’s Wynd to the Blackfriars Wynd; the salt market to be held in the former Wynd.
The crames, or booths, for chapmen were to be set up between the Bell-house and the Tron on the north side of the street; the booths of the hat-makers and skinners to be on the opposite side of the way.
The wood and timber market extended from Dalrymple’s Yard to the Greyfriars, and westward. The place for the sale of shoes, and of red barked leather, was between Forrester’s Wynd and the west wall of Dalrymple’s Yard.
The cattle-market, and that for the sale of slaughtered sheep, was to be about the Tron beam, and so “doun throuch to the Friar’s Wynd; alsa, all pietricks, pluvars, capones, conyngs, chekins, and all other wyld foulis and tame, to be usit and sald about the Market Croce.”
All living cattle were not to be brought into the town, but to be sold under the walls, westward of the royal stables, or lower end of the Grassmarket.
Meal, grain, and corn were to be retailed from the Tolbooth up to Liberton’s Wynd.
The Upper Bow was the place ordained for the sale of all manner of cloths, cottons, and haberdashery; also for butter, cheese, and wool, “and sicklike gudis yat suld be weyit,” at a tron set there, but not to be opened before nine A.M. Beneath the Nether Bow, and about St. Mary’s Wynd, was the place set apart for cutlers, smiths, lorimers, lock-makers, “and sicklike workmen; and all armour, graith, gear,” and so forth, were to be sold in the Friday market, before the Greyfriars’.
In Gordon of Rothiemay’s map “the flesh-stocks” are shown as being in the Canongate, immediately below the Nether Bow Port.
Descending the High Street, after passing Bank Street, to which we have already referred, there is situated one of the most remarkable old edifices in the city – the mansion of Adam Bothwell, Bishop of Orkney. It stands at the foot of Byres’ Close, so named from the house of Sir John Byres of Coates, but is completely hidden from every point save the back windows of the Daily Review office. A doorway on the east side of the close gives access to a handsome stone stair, guarded by a curved balustrade, leading to a garden terrace that overlooked the waters of the loch. Above this starts abruptly up the north front of the house, semi-hexagonal in form, surmounted by three elegantly-carved dormer windows, having circular pediments, and surmounted by a finial.
On one was inscribed Laus ubique Deo; on another, Feliciter, infelix.
In this edifice (long used as a warehouse by Messrs. Clapperton and Co.) dwelt Adam, Bishop of Orkney, the same prelate who, at four in the morning of the 15th of May, 1567, performed in the chapel royal at Holyrood the fatal marriage ceremony which gave Bothwell possession of the unfortunate and then despairing Queen Mary.
He was a senator of the College of Justice, and the royal letter in his favour bears, “Providing always ye find him able and qualified for administration of justice, and conform to the acts and statutes of the College.”
He married the unhappy queen after the new forms, “not with the mess, but with preachings,” according to the “Diurnal of Occurrents,” in the chapel; according to Keith and others, “in the great hall, where the Council usually met.” But he seemed a pliable prelate where his own interests were concerned; he was one of the first to desert his royal mistress, and, after her enforced abdication, placed the crown upon the head of her infant son; and in 1568, according to the book of the “Universal Kirk,” he bound himself to preach a sermon in Holyrood, and therein to confess publicly his offence in performing a marriage ceremony for Bothwell and Mary.
As the name of the bishop was appended to that infamous bond of adherence granted by the Scottish nobles to Bothwell, before the latter put in practice his ambitious schemes against his sovereign, it is very probable tat the Earl may often have been a guest in that old mansion, and King James himself in later years. The bishop, who married Margaret Murray of Touchadam, died in 1593, and was succeeded in the old mansion by his son John Bothwell, designed of Auldhamer, who accompanied King James to England, and was created Lord Holyroodhouse, in the peerage of Scotland, in 1607.
Here dwelt his sister Anne, a woman of remarkable beauty, whose wrongs are so touchingly recorded in the sweet old ballad known as “Lady Anne Bothwell’s Lament.” She was betrayed in a disgraceful liaison by Sir Alexander Erskine (a son of John, 14th Earl of Mar), of whom a portrait by Jamieson is still extant, and represents him in the military dress of his time – a handsome man in a cuirass and scarf, with a face full of nobility of expression.
