Queen Mary’s Apartments – Her Arrival in Edinburgh – Riot in the Chapel Royal – “The Queen’s Maries” – Interview with Knox – Mary’s Marriage with Darnley – The Position of Rizzio – The Murder of Rizzio – Burial of Darnley – Marriage of Mary and Bothwell – Mary’s Last Visit to Holyrood – James VI. and the “Mad” Earl of Bothwell – Baptism of the Queen of Bohemia and Charles I. – Taylor the Water-poet at Holyrood – Charles I.’s Imprisonment – Palace Burned and Re-built – The Palace before 1650 – The Present Palace – The Quadrangle – The Gallery of the Kings – The Tapestry – The Audience-Chamber.
A WINDING stair in the Tower of James V. gives access to the oldest portion of the palace, known as “Queen Mary’s Apartments,” on the third floor, and forming the most interesting portion of the whole edifice. To the visitor, in Mary’s bed- chamber there seems a solemn gloom which even the summer sunshine cannot brighten, ruddy though the glare may be which streams through that tall window, where we can see the imperial crown upon its octagon turret. The light seems only to lay too bare the fibres of the old oak floor and all the mouldering finery; a sense of the pathetic, with something of horror and much of sadness, mingles in the thoughtful mind; and much of this was felt even by Dr. Johnson, when he stood there with Boswell on the 15th of August, 1773.
With canopy and counterpane, dark and in shadow, there stands the old pillared bed, with its crimson silk and satin faded into orange, wherein slept, and doubtless too often wept, the fair young Queen of Scotland – she who spent her happy teens at the Bourbon court, her passionate youth so sorrowfully in grim grey Scotland, and who gave up her soul to God at Fotheringay, in premature old age, and with a calm grandeur that never saint surpassed.
On the wall there hangs the arras wrought with the fall of Phaeton, now green and amber-tinted, revealing the gloomy little door through which pale Ruthven and stern Darnley burst with their daring associates, and close by is the supper-room from whence the shrieking Rizzio was dragged, and done to death with many a mortal wound. To the imaginative Scottish mind the whole place conjures up scenes and events that can never die.
The day on which the queen arrived at Leith, after a thirteen years’ absence from her native land, was, as Knox tells us, the most dull and gloomy in the memory of man. She had come ten days before she was expected, and such preparations as the now impoverished people made – impoverished by foreign and domestic strife since Pinkie had been lost – were far from complete. The ship containing her horses and favourite palfrey had been lawlessly captured by an English admiral; but her brother, Lord James Stuart, supplied steeds; and Mary, who was accompanied by her uncles, the Dukes d’Aumale, Guise, Nemours, the Cardinal of Lorraine, the Grand Prior, the Marquis d’Elbœuf, and others, could not restrain her tears of mortification at the gloom and general poverty that appeared on every hand.
She made her public entry into the city on the 1st of September, and her reception, though homely, was sincere and cordial, for the Scots of old had a devotion to their native monarchs that bordered on the sublime; and now the youth and beauty of Mary, and the whole peculiarity of her position, were calculated to engage the interest and affection of her people.
The twelve citizens who bore a canopy over her head were apparelled in black velvet gowns and doublets of crimson satin, with velvet bonnets and hose. All citizens in the procession had black silk gowns faced with velvet and satin doublets, while the young craftsmen, who marched in front, wore taffeta. The Upper and Salt Trons, Tolbooth, and Netherbow were all decorated with banners and garlands as she proceeded to Holyrood.
The apartments she first occupied were on the ground floor, and Brantôme gives an amusing account of the manner in which the citizens endeavoured to provide for her amusement for several nights, to the grievous annoyance of her refined French attendants. “There came under her windows,” says he, “five or six hundred citizens, who gave her a concert of the vilest fiddles and little rebecs, which are as bad as they can be in that country, and accompanied them with singing psalms, but so wretchedly out of tune and concord that nothing could be worse. Ah! what melody it was! what a lullaby for the night!” “They were a company of honest men,” according to Knox, “who with instruments of music gave her their salutations at her chamber window.” Mary, with policy, expressed her thanks, but removed to a part of the palace beyond the reach of this terrible minstrelsy.
