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Queen Victoria and Prince Albert's Trip to Scotland
Chapter XII. Departure for the Highlands


Knowing that Tuesday the 6th of September was fixed for the commencement of the royal journey, the good people of Edinburgh had opened many a window, long before dawn, to ascertain whether it had pleased Heaven to listen to the ardent and universal prayer for fine weather. Happily the morning gave promise of a beautiful day, and augured well for the progress of Queen Victoria towards the Highlands. The carriages were at the door of Dalkeith Palace at a quarter before nine o’clock; and to those in humbler life, who know what it is to have footmen and ladies’ maids engaged all the travelling morning, and for hours after the moment fixed for departure, in the packing of trunks, capeases, and imperials, it must be a matter of some wonder to be told, that before the vehicles had been allowed to stand more than a few minutes, the Queen and Prince Albert were enroute for the Highlands. Her Majesty wore a Stuart tartan dress, a dark blue cloak, and a plain blue bonnet; and appeared to be in high health and spirits. The people of the town of Dalkeith congregated to give their parting cheers, mingled with aspirations for the safety and happiness of the Royal pair. The Queen’s carriage was followed by three others filled with her suite. The escort consisted of a squadron of the Inniskilling Dragoons. The road towards Edinburgh was thronged with people; and at the gate of Mr. Wauchope of Edmonstone, a triumphal arch, ornamented with flowers and evergreens, and with the Royal standard floating from its centre, was carried quite across the public road. From hence Her Majesty enjoyed a magnificent view of Edinburgh at about three miles’ distance, broken by the wooding of Sunnyside and Craigmillar.

Passing the eastern gate of the Inch, Her Majesty swept into West Preston-street, accompanied by the Duke of Buccleuch and Sir John Hope on horseback. There a great assemblage of people had been collecting since six o’clock in the morning, who hailed her arrival with cheers. Passing rapidly thence by Hope Park, through Buccleuch-street, Chapel-street, and Bristo-street, she found Mr. Sheriff Speirs in Teviot-row, with a large body of police for the preservation of order. The crowd now began to be considerable, and Her Majesty was loudly cheered by them as she drove along. The Queen here passed a portion of the ancient wall of the city.

The partial view opening to the left, towards the country, is extremely rich; and the splendid hospital on the right, the fruit of the savings of George Heriot, the rich jeweller of James I. of England, the “Jingling Geordy” of Sir Walter Scott’s Fortunes of Nigel, could not but strike Her Majesty, especially as on this morning the whole of the healthy-looking boys belonging to it were ranged along the railing; and their cheers were acknowledged by Her Majesty with smiles that indicated more than ordinary gratification at the spectacle. As the Queen passed on, she found Lauriston thronged with cheering people, from one end to the other, and the windows all occupied by ladies waving their handkerchiefs. The same extent of crowd filled Portland-place, Wellington-street, and Downie-place, through which Her Majesty’s carriage proceeded to the Lothian-road, where it rapidly accumulated as she drove along. The Queen now enjoyed occasional peeps, to the right, of the hold rock of the Castle; and by the time she had passed into Princes-strect by St. John’s Chapel, the ancient fortress itself began to pour from the mouths of its cannon a royal parting salute, producing, as it might have done on the roaring waves of the sea, a lull upon the shouts of the vast ocean of human beings, now much increased by tributary streams from Princes-street, Maitland-street, and Charlotte-square. Her Majesty entered Queensferry-street exactly at ten o’clock, and passing Lynedoch-place and Randolph-crescent, she reached the Dean Bridge, where she snatched a rapid glimpse of the magnificent views formerly described. Mr. Sheriff Speirs rode at a short distance before the Queen’s carriage, and the way had been already most industriously cleared of vehicles. The horses were changed near Craigleith quarry as formerly, where a great number of carriages were drawn up, and the neighbouring fields were covered with crowds of people, both on foot and on horseback.