The lady’s name does not appear in the Douglas peerage; but her cruel desertion by Sir Alexander was confidently believed at the time to have justly exposed him to the vengeance of heaven, for he perished with the Earl of Haddington and others in the Castle of Dunglas, which was blown up by gunpowder in 1640, through the instrumentality of “an English villain,” according to Balfour – a servant boy, out of revenge against his master.
In the Scots Magazine for 1774 we have a notice of the death of Eleonora Bothwell, daughter of the deceased Henry, Lord Holyroodhouse.
Alexander, his son, Master of Holyroodhouse, who died about the middle of the last century, ended the line of the family, of whom no relic now remains save the tomb of Bishop Adam, which still exists in Holyrood chapel. On the front of the third pillar from the east is a tablet with his arms – a chevron, between three trefoils slipped, with a crescent, and a very long inscription, the fist six lines of which run thus:-
“Hic reconditus jacet nobilissimus vir
Dominus Adamus Bothuelius, Episcopus,
Orcadum et Zethlandiæ: Commendatorius Monasterii,
Sancti Crucis; Senator et Consiliarius
Regius: qui obiit anno ætatis suæ 67,
23 die Mensis Augusti, Anno Domini 1593.”*
The ancient edifice is associated with an eminent citizen, who lived in later but not less troublesome and warlike times, Sir William Dick, ancestor of the present baronets of Prestonfield. The south, and only remaining part of the bishop’s house has been completely modernised, and faced with a new stone front; “but many citizens still (in 1847) remember when an ancient timber façade projected its lofty gables into the street, with tier above tier, far out beyond the lower storey, while below were the covered piazza and darkened entrances to the gloomy laigh shops, such as may still be seen in the few examples of old timber lands that have escaped demolition” (Wilson).
Here then abode Sir William Dick of Braid, provost of the city in 1638, whose wealth was so great that he was believed to have discovered the philosopher’s stone, though his fortune only reached the then astonishing sum of £200,000 sterling, and whose chequered history presents one of the most striking examples of the instability of human affairs.
He came of Orkney people, and began life by farming the Crown rents of the northern isles at £3,000 sterling, after which he established an active trade with the Baltic and Mediterranean, and made, moreover, a profitable business by the negotiation of bills of exchange with Holland. “He had ships on every sea, and could ride on his own lands from North Berwick to near Linlithgow, his wealth centreing in a warehouse in the Luckenbooths, on the site of that now (in 1859) occupied by John Clapperton and Co.”
On becoming provost, he was easily led by his religious persuasion to become a sort of voluntary exchequer for the friends of the National Covenant, and in 1641 he advanced to them 100,000 merks to save them from the necessity of disbanding their army; and when the Scottish Parliament in the same year levied 10,000 men for the protection of their colony in Ulster, they could not have embarked had they not been provisioned at the expense of Sir William Dick. Scott, in the “Heart of Midlothian,” alludes to the loans of the Scottish Crœsus thus, when he makes Davie Deans say, “My father saw them toom the sacks of dollars out o’ Provost Dick’s window intil the carts that carried them to the army at Dunse Law; and if ye winna believe his testimony, there is the window itself still standing in the Luckenbooths, five doors aboon the Advocates’ Close – I think it is a claith-merchant’s the day.”
And singular to say, a cloth merchant’s “booth” it continued long to be.
In 1642 the Customs were let to Sir William Dick for 202,000 merks, and 5,000 merks of grassum, or “entrense siller;” but, as he had a horror of Cromwell and the Independents, he advanced £20,000 for the service of King Charles – a step by which he kindled the wrath of the prevailing party; and, after squandering his treasure in a failing cause, he was so heavily mulcted by extortion of £65,000 and other merciless penalties, that his vast fortune passed speedily away, and he died in 1655, a prisoner of Cromwell’s, in a gaol at Westminster, under something painfully like a want of the common necessaries of life.
He and Sir William Gray were the first men of Edinburgh who really won the position of merchant princes. The changeful fortunes of the former are commemorated in a scarce folio pamphlet, entitled “The Lamentable State of the Deceased Sir William Dick,” and containing several engravings. One represents him on horseback, escorted by halberdiers, as Lord Provost of Edinburgh, and superintending the unloading of a great vessel at Leith; a second represents him in the hands of bailiffs; and a third lying dead in prison. “The tract is highly esteemed by collectors of prints,” says Sir Walter Scott, in a note to the “Heart of Midlothian.” “The only copy I ever saw upon sale was rated at £30.”