She was only nineteen, with few advisers and none on whom she could rely, and was ignorant of the people over whom she had been called to govern. Protestantism was now the only legal religion of the land, yet on the first Sunday subsequent to her return she ordered mass to be said in the chapel royal. Tidings of this caused a dreadful excitement in the city, and the Master of Lindsay, with other gentlemen, burst into the palace, shouting, “The idolatrous priest shall die the death!” for death was by law the penalty of celebrating mass; and the multitude, pouring towards the chapel, strove to lay violent hands on the priest. Lord James – afterwards Regent – Moray succeeded in preventing their entrance by main strength, and thus gave great offence to the people, though he alleged, as an excuse, he wished to prevent “any Scot from witnessing a service so idolatrous.” After the function was over, the priest was committed to the protection of Lord Robert Stuart, Commendator of Holyrood, and Lord John of Coldingham, who conducted him in safety to his residence. “But the godly departed in great grief of heart, and that afternoon repaired to the Abbey in great companies, and gave plain signification that they could not abide that the land which God had, by His power, purged from idolatry should be polluted again.” The noise and uproar of these “companies” must have made Mary painfully aware that she was without a regular guard or armed protection; but she had been barely a week in Holyrood when she held her first famous interview with the great Reformer, which is too well known to be recapitulated here, but which – according to himself – he concluded by these remarkable words:- “I pray God, madam, that ye may be as blessed within the commonwealth of Scotland, if it be the pleasure of God, as ever Deborah was in the commonwealth of Israel.”
The Queen’s Maries, so celebrated in tradition, in history, and in song, who accompanied her to France – namely, Mary, daughter of Lord Livingston, Mary, daughter of Lord Fleming, Mary, daughter of Lord Seton, and Mary Beaton of Balfour, were all married in succession; but doubtless, so long as she resided at Holyrood she had her maids of honour, and the name of “Queen’s Maries” became a general designation for her chosen attendants; hence the old ballad:-
“Now bear a hand, my Maries a’
And busk me braw and fine.”
Her four Maries, who received precisely the same education as herself, and were taught by the same masters, returned with her to Scotland with their acknowledged beauty refined by all the graces the Court of France could impart; and in a Latin masque, composed by Buchanan, entitled the “Pomp of the Gods,” acted at Holyrood in July, 1567, before her marriage with Darnley, Diana speaks to Jupiter of her five Maries – the fifth being the queen herself; and well known is the pathetic old ballad which says:-
“Yest’reen the Queen had four Maries,
This night she’ll have but three;
There was Marie Beaton and Marie Seaton
And Mary Carmichael and me.”
In a sermon delivered to the nobles previous to the dissolution of Mary’s first Parliament, Knox spoke with fury on the rumours then current concerning the intended marriage of the Queen to a Papist, which “would banish Christ Jesus from the realm and bring God’s vengeance on the country.” He tells that his own words and his manner of speaking them were deemed intolerable, and that Protestants and Catholics were equally offended. And then followed his second interview with Mary, who summoned him to Holyrood, where he was introduced into her presence by Erskine of Dun, and where she complained of his daring answers and ingratitude to herself, who had courted his favour; but grown undaunted again, he stood before her in a cloth cap, Geneva cloak, and falling bands, and with “iron eyes beheld her weep in vain.”
“Knox,” says Tytler, “affirmed that when in the pulpit he was not master of himself, but must obey His commands who bade him speak plain, and flatter no flesh. As to the favours which had been offered to him, his vocation, he said, was neither to wait in the courts of princes nor in the chambers of ladies, but to preach the Gospel. ‘I grant it so,’ reiterated the queen; ‘but what have you to do with my marriage, and what are you within the commonwealth?’ ‘A subject born within the same; and albeit, madam, neither baron, lord, nor belted earl, yet hath God made me, however abject soever in your eyes, a useful and profitable member. As such, it is my duty to forewarn the people of danger; and, therefore, what I have said in public I repeat to your own face! Whenever the nobility of this realm so far forget themselves that you shall be subject to an unlawful husband, they do as much as in them lieth to renounce Christ, to banish the truth, betray the freedom of the realm, and perchance be but cold friends to yourself!’ This new attack brought on a still more passionate burst of tears, and Mary commanded Knox to quit the apartment.”
Then it was, as he was passing forth, “observing a circle of the ladies of the queen’s household sitting near in their gorgeous apparel, he could not depart without a word of admonition. ‘Ah, fair ladies,’ said he, ‘how pleasant were this life of yours if it should ever abide, and then in the end we might pass to Heaven with all this gear! But fie on the knave Death! – that will come whether ye will or not; and when he hath laid on the arrest, then foul worms will be busy with this flesh, be it ever so fair and tender, and the silly soul, I fear, shall be feeble, that it can neither carry with it gold, garnishing, targating, pearl, nor precious stone.’ In the midst of these speeches the Laird of Dun came out of the queen’s cabinet, and requested him to go home; nor does it appear that Mary took any further notice of his officious and uncalled-for interference with her marriage.”
