The History of Leith

January 28, 2012

More wit than discretion

When the brother of the Queen Consort, the Duke of Holstein, visited Edinburgh in March, 1593, and as Moyses tells us, “was received and welcomed very gladly by Her Majesty, and used every way like a prince,” after sundry entertainments at Holyrood, Ravensheugh, and elsewhere, a grand banquet was given him in the house of the late Bailie Macmorran by the c^ty of Edinburgh.
The King and Queen were present, ” with great solemnity and merriness,” according to Birrel.On the 3rd of June the Duke embarked at Leith,under a salute of sixty pieces of cannon from the bulwarks, and departed with his gifts, to wit—1,000 five-pound pieces and 1,000 crowns, a hat and string valued at 12,000 pounds (Scots?), and many rich chains and jewels. The Bailie’s initials, I. M., are on the pediments that ornament his house, which after passing through several generations of his surname, became the residence of Sir John Clerk of Penicuik.” By him,” says Wilson, ” it was sold to Sir Roderick Mackenzie, of Preston Hall, appointed a senator of the College of Justice in 1702, who resided in the upper part of the house at the same time that Sir John Mackenzie Lord Royston, third son of the celebrated Earl of Cromarty, one of the ! wittiest and most gifted men of his time, occupied the low flat. Here, in all probability, his witty and eccentric daughter Anne was born and brought up. This lady, who married Sir William Dick of Prestonfield, carried her humorous pranks to an excess scarcely conceivable in our decorous days; sallying out occasionally in search of adventures,like some of the maids of honour of Charles II.’s Court, dressed in male attire, with her maid for a squire. She seems to have possessed sallying out occasionally in search of adventures, like some of the maids of honour of Charles II.’s Court, dressed in male attire, with her maid for a squire. She seems to have possessed more wit than discretion.” Riddell’s Close was of old an eminently aristocratic quarter..”

source-Old and New Edinburgh

Some Text