Sir James Stewart of Goodtrees (a place now called Moredun, in the parish of Liberton) who was Lord Advocate of Scotland from 1692 until his death in 1713, a few months only excepted, gave a name to the next narrow and gloomy alley, Advocates’ Close, which bounded on the east the venerable mansion of the Lords Holyroodhouse.
His father was provost of the city when Cromwell paid his first peaceful visit thereto in 1648-9, and again in 1658-9, at the close of the Protectorate. The house in which he lived and died was at the foot of the close, on the west side, before descending a flight of steps that served to lessen the abruptness of the descent. He had returned from exile on the landing of the Prince of Orange, and, as an active revolutionist, was detested by the Jacobites, who ridiculed him as Jamie Wylie in many a bitter pasquil. He died in 1713, and Wodrow records that “so great was the crowd (at his funeral) that the magistrates were at the grave in the Greyfriars’ Churchyard before the corpse was taken out of the house at the foot of the Advocates’ Close.”
In 1769 his grandson sold the house to David Dalrymple, afterwards Lord Westhall, who resided in it till nearly the time of his death in 1784. This close was a very fashionable one in the days of Queen Anne, and was ever a favourite locality with members of the bar. Among many others, there resided Andrew Crosbie, the famous original of Scott’s “Counsellor Pleydell,” an old lawyer who was one of the few that was able to stand his ground in any argument or war of words with Dr. Johnson during that visit when he made himself so obnoxious in Edinburgh. From this dark and steep alley, with its picturesque overhanging gables and timber projections, Mr. Crosbie afterwards removed to a handsome house erected by him in St. Andrew’s Square, ornamented with lofty, half-sunk Ionic columns and a most ornate attic storey (on the north side of the present Royal Bank), afterwards a fashionable hotel, long known as Douglas’s and then as Slaney’s, where even royalty has more than once found quarters. By the failure of the Ayr Bank he was compelled to leave his new habitation, and died in 1784 in such poverty that his widow owed her whole support to a pension of £50 granted to her by the Faculty of Advocates.
The house lowest down the close, and immediately opposite that of Sir James Stewart of Goodtrees, was the residence of an artist of some note in his time, John Scougal, who painted the well-known portrait of George Heriot, which hangs in the council room of the hospital. He was a cousin of that eminent divine Patrick Scougal, parson of Saltoun in East Lothian and Bishop of Aberdeen in 1664.
John Scougal added an upper storey to the old land in the Advocates’ Close, and fitted up one of the floors as a picture gallery or exhibition, a new feature in the Edinburgh of the seventeenth century, and long before any such idea had been conceived in France, England, or any other country. Some of his best works were in possession of the late Andrew Bell, engraver, the originator of the “Encyclopædia Britannica,” who married his granddaughter. “For some years after the Revolution,” says Pinkerton, “he was the only painter in Scotland, and had a very great run of business. This brought him into a hasty and incorrect manner.” So here, in the Advocates’ Close, in the dull and morose Edinburgh of the seventeenth century, was the fashionable lounge of the dilettanti, the resort of rank and beauty – a quarter from which the haut ton of the present day would shrink with aversion.
He died at Prestonpans in the year 1730, in his eighty-fifth year, after having witnessed as startling a series of political changes as ever occurred in a long lifetime.
Taking the ancient alleys seriatim, Roxburghe Close comes next, numbered as 341, High Street, and so named, it may confidently be supposed (though it cannot be proved as a fact) from having contained the town residence of some ancient Earl of Roxburghe. All its ancient features have disappeared, save a door built up with a handsome cut legend in raised Roman letters:- “WHATEVER ME BEFALL I THANK THE LORD OF ALL. J. M., 1586.” This is said to have been the dwelling-place of the Roxburghe family, but by tradition only. If true, it takes the antiquary back to the year in which Sir Walter Kerr of Cessford (ancestor of the Dukes of Roxburghe), “baron of Auld-Roxburghe, the castle thereof and the lands of Auldtonburn, &c.,” died at a great age, the last survivor, perhaps, of the affray in which Sir Walter Scott of Buccleuch perished at Edinburgh.
Warriston’s Close (anciently called Bruce’s), the next we come to in descending the north side of the street, remains only in name, the houses on both sides being entirely new, and its old steep descent broken at intervals by convenient flights of steps; but until 1868 it was nearly unchanged from its ancient state, some relics of which still remain.