Soon after, another mob broke into the chapel royal during mass, but was driven out by the Provost, the Laird of Pitarrow, and others, an event which led to a futile trial of Knox before the Privy Council.
Great events now followed each other fast, and on the 29th of July, 1565, Mary was married to her wretched and dissipated cousin, the handsome Darnley, at Stirling Castle, in which an apartment had been fitted up as a Roman Catholic chapel by David Rizzio.
Three days before this Darnley had been created Duke of Albany, but he looked forward to wearing the crown. His headstrong, dissolute, foolish, and in many instances brutal disposition, soon weakened the affections of the queen, and her imprudent love for him, which had at one time been so violent and generous, was – especially after the murder of Rizzio – converted into abhorrence. The appointment of the latter – said by Rymer to be a pensioner of the Pope – to the important and confidential office of secretary to the queen had given great offence to the haughty nobles of Scotland; and such was his influence over her, that it has been more than once supposed that he was her confessor in disguise, which, could it be proved, would throw a new light on his history and that of Mary, by accounting for his influence over her, and her horror of his murderers. A footnote to Acta Regia, vol. iv., says that “he was an old, crabbed, and deformed fellow, and that ‘twas his loyalty and sagacity which made him so dear to the queen.” Thuanus too, says that notwithstanding his mean origin she made him sit at table with her every day. He certainly fitted up the chapel for her marriage, and is known to have had a brother, Joseph, said to be in holy orders, who was on his way to Scotland at the time of the murder. Darnley’s unsuccessful attempt to obtain the crown-matrimonial roused all the vengeance of himself and his father, who now determined to put Rizzio to death and deprive Mary of the throne.
How and why the conspiracy spread belongs to history; suffice it that it was on the evening of Saturday, the 9th of March, 1566, the conspirators determined to strike the blow, in terms of their “Articles” with “the noble and mighty Prince Henry, King of Scotland, husband to our sovereign Lady,” signed 1st March, 1566; and they seem to have entered the palace unnoticed by the sentinels, for Mary had, since 1562, a garde-du-corps of seventy archers, under Sir Arthur Erskine of Scotscraig.
In the dusk of the spring evening the Earl of Morton arrived with 500 of his personal retainers, and on being joined by the other lords, his accomplices, assembled secretly in the vicinity of the palace, into which they had passed, Morton, ordering the gates to be locked, took possession of the keys, while Darnley, George Douglas, known as the Postulate (i.e., a candidate for some office), the Lords Lindsay and Ruthven, were waiting to proceed to the queen’s apartments in the Tower of James V., where they expected to find their victim. It had been originally intended to murder Rizzio in his own apartment, a plan abandoned for the double reason that they might have failed to find him, as he frequently slept in the room of his brother Joseph, and that to slay him under Mary’s eyes would malign and terrify her more.
At this time she, altogether unsuspicious, was at supper in the closet with her sister the Countess of Argyle, her brother Robert, Commendator of Holyrood, her Master of the Household, the Captain of the Archers, and Rizzio, while two servants of the Privy Chamber were waiting by a side-table, at which, Camden states, Rizzio was seated. Ascending the private staircase, Darnley entered alone, and kissing the queen, seated himself by her side; but a minute scarcely elapsed when Ruthven drew aside the tapestry, entered, and without ceremony threw himself into a chair. He was in full armour, with his sword drawn, and looked pale, wan, and ghastly, having been long a-bed with an incurable disease. Mary, now far advanced in pregnancy, repressed her terror, and said, “My lord, hearing you were still ill, I was about to visit you, and now you enter our presence in armour. What does it mean?” “I have been ill indeed,” replied the savage noble, sternly; “but am well enough to come here for your good.” “You come not in the fashion of one who meaneth well,” said Mary. “There is no harm intended to your grace, nor any one but yonder poltroon, David.” “What hath he done?” “Ask the king, your husband, madam.” Mary now assumed an air of authority, and demanding an explanation of Darnley, commanded Ruthven to begone. On this, the Master of the Household and the captain of the archers attempted to expel him by force, but he brandished his sword, exclaiming, “Lay no hands on me – for I will not be so handled!”