Her Majesty again started, attended by an immense body of equestrians, consisting of the gentlemen and yeomen of the county, and their numbers were added to by every road that joined the main one. At the embouchure of that turning off to the left towards New Saughton, Miss Watson, its proprietress, had a triumphal arch erected across the way to her residence, surmounted by a Scottish thistle and crown, with the motto, “Hail to thee, our gracious Queen!” and there sat the young lady herself, with a friend, both mounted on beautiful horses. Her tenants, farm-servants, and labourers, were ranged along the road, and a large Union-Jack fluttered in the breeze at about forty yards from the arch. When opposite to the flag-staff, the Queen graciously halted, and Miss Watson riding up to the side of the carriage, made a graceful obeisance and acknowledgment for Her Majesty’s condescension. The hand then struck up “God Save the Queen!”—Her Majesty’s carriage moved forward, and the spirited young lady and her companion rode on with the rest of the equestrian escort. On the arrival of the Royal carriage at Cramond-bridge, Sir John Hope and Sheriff’ Speirs took leave of the cortege. In slowly crossing this grand modern bridge, Her Majesty was much interested by the view she had of the picturesque ancient one a little below. Here, on entering Linlithgowshire, she found its Lord-Lieutenant the Earl of Hopetoun, the Earl of Rosebery, Mr. Cay the Sheriff, and a large body of the gentlemen and tenantry of that county, all mounted and regularly drawn up by the side of the road. Her Majesty was received by them with cheers that silenced the murmurs of the neighbouring river, and made the woods ring—and then off the whole dashed after the Royal carriage, past the gates of Craigiehall and Dalmeny Park, and up the hill, in a state of excitement hardly to he paralleled. The road to Queensferry is hilly, and much shut in by the depth at which it is cut through the rock, and the thick overhanging foliage of the trees on either side; but some fine peeps are enjoyed here and there into Dalmeny Park, and where these occurred, the carriage proceeded at a slower pace, especially where a view could he caught of the house at a distance, reposing amongst its woods and lawns, then under all the influence of mild and softened sunshine, with the busy sea and the coast of Fife beyond.

An immense crowd of carriages and people had assembled at Queensferry, and when the Queen arrived at the brow of the steep hill leading clown to the Hawes Inn, the effect of the fine prospect of that narrow part of the Firth, with its picturesque shores on both sides, and in the midst of it the island of Inchgarvie with its old fortress—the broader expansion and lengthened stretch of the waters above—the magnificent woods of Hopetoun House on the southern side—and opposite to it the lonely peel tower of Rosyth, said to have been the birth-place of the mother of Oliver Cromwell—with the western Scottish Alps in the distance, was much enhanced by the gay assemblage that crowded the approach to the pier of embarkation.