It had handsome fronts of carefully-polished ashlar, with richly-decorated doorways with pious legends on their lintels, to exclude witches, fairies, and all manner of evil; there were ornate dormer windows on the roofs with steep crow-stepped gables, black with the smoke and storms of centuries.
“QUI . ERIT . ILLE . MIHI . SEMPER . DEUS . 1583,” was the legend which first caught the eye above a door of a tenement on the west side, long occupied by James Murray, Lord Philiphaugh, raised to the bench November 1st, 1689, without having any predecessor, being one of the set of judges nominated after the Revolution. After being chosen member of Parliament for Selkirk in 1681, he had become an object of special jealousy to the Scottish Cavalier Government. He was imprisoned in 1684, and under terror of being tortured in the iron boots, before the Privy Council in the Laigh Chamber below the Parliament House, he gave evidence against those who were concerned in the Rye House Plot.
Lord Philiphaugh had the character of being an upright judge, but the men of his time never forgot or forgave the weakness that made him stoop to save his life, though many of them might no doubt have acted in the same way, the Scottish Privy Council of that time being a species of Star Chamber that did not stand on trifles.
Farther down the close was another edifice, the lintel of which like some others that were in the same locality, has been with great good taste rebuilt, as a lintel, into the extensive printing and publishing premises of the Messrs. Chambers, a turreted edifice, that now forms the west side of Warriston’s Close, and built in 1868. It bears the legend Gracia . Dei . Robertus . Bruiss, with a shield at each end, one having the arms of Bruce of Binning in Linlithgowshire, impaled with those of Preston – three unicorns’ heads.
The eminent publishers, whose extensive premises now occupy the west side of Warriston’s Close, William and Robert Chambers – the great pioneers of the cheap literature movement – were born at Peebles, in 1800 and 1802 respectively. Their ancestors were woollen manufacturers, and their father carried on the business in cotton at Peebles, on so large a scale that he used sometimes to have a hundred looms at work.
He was thus enabled to give his sons a good education at the schools of their native town, where Robert passed through a classical course, with the view of taking orders in the church of Scotland; but monetary misfortunes having overtaken his parents, the family removed to Edinburgh, where the two brothers were thrown in a great measure on their own resources, but formed the noble resolution to try by stern industry to regain the ground their family had lost; and a love of reading led them gradually into the business of bookselling.
William served an apprenticeship, from 1814 to 1819, with Mr. Sutherland, Calton Street, who gave him four shillings weekly as wages, and on this small sum – shrinking from being a burden on his delicate and struggling mother – he took a lodging, at 1s. 6d. Per week, in Boak’s Land, West Port, a little bed closet, which he shared with a poor divinity student from the hills of Tweeddale. Out of these slender wages he contrived to save a few shillings, and began business, in a very small way, in 1819, and by the following year added printing thereto, having taught himself that craft, cutting with his own hand the larger types out of wood.
By 1818 Robert had begun business in a tiny shop as a bookstall-keeper, in Leith Walk, and having a strong literary turn, he made an essay as author, by starting a small periodical called the Kaleidoscope, the types of which were set up and printed off by William, in an old rickety press, which, he relates, “emitted a jangling, creaking noise, like a shriek of anguish,” when worked. After a brief career this publication was dropped, to enable Robert, in 1822, to write a volume likely to be popular – “Illustrations of the Author of Waverley,” referring to the supposed original characters of the novelist. Of this work William was printer, binder, and publisher, and a second edition appeared in 1824.
Immediately after its issue he began his “Traditions of Edinburgh” (in the plan and production of which the brothers anticipated a joint work, that was to have been written by Scott and Kirkpatrick Sharpe) – a book re-written and re-published in one volume by the firm in 1868, and in the preface to which Robert writes:-
“I am about to do what very few could do without emotion – revise a book which I wrote forty-five years ago. This little work came out in the Augustan days of Edinburgh, when Jeffrey and Scott, Wilson and the Ettrick Shepherd, Dugald Stewart and Alison, were daily giving the productions of their minds to the public, and while yet Archibald Constable acted as the unquestioned emperor of the publishing world.”