Another conspirator, Kerr of Faudonside, now burst in with a horse-petronel cocked, and the private stair beyond was seen crowded by others. “Do you seek my life?” exclaimed Mary, on finding the weapon levelled at her breast. “No,” replied Ruthven; “but we will have out yonder villain, Davie.” He now tried to drag forth the hapless Italian, who had retreated into the recess of a window, a dagger in one hand, and with the other clinging to the skirt of the interposing queen. “If my secretary has been guilty of any misdemeanour,” said she, “he shall be dealt with according to the forms of justice.” “Here is justice, madam!” cried one, producing a rope, from which we learn by Knox and the work of Prince Lebanoff, that the first intention had been to hang Rizzio. “Fear not,” said the queen to him; “the king will not suffer you to be slain in my presence, nor will he forget your faithful services.”
“A Douglas! – a Douglas!” was now resounding through the palace, as Morton and his vassals rushed up the great staircase and burst into the presence-chamber, the light of their glaring torches and flashing of their weapons adding to the terror of the little group in the closet. The supper-table, which had hitherto interposed between Rizzio and his murderers, was now overturned before the queen, and had not the Countess of Argyle caught one of the falling candles, the room would have been involved in darkness. Rizzio, who on this fatal night was dressed in black figured damask, trimmed with fur, a satin doublet, russet velvet hose, and wore at his neck a magnificent jewel – never seen after that night – now clung in despair to the weeping queen, crying, “Giustizia! Giustizia! Sauve ma vie, madame, – sauve ma vie!”
But he was stabbed over her shoulder by George Douglas with the king’s own dagger, and other daggers and swords followed fast. By force the usually half-drunken Darnley tore the queen’s skirt from the clutch of the poor bleeding creature, who, amid ferocious shouts and hideous oaths, was dragged through the bed-room to the door of the presence-chamber, where the conspirators gathered about him and completed the bloody outrage. So eager were all to take part in the murder that they frequently wounded each other, eliciting greater curses and yells; and the body of Rizzio, gashed by fifty-six wounds, was left in a pool of blood, with the king’s dagger driven to the hilt in it, in token that he had sanctioned the murder. After a time the corpse was flung down-stairs, stripped naked, dragged to the porter’s lodge, and treated with every indignity.
Darnley and the queen were meanwhile alone together in the cabinet, into which a lady rushed to announce that Rizzio was dead, as she had seen the body. “Is it so?” said the weeping queen; “then I will study revenge!” Then she swooned, but was roused by the entrance of Ruthven, who, reeking with blood, staggered into a chair and called for wine. After receiving much coarse and unseemly insolence, the queen exclaimed, “I trust that God, who beholdeth all this from the high heavens, will avenge my wrongs, and move that which shall be born of me to root out you and your treacherous posterity!” – a denunciation terribly fulfilled by the total destruction of the house of Ruthven in the reign of her son, James VI.
In the middle of a passage leading from the quadrangle to the chapel is shown a flat square stone, which is said to mark the grave of Rizzio; but it is older than his day, and has probably served for the tomb of some one else.
The floor at the outer door of Mary’s apartments presents to this day a dark irregular stain, called Rizzio’s blood, thus exciting the ridicule of those who do not consider the matter. The floor is of great antiquity here – manifestly older than that of the adjacent gallery, laid in the time of Charles I. “We know,” says Robert Chambers, in his “Book of Days,” “that the stain has been shown there since a time long antecedent to that extreme modern curiosity regarding historical matters which might have induced an imposture, for it is alluded to by the son of Evelyn as being shown in 1722.”1
Joseph Rizzio, who arrived in Scotland soon after his brother’s murder, was promoted to his vacant office by the queen, and was publicly named as one of the abettors of Morton and Bothwell in the murder of Darnley – in which, with true Italian instinct, he might readily have had a hand. After the tragedy at the Kirk of Field in 1567, the body of Darnley was brought to Holyrood, where Michael Picauet, the queen’s apothecary, embalmed it, by her order; the treasurer’s accounts, dated Feb. 12th, contain entries for “drogges, spices – colis, tabbis, hardis, barrelis,” and other matters necessary “for bowalling of King’s Grace,” who was interred in the chapel royal at night, in presence of only the Lord Justice Clerk Bellenden, Sir James Tracquair, and others.