The Queen’s carriage was drawn up at the end of the pier, where a space was cleared by the dragoons and a guard of the Fifty-third regiment. The whole of the high grounds, forming a steep amphitheatre, were covered with people, who cheered incessantly. The Provost, Magistrates, and Council of the Burgh of Queensferry, received Her Majesty as she alighted from her carriage, and leaning on Prince Albert’s arm, and attended by Lords Hopetoun and Rosebery, and Sir Neil Douglas, all uncovered, she walked down the Hawes pier, over a crimson carpet, and whilst the guard presented arms, and the Queensferry band played “God Save the Queen!” she stepped on board of the William Adam, one of the ordinary ferry steamers. Her Majesty was followed by the Duchess of Norfolk and Miss Paget. The spectacle here was most imposing, and the assembled multitude rent the air with cries of “The Queen!—The Queen!— Long live, and God bless the Queen and Prince Albert!” The rest of the suite, and the carriages and luggage, were embarked in other vessels. At the request of Captain Mason, Superintendent of the Ferry, who had the honour of steering the Queen upon this occasion, Her Majesty and Prince Albert seated themselves on the poop, the deck being covered with crimson cloth. The Prince having signified the Queen’s desire to land after her suite, the steamer was steered up the Forth, until opposite to the salmon fishers’ residence on the southern shore, in order that Her Majesty might enjoy the view of Hopetoun House, which, standing as it does, with its extended Versailles-looking front, upon a noble terrace, and surrounded as it is with the finest timber, forms a very grand object to those who look at it from the water. As viewed from Queensferry, the effect of the flotilla of steamers, steering in different directions, with a calm sea, a clear sky, and sunshine on the water, was beautiful, and was increased by the multitudes crowding the shore which the Queen had left, as well as that to which she was bound. On the downward passage, Port Edgar, on the southern shore, was pointed out to Her Majesty, as the place from which George IV. embarked when he left Scotland in 1822. Her Majesty asked for Broomhall, the seat of the Earl of Elgin, and its site, on the northern shore, was pointed out. The Queen put a great many other questions about the surrounding country, appearing to take great interest in every thing she saw. She very much admired the view up the Firth, and noticed the distant Ochil range of hills as being particularly beautiful. The steamer having dropped below the island of Inchgarvie, and the northern promontory, and thus opened the Firth to the eastward, the Prince was much struck with the extended prospect. Her Majesty remarked the harbour of St. David’s; and on being told that it belonged to Admiral Sir Philip Calderwood Durham, she enquired if he were a Scotsman. Sir Philip is well known as the veteran of many battles. His perils, indeed, began very early in life, for when quite a boy, he went down with the Royal George. By great good fortune—both for himself and his country—he was picked up and saved, to do much mischief to the enemies of Great Britain. The Queen expressed a wish to be informed as to the origin of the name of Queensferry, which is derived from Margaret, Queen of Malcolm Canmore, who much frequented this passage, and was the great patroness of the place. But now Her Majesty Queen Victoria has given a new glory to the place, so that it may prove a subject of discussion among future antiquaries to which of the two Queens it is indebted for its name. The distant site of Stirling was pointed out, and Dunfermline—the ancient seat of royalty, where the Scottish monarchs were wont, according to the ballad, to sit “drinking the blood red wyne,” and remarkable as the burial-place of Robert Bruce—was the object of much interest to the Queen.

A circumstance happened on board, which very much amused Her Majesty and the Royal party. The blind fiddler, who usually accompanies the steamer, anxious, as he said, in the language of all blind men, “to see the Queen,” and fearful lest he should be driven from his post on this grand occasion, concealed himself below until the boat had got under weigh, and then creeping timidly on deck, like a mouse from its hole, he appeared in his wonted place, and at once commenced “God Save the Queen,” to the great entertainment of the Royal party. The Duchess of Norfolk asked him if he could play “The Lass o’ Gowrie,” which he immediately did, as well as various other Scottish airs, and before Her Majesty left the boat, Her Grace presented him with a sovereign from the Queen. The poor fellow is naturally very proud of the distinguished honour thus conferred upon him, and perhaps he is a little apt to boast of it among his friends; but whenever they wish to bring him down from his heroics, they very wickedly say to him, “What tune was that ye were playin’, Peter, whan Her Maijesty bade ye gie over?” Among the numerous steamers attending that which carried the Queen, the Monarch was most conspicuous, with flags and streamers flying, and a band of music on hoard. As soon as Her Majesty and the Prince were recognised, her company cheered loudly, and the compliment was graciously acknowledged. On approaching the northern shore, the enthusiasm manifested by the thousands of spectators, who were packed as closely as they could stand, was very gratifying. Troops of gentlemen rode into the water up to their horse’s girths, in their eagerness to welcome Her Majesty. The Magistrates and Councillors were on the pier, which was laid with scarlet cloth, from the landing place to the inn door, where the Royal carriage stood in readiness. The Queen was handed on shore by Prince Albert, and received by Captain Wemyss, Lord-Lieuteuant of Fifeshire, and Mr. Sheriff Monteith, and a large party of the lieutenancy and other gentlemen connected with the county. The detachment of the 53d regiment on duty presented arms, and Her Majesty walked up the pier leaning on the Prince’s arm. One gentleman, whilst energetically waving his handkerchief, allowed it, to escape from his hand, when the Prince picked it up, with great condescension and politeness, and returned it to its owner, who was covered with confusion. The moment Her Majesty had entered her carriage, a royal salute was commenced from the Monarch steamer; and the whole cortege drove off under an escort of dragoons, and attended by the gentlemen on horseback, with the Lord-Lieutenant on the right of the carriage, and the Sheriff in front, amid the deafening shouts of the people, who crowned all the picturesque elevations, whence favourable views of the scene could be obtained.

