The History of Leith

March 20, 2011

The Siege of Edinburgh Castle-Part 1

” He was next visited, in a pretended friendly manner, by Sir William Drury, Elizabeth’s Marshal of Berwick, the wine who built Dnuy House in Wych Street, London, and who fell in a duel with Sir John Burroughs about precedence, and from whom Drury Lane takes its name. When about to enter the Castle gate, an English deserter, who had enlisted under Queen Mary, in memory of some grudge, was about to shoot him with his arquebuse when he was seized, and given up by Sir William Kirkaldy. This courtesy was ill-requited by his visitor, whose sole object was to note the number of his garrison and cannon, the height and strength of the walls, &c” In anticipation of a siege, the citizens built several traverses to save the High Street from being enfiladed; one of these, formed between the Thieves’ Hole and Bess Wynd, was two ells in thickness, composed of turf and mud ; and another near it was two spears high. In the city, the Parliament assembled on the t7th of January, with a sham regalia of gilt brass, as Kirkaldy had
the crown and real regalia in the Castle, When joined by some English pioneers, Morton
began to invest the Castle with his paid Scottish companies, who formed a battery en the Castle hill, from which Kirkaldy drove them all in rout on the night of the 15tb. On the following day, Sir William Drury, in direct violation of the Treaty of Blois, which declared ” that no foreign troops should enter Scotland,” at the head of the old bands of Berwick, about 1,500 men, marched for Edinburgh. A trumpeter, on the 25th of April,
summoned Kirkaldy to surrender; but he replied by hoisting, in place of the St Andrew’s ensign, a red fkig on David’s Tower as a token of resistance to the last.
* Five batteries had been, erected against him by the 15th of May. These were armed with thirty guns, including two enormous bombardcs or 100-pounders, which were loaded by means of a crane ; a great carthoun or 48-pounder; and many 18-pounders. There was also a movable battery of falcons. Under the Regent Morton, the first battery was on the high ground now occupied by the Hcriot’s Hospital; the second,under Drury,opposed to St. Margarets Tower, was near the Lothian Road ; the third, under Sir George Carey and the fourth, under Sir Henry Lee, were somewhere near St. Cuihbert’s church; while the fifth, under SirThomas Sutton, was on the line of Princes Street,and faced King David’s Tower.

To be continued

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