In 1826 Robert published his “Popular Rhymes of Scotland,” and the “Picture of Scotland,” and shortly afterwards five volumes of Scottish history, for Constable’s Miscellany. The brothers were now making money, and in tolerably prosperous circumstances, though they lost much of their hard-won savings by assisting their father in a piece of unsuccessful litigation.
About that time William produced the “Book of Scotland,” a work describing the institutions of the country, for which he got £30, while Robert got £100 for preparing a “Gazetteer of Scotland;” and in 1832 William projected the great work which made the firm prosperous and famous wherever the English language is spoken – Chambers’s Edinburgh Journal, the vanguard of all that is wholesome, sensible, and unsectarian in cheap literature, as it appeared six weeks before the famous Penny Magazine.
The first weekly number appeared on the 4th February, 1832. Robert thought the speculation a hazardous one, but William’s courage achieved a public victory, and in a few days the sale in Scotland alone was 50,000 copies, while No. 3 rose to 80,000 in the English market. Robert threw himself heart and soul into the successful periodical; and speaking of partnership with him, his brother writes: “Such was the degree of mutual confidence between us that not for the space of twenty-one years was it thought expedient to execute any deed of agreement.” While constantly contributing to the Journal, Robert, in 1835, completed his “Biographical Dictionary of Eminent Scotsmen,” in four volumes.
The brothers issued, in the preceding year, their “Information for the People,” and after this venture came a series of about a hundred school books – the “Chambers’s Educational Course,” still so familiar to many middle-class school-boys. While collecting information upon the subject of public education, William got together materials in 1839 for his “Tour in Holland and the Rhine Countries;” and about this time, twenty volumes of a series entitled “Chambers’s Miscellany” were issued by the firm, which had an enormous circulation; but the great and crowning enterprise of Messrs. W. and R. Chambers was unquestionably their “Encyclopædia, or Dictionary of Universal Information for the People,” a work begun in 1859 and completed in 1868 – a work unrivalled by any in Europe or America as a handy yet comprehensive book of ready reference, and of which the learned and ingenious Dr. Andrew Findlater acted as editor.
In 1849 William purchased the estate of Glenormiston, and ten years after made a valuable gift to his native town, in the form of a suite of buildings, including a public reading-room, a good library, lecture-hall, museum, and art gallery, designated the “Chambers Institution;” and in 1864 he issued his “History of Peeblesshire,” an able example of local annals. In 1865 he was elected Lord Provost of Edinburgh, and inaugurated the great architectural improvements set afoot in the more ancient parts of the city; and in 1872 the University conferred upon him the degree of LL.D.
In 1860-1 the brothers projected that important work which gave Robert Chambers his death-blow – “The Book of Days: a Miscellany of Popular Antiquities in connection with the Calendar, including Anecdote, Biography, History, Curiosities of Literature, &c., &c.,” a large work, in two volumes of 840 pages each. Disappointed in promised literary aid, Robert was compelled to perform the greater part of this work alone, and during the winter of 1861-2 “he might be seen every day in the British Museum, working hard at this fatal book. The mental strain broke him down; domestic bereavements aggravated the effects of ill-health, and with it, though he lived to finish his ‘Life of Smollett,’ his literary career closed. He died at St. Andrews in the beginning of the year 1870.”
Still hale and healthy, and as full of intellectual vigour as when he handled the old printing press in his little shop in Leith Walk, William’s pen was yet busy, and produced, in 1860, “The Youth’s Companion and Counsellor;” in 1862, “Something of Italy;” I 1870, “Wintering at Mentone;” in 1871, “France, its History and Revolutions;” and, in 1872, an affectionate “Memoir” of his brother Robert, and “Ailie Gilroy,” a simple and pathetic little story.
“In reviewing the life of this eminent publisher,” says a writer in the National Portrait Gallery, “one may say that he has so lived as to teach the world how the good old-fashioned commonplace virtues can be exalted into the loftiest range of moral heroism; that he has left on record a grand and manly example of self-help which time can never obliterate from the admiring memory of succeeding generations. Life has to him been a sacred trust, to be used for helping on the advancement of humanity, and for aiding the diffusion of knowledge. The moral to be drawn from his biography is that, with manly self-trust, with high and noble aims, with fair education, and with diligence, a man may, no matter how poor he be at the outset of his career, struggle upwards and onwards to fill a high social position, and enjoy no ordinary share of earthly honours and possessions.”