After Bothwell’s seizure of Mary’s person, at the head of 1,000 horse, and his production of the famous bond, signed by the most powerful nobles in Scotland, recommending him as the most fitting husband for her – a transaction in which her enemies affirm she was a willing actor – their marriage ceremony took place in the great hall of the palace on the 15th of May, 1567, at four o’clock in the morning, a singular hour, for which it is difficult to account, unless it be, that Mary had yielded in despair at last. There it was performed by the reformed prelate Adam Bothwell, Bishop of Orkney, together with Knox’s coadjutor, Craig, according to the Protestant form, and on the same day, in private, according to the Catholic ritual. To the latter, perhaps, Birrel refers when he says they were married in the chapel royal. Only five of the nobles were present, and there were no rejoicings in Edinburgh, where the people looked on with grief and gloom; and on the following morning there was found affixed to the palace gate the ominous line from Ovid’s Fasti, book v.: “Mense malas Maio nubere vulgus ait.”
The revolt of the nobles, the flight of Bothwell, and the surrender of Mary at Carberry to avoid bloodshed, quickly followed, and the last visit she paid to her palace of Holyrood was when, under a strong guard, she was brought thither a prisoner from the Black Turnpike, on the 18th of June and ere the citizens could rescue her; as a preliminary step to still more violent proceedings, she was secretly taken from Holyrood at ten at night, without having even a change of raiment, mounted on a miserable hack, and compelled to ride at thirty miles an hour, escorted by the murderers Ruthven and Lindsay, who consigned her a prisoner to the lonely castle of Lochleven, where she signed the enforced abdication which placed her son upon the throne.
Holyrood was one of the favourite residences of the latter, and the scene of many a treaty and council during his reign in Scotland.
In the great hall there, on Sunday, the 23rd of October, he created a great number of earls with much splendour of ceremony, with a corresponding number of knights.
Another Earl of Bothwell, the horror of James VI., now figures in history, eldest son of the Commendator of Coldingham. He was created, in right of his mother (who was the only sister of the notorious peer), Earl of Bothwell and Lord High Admiral of Scotland in 1587. He became an avowed enemy of the king, and Holyrood was the scene of more than one frantic attempt made by him upon the life of James. One of these, in 1591, reads like a daring frolic, as related by Sir James Melville, when the earl attacked the palace at the head of his followers. “I was at supper with my Lord Duke of Lennox, who took his sword and pressed forth; but he had no company and the place was full of enemies. We were compelled to fortify the doors and stairs with tables, forms, and stools, and be spectators of that strange hurlyburly for the space of an hour, beholding with torchlight, forth of the duke’s gallery, their reeling and rumbling with halberts, the clacking of the culverins and pistols, the dunting of mells and hammers, and crying for justice.” The earl and his followers ultimately drew off, but left the master stabler and another lying dead, and the king was compelled to go into the city; but eight of Bothwell’s accomplices were taken and hanged at the Girth Cross. On the 24th July, 1593, Bothwell, who had been outlawed, again burst into the palace with his retainers, and reached the royal apartments. Then the king, incapable of resisting him, desired Bothwell, to “consummate his treasons by piercing his sovereign’s heart;” but Bothwell fell on his knees and implored pardon, which the good-natured king at once granted, though a minute before he had, as Birrel records, been seeking flight by the back stair, “with his breeks in his hand.”
In 1596 the future Queen of Bohemia was baptised in Holyrood, held in the arms of the English ambassador, while the Lyon King proclaimed her from the windows as “the Lady Elizabeth, first daughter of Scotland;” and on the 23rd December, 1600, the palace was the scene of the baptism of her brother, the future Charles I., with unusual splendour in the chapel royal, in presence of the nobles, heralds, and officers of state. “The bairn was borne by the Marquis de Rohan, and the Lord Lyon proclaimed him out of the west window of the chapel as ‘Lord Charles of Scotland, Duke of Albany, Marquis of Ormond, Earl of Ross, and Lord Ardmannoch. Largesse! Largesse! Largesse!’ ” Then the castle fired a salute, while silver was scattered to the multitude. Three years afterwards the king and court had departed, and Holyrood was consigned to silence and gloom.
On James VI. re-visiting Scotland in 1617, the palace was fitted up for him with considerable splendour, but his project of putting up statues of the apostles in the chapel caused great excitement in the city. Taylor, the Water-poet, who was at Holyrood in the following year, states that he saw this legend over the royal arms at the gate: “ ‘Nobis hac invicta miserunt 106 proavi.’ I inquired what the English of it was. It was told me as followeth, which I thought worthy to be recorded:- ‘106 forefathers have left this to us unconquered.’ ”
When Charles I. visited Edinburgh, in 1633, the magistrates employed the famous Jameson to paint portraits of the Scottish monarchs, and, imitative of his master Rubens, he wore his hat when Charles I. sat to him; but it is probable that after the latter’s last visit, in 1641, the palace must have become somewhat dilapidated, otherwise Cromwell would have taken up his residence there. The improvements effected by Charles were considerable, and among other memorials of his residence still remaining, is the beautiful dial in the gardens known as Queen Mary’s sun-dial, although the cyphers of Charles, his queen, and eldest son appear upon it. Cromwell quartered a body of his infantry in the palace, and by accident they set it on fire, on the 13th November, 1650, when it was destroyed, all save the Tower of James V., with its furniture and decorations.
