The History of Leith

February 17, 2012

Spitting and roasting his miserable captives !

In Big Jack’s Close there was extant, until within a few years ago, the town mansion of General Sir Thomas Dalyell of Binns, commanderin- chief of the Scottish forces, whose beard remained
uncut after the death of Charles I., and who raised the Scots Greys on the 25th of November, 1681,, and clad them first in grey uniform, and at their head served as a merciless persecutor of the outlawed Covenanters, with a zest born of his service in Russia. Th% chief apartment in this house has been described as a large hall, with an arched or coach roof, adorned, says Wilson, with a painting, of the sun in the centre, surrounded by gilded rays on an azure dome. Sky, clouds, and silver stars filled up the remaining space. The large windows were partially closed with oak shutters in the old Scottish fashion. ” The kitchen also was worthy of notice, for a fireplace formed of a plain circular arch, of such unusual dimensions that popular credulity might have assigned it for the perpetration of those rites it had ascribed to him of spitting and roasting his miserable captives !

source-Old and New Edinburgh

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