The History of Leith

July 20, 2012

Captain Gordon

Amid the great concern and grief caused by the
murder of “the bonnie Earl of Moray,” by the
Huntly faction, in 1591, we read that the King,
James VI., at the crisis, would not restrain his propensity
for field sports, and was hunting on the
north side of Corstorphine Hill on a day in
February, when Lord Spynie, hearing that Captain
John Gordon (brother of the Laird of Gicht) who
had been severely wounded in the brawl at Donnibristle,
had been brought to Leith, together with
Moray’s dead body, having a warrant to place him
in Edinburgh Castle, was anticipated by the Lord
Ochiltree.
The latter, at the head of forty men-at-arms,
went in search of James VI., whom he found at
” Corstorphine Craigs, where his majesty was
taking a drink.” Ochiltree dismounted at the
base of the hill, approached the king respectfully
on foot, and impressed
upon him
how much the
slaughter of the
earl affected his
honour. At the
lord’s earnest
desire he then
granted him “a
warrant to present
Captain Gordon
and his man to
the trial of an
assize that same
day ; whilk, with
all diligence the
said lord did perform,
and the captain was beheadit and his man
hanged. The captain condemned the fact, protesting
that he was brought ignorantly upon it.”
(Calderwood, &c.

source-Old and New Edinburgh

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