Following the road that sweeps along the rocky headland, and enjoying the various marine views which it commands, Her Majesty reached the ancient burgh of Inverkeithing, fine in its situation on the crown of a hill, and interesting in itself from the curious old buildings it contains. The royal approach was announced by the firing of cannon. At the West-port, by which Her Majesty entered, a triumphal arch was erected, surmounted by a beautiful crown of flowers, adorned with evergreens and flags. Within the arch was inscribed, “Inverkeithing hails Queen Victoria and Prince Albert to ancient Caledonia.” Banners waved from the steeple of the church, and from many of the private houses, some of which were very tastefully decorated with evergreens. The assemblage of people here was immense, and their cheers loudly spoke the loyalty of their hearts. Her Majesty kindly acknowledged them. Their cry was, “Oh, but gin she wad gang slower!”—and, if the wishes of every man and woman had been gratified, Her Majesty would have tarried there all day. At the northern extremity of the burgh was a second arch, having the letters V. E. formed in flowers hanging from the centre.

After driving up the long hill to the northward of the valley of Inverkeithing, the Queen passed the gate of Lord Cuninghame’s residence of Duloch, on the left hand, where there was a triumphal arch, tastefully decorated with evergreens and flowers ;—and on the right, the grand entrance to Fordel, the seat of Sir Philip Durham, where there was also an elegant erection, adorned with arboreal and floral devices. A very great concourse of people had assembled here from Dunfermline and the Fordel collieries. They received the Queen with the most loyal demonstrations, and the children from the school, neatly dressed, and ranged along the road, presented an interesting spectacle. Long will this glorious day be imprinted on their memories. Here the Royal carriage, with its cortege, began to proceed at a rapid rate, putting some of the steeds of the equestrians to their mettle. At Crossgates, the colliers and rural population again turned out in great numbers, and with similar expressions of loyalty. On arriving at Cowdenbeath, there was a change of horses. Here the Queen was met by an immense assemblage of people of the middling and lower ranks, especially of those from the neighbouring villages and collieries, the dark interior of the earth giving forth its honest labourers, as well as the smiling surface of the fields. There was no admixture of gay equipages or dresses, but nothing could exceed the fervour of the welcome given by those brown-visaged sons of toil, and Her Majesty replied to their cheering by fascinating smiles, which satisfied every warm heart among them, that their kind feelings had been fully appreciated. For some miles of the route hereabouts the country is tame; but the day was fine, and the road superb, and free from dust—and had it been otherwise, preparations had been made by the authorities for watering it thoroughly, all the way from the Ferry to Perth.

As the Queen entered Kinross-shire at Kelty-bridge, she was met by a large party of the county gentlemen and tenantry, the latter furnished with rods as special constables, and the whole well mounted. Mr. Sheriff Tait was at their head, attended by Mr. Syme, Sheriff-substitute. Admiral Sir Charles Adam, the Lord-Lieutenant, was absent in command of the Fleet on the North American and West Indian stations, and Lord Moncreiff, the Vice-Lieutenant, was not then in the county. The Royal cortege was proceeding at a rapid pace, but the Fifeshire gentlemen resigned their precious charge, and those of Kinross-shire wheeled into their places, and the Sheriff riding in front of the Royal carriage, they swept down towards Blair-Adam as rapidly as the horses could go. Mr. Tait had provided cards, with the names of the various objects of interest written upon them,—“to the left, Blair-Adam,”—“to the right, Lochleven and Castle,”—and these he handed, to some of the suite, to be given to the Queen as she came opposite to each spot alluded to. Her Majesty, who seemed to he desirous to know every thing, had a map on her knee, and a memorandum-book in her hand, for noting down the information she received. Sheriff Tait’s plan was well conceived, for in certain parts of Her Majesty’s route, she frequently put questions ineffectually to those around her, from their being unacquainted with that part of the country. The writer of this has had occasion to mention in a recent work, that a little more than a century ago, the country around Blair-Adam was all a wild and desolate moor, and that in the time of the great-grandfather of the present Sir Charles Adam, there was only one tree upon the whole estate. Its natural features were not altogether tame, however; and the hill of Benartney itself, rising boldly to the right of the road, must, at all times, have been an object calculated to give some interest to the most barren district.