At the establishment of the Messrs. Chambers fully two hundred hands are constantly employed, and their premises in Warriston Close (which have also an entrance from the High Street) form one of the interesting sights in the city.
Lower down the Close stood a large and handsome house, having a Gothic niche at its entrance, which was covered with armorial bearings and many sorely obliterated inscriptions, of which only the fragment of one was traceable – Gracia Dei Thomas T. This was the town residence of Sir Thomas Craig of Riccarton, a man of eminent learning and great nobility of character, and who practised as a lawyer for fully forty years, during the stormy reigns of Mary and James VI. In 1564 he was made Justice Depute, and found time to give to the world some very able poems – one on the birth of James, and another on his departure for England, are preserved in the Delitiæ Poetarum Scotorum. He steadily refused the honour of knighthood, yet was always called Sir Thomas Craig, in conformity to a royal edict on the subject.
He wrote a treatise on the independent sovereignty of Scotland, which was rendered into wretched English by Ridpath, and published in 1675. He was Advocate for the Church, when he died at Edinburgh, on the 26th of February, 1608, and was succeeded in the old house, as well as his estate, by his eldest son, Sir Lewis Craig, born in 1569, and called to the bench in 1604, as Lord Wrightslands, while his father was still a pleader at the bar. After his time his house had as occupiers, first Sir George Urquhart of Cromarty, and next Sir Robert Baird, Bart., of Saughton Hall, who died in 1714.
But by far the most celebrated residenter in this venerable alley was he who gave it the name it bears, Sir Archibald Johnston Lord Warriston, whose estate, still so named, lies eastward of Inverleith Row. The son of Johnston of Beirholm (once a merchant in Edinburgh), by his wife Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Thomas Craig (above mentioned), this celebrated lawyer, subtle statesman, and somewhat juggling politician, was called to the bar in 1633, and would appear to have purchased from his cousin, Sir Lewis Craig, a house in the close, adjoining his own.
In 1637 he began to take a prominent part in the bitter disputes of the period, and Bishop Burnet tells us that he was a man of such unflagging zeal that he barely allowed himself three hours’ sleep out of the twenty-four. On the renewal of the Covenant, in 1638, he and the celebrated Alexander Henderson were appointed to revise and adapt that national document to the circumstances of the times; and at the memorable assembly which met at Glasgow Johnston was unanimously elected clerk, and was constituted Procurator for the Church. He took a prominent share in resisting the unjust interference of Charles I. in Scottish affairs, and in 1638, on the royal edict being proclaimed from the Cross of Edinburgh, which set at defiance the popular opposition to Episcopacy, he boldly appeared on the scaffold erected near it, and read aloud the famous protest drawn up in the name of the Tables, while the mob compelled the six royal heralds to remain while this counter-defiance in the name of Scotland was being read.
In 1641, when Charles visited Edinburgh for the second time, Johnston was knighted and made a Lord of Session, and after sitting in the Parliament of Scotland in 1644, he attended, as one of the Commissioners, the assembly of divines at Westminster. In the following year he was Lord Advocate; and in 1649 he performed one of his last official duties, proclaiming Charles II. King of Scotland, on the 5th of February, 1650.
After the battle of Dunbar he was weak enough to accept office under the Protectorate, as Clerk Registrar; and after the death of Cromwell he acted as one of the Committee of Public Safety, when the feeble and timid Richard Cromwell withdrew from public life; and this last portion of his career, together with the mode in which he had prosecuted and persecuted the fallen Cavaliers, and refused to concur in the treaty of Breda, sealed his doom when the Restoration came. He was forfeited in exile and condemned to death on the 15th of May, 1651.
An emissary of the Scottish ministry discovered his retreat at Rouen, and, with the aid of the French authorities, he was sent to the Tower, and from thence to Edinburgh, where, with every mark of indignity, he was publicly executed on the same spot where, five-and-twenty years before, he had defied the proclamation of Charles I. This was on the 22nd of July, 1663, and he died with the utmost constancy and Christian fortitude. And now the busy establishment of one of the most enterprising of Scottish publishing firms occupies the site of the old mansion, in which he must many a time have entertained such men as Alexander Henderson, the Marquises Argyle, Rothes, and Callander, the gallant Sir Alexander Leslie, the somewhat double-dealing Monk, perhaps Cromwell too.
7 thoughts on “Chapter 25 – The High Street (continued)., pp.219-227.”