The History of Leith

May 9, 2011

Grime the Usurper and Edinburgh Castle

According to a curious old tradition perserved in the Statistical account the parih of Tweedsmuir,the wife of Grime the Usurper has her residence in Edinburgh Castle

Leaving his queen in the then solitary Castle, Grime (who, according to Buchanan, began his reign in the year 996) often pursued the pleasures of the chase among the wilds of Polmood, in the neighbourhood of which he saw a woman of great beauty, named Bertha, of Badlieu, whose charms soon proved more attractive then the pursuit of the wild boar or Caledonian bull, and he became her captive— her lover. In process of time a son was the result of their intimacy, and the forgotten queen, though residing quietly in solitude at Edinburgh, resolved on deadly vengeance.
Selecting a time when Grime was again fighting the Danes, she dispatched to Badlieu certain assassins, who murdered Bertha, her aged father, and infant son, and, burying them in one grave, heaped above it a rough tumulus, which still marks the spot

Full of remorse and fear, the queen died before the return of Grime, who, after defeating the Danes, and destroying their galleys, hastened to Badlieu, where the huge grave alone awaited him. In a gust
of morbid horror the half-barbarian prince commanded the tumulus to be opened, that he might ; behold the remains of those who had perished; and from that moment he lost all relish for life, and plunging into a war with Malcolm, his successor, was deserted in battle by his warriors, taken captive, and, after having his eyes put out, died in grief and misery in the eighth year of his reign.

Source-Old and New Edinburgh

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