But, in the course of the lives of three individuals, and by their eminently successful exertions, a fine woodland country has been created, most pleasing to the passing traveller, and which must have been particularly so to the Queen, if the circumstances now mentioned were known to her, and that the last of these three was William Adam, whose legal and political career must always render his name an honour to his country.

Opposite to the entrance gate of Blair-Adam House, a beautiful triumphal arch, supported by two large fir trees, was thrown across the road, adorned with evergreens and flowers, and bearing the words, “Welcome to Kinross-shire,” in black letters on a white ground, with a handsome floral crown, three feet in diameter. As the royal cortege passed, a bouquet was handed to the Duchess of Norfolk, with a card attached to it, thus inscribed: “Blair-Adam, 600 feet above the level of the sea, was, a century ago, a barren moor. It is now covered with the finest timber and corn-fields, showing the enterprising spirit of Sir Charles Adam, and his predecessors.” The pretty little inn was dressed in a similar way, and there was a flag on the top of the arch, and three others appeared at different parts along the road. There was a great assemblage of people here, and indeed all the way onwards to Kinross.

The plain in which Kinross stands, opens beautifully beyond Blair-Adam, and when the Queen’s eyes first caught sight of the town, with its two spires, and the wide extent of Lochleven stretched out on that exquisitely beautiful day, like a mirror, with the wooded peninsula, occupied by the grounds of Kinross House jutting into it, its bounding hills with their cultivated slopes; and, above all, the beautiful islet, with its striking ruin, and few picturesque trees reposing in melancholy silence on the calm surface of the waters that glistened in the sunshine, and all these objects doubled by reflection in its bosom—Her Majesty showed how much she was struck with the scene, by standing up in the carriage, and pointing it out to Prince Albert. This was before she had been informed of its name, which must have roused many historical associations in her well-informed mind. The castle is said to have been founded by Congal, King of the Picts. As we have for ages been accustomed to prefer the more important circumstances of the history of England as presented us by Shakespeare, so the version of some of the greater actions of our Scottish history, so happily given in the poems and romances of Sir Walter Scott, is much more graphic and pleasing than that of the drier historian. It is to Sir Walter that our minds always turn when the classic lake of Lochleven and its castle are mentioned, and the captivity of the unfortunate Queen Mary, with the interesting and successful plot for her escape, are immediately recalled. On the present occasion, a white flag waved from the ancient walls, and as it is the business of faithful narrative to conceal nothing, it may be as well to mention, that in the eagerness which existed to make the town of Kinross wear a gay aspect in the eyes of the Queen, the poor old castle was entirely forgotten until the very latest moment, when all the flags being otherwise employed, and not even a web of cloth, or a tartan plaid being to be had, a table cloth was adopted, and as nothing was said about it, this ilrupeau hlanc excited the utmost admiration, as the zephyrs sported with it, producing brilliant effects of light, and perhaps, after all, nothing else could have been half so suitable for the distance at which it was to be seen.