Of this palace a drawing by Gordon of Rothiemay has been preserved, which shows the main entrance to have been where we find it now. Round embattled towers flank it, with bow windows in them, and above the grand gate are the royal arms of Scotland. On either side is a large range of buildings having great windows; and the now empty panels in the Tower of James V. appear to have been filled in with armorial bearings, doubtless destroyed by Cromwell. In his map of 1657 the same artist shows a louping-on-stone in the centre of the palace yard.
The palace was rebuilt to a certain extent, by order of Cromwell, in 1658, but the whole of his work, at the Restoration, was pulled down by royal warrant two years after, as the work “built by the usurper, and doth darken the court.”
Engrafted on the part that survived the conflagration, and designed, it is said, after the noble château of Chantilly, from plans by the royal architect, Sir William Bruce of Balcaskie and Kinross, the palace as we find it now was built by Charles II. and James VII., with a zeal that has been supposed to imply forethought of having a fit retreat in their ancient capital if driven from that of England. The inscription in large Roman letters –
FVN . BE . RO . MYLNE . MM . IVL . 1671 –
marks the site of the foundation of the modern additions; it is in a pier of the north-west piazza.
Before the Antiquarian Society in 1858 was read a statement of the “Accounts of Sir William Bruce of Balcaskie, General Surveyor of H.M. Works, 1674-9.” The reckoning between these years was £160,000 Scots, of which sum four-fifths were spent on Holyrood, the new works on which had been begun, in 1671, and so vigorously carried on, that by January, 1674, the mason-work had been nearly completed. The Dutch artist, Jacob de Urt, was employed to paint “One piece of historia in the king’s bed-chamber” for £120 Scots. The coats-of-arms which are above the great entrance and in the quadrangle were cut from his designs.
Holyrood Palace is an imposing quadrangular edifice, enclosing a piazza bounded Palladian court, ninety-four feet square. Its front faces the west, and consists of battlemented double towers on each flank. In the centre is the grand entrance, having double Doric columns, above which are the royal arms of Scotland, and over them an octagonal clock-tower, terminating in an imperial crown.
The Gallery of the Kings, the largest apartment in the palace, is 150 feet long by 27 feet broad, and is decorated by a hundred fanciful portraits of the Scottish kings, from Fergus I. to James VII., by Jacob de Urt, and there is an interesting portrait of Mary and of the latter monarch, and at the end of the gallery are four remarkable paintings, taken from Scotland by James VI., and sent back from Hampton Court in 1857. They represent James III. and his queen Margaret of Denmark (about 1484), at devotion; on the reverses are Sir Edward Boncle, Provost of Trinity College; the figure of St. Cecilia at the organ represents Mary of Gueldres, and the whole, which are by an artist of the delicate Van Eck school, are supposed to have formed a portion of the altar-piece of the old Trinity College Church. In this gallery the elections of the Scottish peers take place. Beyond it are Lord Darnley’s rooms; among the portraits there are those of Darnley and his brother, and from thence a stair leads to Queen Mary’s apartments above. The Tapestry Room contains two large pieces of arras, and among several valuable portraits one of James Duke of Hamilton, beheaded in 1649.
The Audience Chamber – the scene of Mary’s stormy interviews with Knox – is panelled and embellished with various royal initials and coats-armorial; the furniture is richly embroidered, and includes a venerable state-bed, used by Charles I., by Prince Charles Edward, and by Cumberland on the night of the 30th January, 1746. Mary’s bed-chamber measures only 22 feet by 18 feet, and at its south-west corner is her dressing-room. The ancient furniture, the faded embroideries and tapestries, and general aspect of this wing, which is consigned peculiarly to memories of the past are all in unison with the place; but the royal nursery, with its blue-starred dome, the Secretary of State’s room, with the royal private apartments generally now in use, are all in the south and eastern sides of the palace, and are reached by a grand staircase from the south-east angle of the court.
1 Chapter for the 9th of February.