History of Leith, Edinburgh

Archive for 2011

Ancient defences of Edinburgh

Monday, December 19th, 2011

Beneath the Castle ramparts the rising city was now fast increasing; and in 1450, after the battle of Sark, in which Douglas Earl of Ormond defeated the English with great slaughter, it was deemed necessary to enclose the city by walls, scarcely a trace of which now remains, except the picturesque old ruin known as the Well-house Tower, at the base of the Castle rock. They ran along the southern declivity of the ridge on which the most ancient parts of the town were built, and after crossing the West Bow—then deemed the grand entrance to Edinburgh—ran between the High Street and the hollow, where the Cowgate(which exhibited then but a few minor edifices) now stands ; they then crossed the main ridge at the Nether Bow, and terminated at the east end of the North Loch, which was then formed as a defence on the north, and in the construction of which the Royal Gardens were sacrificed. From this line of defence the entire esplanade of the Castle was excluded. ” Within these ancient limits,” says Wilson, ” the Scottish capital must have possessed peculiar means of defence—a city set on a hill and guarded by the rocky fortress, there watching high the least alarms; it only wanted such ramparts, manned by its burgher watch, to enable it to give protection to its princes and to repel the inroads of the southern invader.

source-Old and New Edinburgh

Watching the fords

Monday, December 19th, 2011

In the Parliament of 1455 we find Acts passed for watching the fords of the Tweed, and the erection of bale-fires to give alarm, by day and night, of inroads from England, to warn Hume, Haddington, Dunbar, Dalkeith, Eggerhope, and Edinburgh Castle, thence to Stirling and the north—arrangements which would bring all Scotland under arms in two hours, as the same system did at the time of the False Alarm in 1803. One bale-fire was a signal that the English were in motion; two that they were advancing; four in a row signified that they were in great strength. All men in arms westward of Edinburgh were to muster there; all eastward at Haddington; and every Englishman caught in Scotland was lawfully the prisoner of whoever took him (Acts, I2th Parl. James II.). But the engendered hate and jealousy of England would seem to have nearly reached its culminating point when the nth Parliament of James VI., chap. 104, enacted, ungallantly, “that no Scotsman marrie an Englishwoman without the king’s license under the Great Seal, under pain death and escheat of moveables.”

Source-Old and New Edinburgh

Charles Ewart

Monday, December 19th, 2011

Ensign Charles Ewart (1769 – 23 May 1846) was a Scottish soldier of the Royal North British Dragoons (more commonly known as the Scots Greys), famous for capturing the regimental eagle of the 45e Régiment de Ligne (45th Regiment of the Line) at the Battle of Waterloo. for more click here

Edinburgh Castle

Monday, December 19th, 2011


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(c) John Arthur

Edinburgh Castle

Monday, December 19th, 2011


Click on image to enlarge
(c) John Arthur

Edinburgh Castle

Monday, December 19th, 2011


Click on image to enlarge
(c) John Arthur

Edinburgh Castle

Monday, December 19th, 2011


Click on image to enlarge
(c) John Arthur

Edinburgh Castle

Monday, December 19th, 2011


Click to enlarge
(c) John Arthur

Edinburgh Castle

Monday, December 19th, 2011


Click on image to enlarge
(c) John Arthur

Ancestry

Monday, December 19th, 2011


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