The loyal inhabitants of Kinross had made the greatest exertions to decorate their small towrn ; and that the poor might be in a condition to join in the rejoicings of those in better circumstances, a large subscription wras made for them. The Union-Jack was hoisted at the top of the old steeple; garlands of flowers were suspended across the streets, and three triumphal arches were erected at the joint expense of the county and town. One of these was at the bridge over the Queich, at the southern entrance to the town, with “Welcome’' on it, and the letters “V. A.”—and a little way above this there were the words, “Welcome to Kinross.” Another triumphal arch was in the centre of the town— and a third at the county buildings, at its northern extremity, decorated with crowns and flags, with the letters “V. A.” and two hearts entwined, with two lesser hearts below. The evergreens and flowers that composed these were liberally supplied from the shrubberies and gardens of Blair-Adam, Shanwell, and other places. Flags of every description were seen waving from the windows of the houses, and a profusion of the most beautiful tartans, the staple manufacture of the place, were exhibited in honour of the occasion. A gallery was erected, covered with festoons, of every dye and pattern, in clan and fancy tartans; and on this was stationed a band, having Albert plaids thrown across their shoulders, who played “God Save the Queen,” as Her Majesty passed, so as particularly to attract the Royal attention. In front of the County Hall was a gallery or platform, filled with about three hundred ladies and gentlemen;—the windows of Kirkland’s hotel were similarly occupied;—and a guard of honour of the 53d Regiment was drawn up in front.

The Queen was welcomed on her entrance to the ancient town by the merry peal of bells, and by the acclamations of the multitude who had thronged thither, as to a central point, from many miles around. On her arrival opposite to Kirkland’s hotel, where the change of horses was to take place, the guard of honour presented arms. The crowd collected here was so great, that the troopers found it. difficult to prevent confusion. An old weaver of Kinross was very active in his exertions to squeeze himself forward that he might obtain a view of his sovereign, and was at length so far successful as to get close up to the pannel of the carriage. The guards immediately ordered him to “hold hack,” and they enforced this command in no very ceremonious manner. But the weaver was too much delighted with his favourable position to be easily removed. Again the guards assailed him, and were about to use summary measures to displace him, when turning upon them with an indignant look, “Haud back!” cried he—“Haud back yoursells!—Scotch folk are able eneuch to guard their ain Queen without sodgers!” The Queen, in whose hearing this loyal reply was loudly uttered, smiled most graciously; and both Her Majesty and the Prince seemed to be any thing but dissatisfied with the gruff but warmhearted reply of the honest weaver.

Another anecdote may be mentioned here. A man who had been misled by those extreme democratical opinions, with which the good sense and education of Scotsmen have preserved them from being-contaminated, except in certain instances much too insignificant to deserve notice, happened to come upon the Royal carriage at a time when the crowd had rushed forward. Finding himself thus suddenly in the presence of the Queen of Great Britain, he was so struck with her angelic smile, that he took off his hat and cheered loudly. Attracted by his repeated huzzas, Her Majesty made a most gracious inclination of her head to him, and he has been thus converted into a strenuous supporter of royalty, against those very people whose opinions he formerly favoured.

After the necessary delay of a few minutes, occupied in changing horses, the Queen’s carriage again proceeded at a rapid rate. At Milnathort there was a triumphal arch across the road, with an elegant festoon of flowers, whence a crown was suspended. The crowd of spectators here was very great, and their greetings loyal, loud, and hearty; and hats, bonnets, and handkerchiefs were whirling in the air. Beyond this to the right, on the. plain, backed by the wide sheet of Lochleven, and embosomed in a grove of fine old trees, stands the ancient tower of Burleigh Castle, picturesque in itself, and now rendered classical by the use made by Sir Walter Scott of its ancient Baron, Balfour of Burleigh, in his matchless story of “Old Mortality.” There is a long hut gradual ascent from Milnathort to Damhead, the country being well cultivated, but by no means interesting. But all along the road here—as indeed on the greater part of this day’s route—groups of people were collected from the adjacent villages, hamlets, and farms, to witness the unusual occurrence of a crowned head passing by, and small as their numbers were, their joyous acclamations were heard to echo along as the carriages drove on. As the harvest was in progress, the reapers, abandoning their labour, stationed themselves by the wav-side, with their sickles in their hands, and cheered the Queen with great enthusiasm; and from the gracious acknowledgments accorded to their loyalty by Her Majesty, their homely welcome seemed to be particularly gratifying to her. The Sheriff and the other gentlemen observing that the people were frequently at a loss to know which carriage contained the Queen, occasionally directed their attention to that which came first. One farmer who had had this favour conferred upon him, afterwards expressed his thanks.—“Od, an’ I hadna’ been tald,” said he, “I never would have kenned her for a Queen. 1 thought a’ Queens had gowden croons on their heads!”

