The History of Leith

May 10, 2011

War and Edinburgh Castle

So often had the storm of war desolated its towers, that the Castle of Edinburgh (which became David’s favourite residence after his return from England in 135?) was found to require extensive repair*, and to these the king devoted himself. On the cliff to the northward he built” David’s Tower,” an edifice of great height and strength, and therein he died on the 22nd February, 1371, and was buried before the high altar at Holyrood. The last of the direct line of Bruce —a name inseparably connected with the military glory and independence of Scotland — David was a monarch who, in happier times, would have done much to elevate his people. The years of his captivity in England he beguiled with his pencil, and in a, vault of Nottingham Castle “he left behind him,” says Abercrombie, in his ” Martial Achievements,” ” the whole story of our Saviour’s Passion, curiously engraven on the rock with his own hands. For this, says one, that castle became as famous as formerly it had been for Mortimer’s
hole.”
It was during bis reign that, by the military ingenuity of John Earl of Carrick and four other knights of skill, the Castle was so well fortified, that, with & proper garrison, the Duke of Rothesay was able to resist the utmost efforts of Henry IV., when he besieged it for several weeks in 1400. The Castle had been conferred as a free gift upon Earl John by his father King Robert, and in consequence of the sufferings endured by the inhabitants when the city was burned by the English, under Richard II., he by charter empowered the citizens to build houses within the fortress, free of fees to the constable, on the simple understanding that they were persons of good fame.

Source-Old and New Edinburgh

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