The History of Leith

January 5, 2012

The residence of Mary of Lorraine and Guise

An ancient pile of buildings, now swept away, but which were accessible by Blyth’s, Tod’s, and Nairne’s Closes, formed once the residence of Mary of Lorraine and Guise, widow of James V., and Regent of Scotland from 1554 to 1560. It is conjectured that this palace and oratory were erected immediately after the burning of Holyrood and the city by the English in 1544, when the widowed queen would naturally seek a more secure habitation within the walls of the city, and close to the Castle guns. In this edifice it is supposed that Mary, her daughter, after succeeding in detaching the imbecile Darnley from his party, took up her residence for a few days after the murder of Rizzio, as she feared to trust herself within the blood-stained precincts of the palace. Over its main doorway there was cut in old Gothic letters the legend Laus honor Deo, with I. R.,the initials of King James V., and at each end were shields having the monograms of the Saviour and the Virgin

source-Old and New Edinburgh

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