At the boundary between the counties of Kinross and Perth, there was a large collection of people assembled at the village of Damhead, who received Her Majesty with the same enthusiasm she had everywhere experienced. The Sheriff of Kinross-shire might have here withdrawn, but observing that no Perthshire gentlemen had as yet appeared, he resolved to continue his convoy till he should meet them. Turning to the horsemen who accompanied him, he asked if they were disposed to ride on? With one loyal burst, they replied, that they would go on to Perth, or to the world’s end, if it were necessary, though their horses should die for it. Away they galloped, therefore, and the Queen’s carriage kept them at the top of their speed.

The road now entered the upper end of Glenfarg, and a cannon was discharged there, the sound of which went rolling down its long winding trough, giving notice to those in Stratherne of the Queen’s approach; and a gun being then fired from the hill of Moncrieffe, and a flag hoisted on its top, both Dupplin Castle and the city of Perth were made aware of the Royal approach. Glenfarg is narrow, but extremely beautiful and picturesque, the road being chiefly cut out of the craggy hill-sides, and turning, and crossing, and recrossing the lively little stream, that brawls away over rocks and among large stones in the bottom. The steep banks are everywhere well formed, and the wooding which clothes them is extremely rich, being in most places unbroken, except by the irregularity of their faces, and sometimes loose and scattered, so as to bring individual trees into notice, whilst the large leaves of the tussilago petasites, or greater coltsfoot, and various other plants coveted by artists, everywhere make up the richest herbage in the foregrounds. The drive through this lovely little glen is more interesting when followed downwards, as Her Majesty took it, because the traveller thus steals insensibly and unexpectedly from the uninteresting higher grounds, into the midst of its beauties, which go on improving at every turn, until the road bursts suddenly out upon the broad rich plain of the Erne. The Queen is endowed with a soul and a taste too susceptible of the beauties of nature, not to have fully enjoyed this charming miniature range of scenery; and, accordingly, Her Majesty frequently called the attention of the Prince to particular parts of it, and both stood up from time to time, that they might catch more perfect views. All public passage through it had been prohibited by the authorities, till the Queen had made her transit.

On emerging from this romantic glen into the richly cultivated Stratherne, the district from which Her Majesty’s Royal father had his Scottish title,—the whole of this vast plain—its fields teeming with wealth—its noble river—its numerous seats embowered in extensive woods—and the fine bold hills bounding it on both sides, were smiling with a glow of sunshine, as if to welcome his Royal daughter to her especial heritage. The Queen seemed to be much struck with the loveliness of the scene. As the carriage and cortege debouched from the mouth of Glenfarg into Stratherne, a Royal salute was fired from four cannon planted on the summit of Moncriefte hill, on the farther side of the plain, producing a grand effect. The carriage proceeded at a very rapid pace across the plain, where the road was lined with thousands of people,—the whole inhabitants of an immense extent of country around, including a great part of Fifeshire, seemed to have congregated there, the recently cleared stubble being covered with gigs, droskies, carts, and vehicles of all kinds, full of joyous-looking people, whose lungs gave full breath to their loyalty as the Queen drove rapidly by, to a place within about a quarter of a mile of the Bridge-of-Erne, where the horses were again to be changed. Here there was a great concourse of people, and the Master of Rollo, Mr. Grant of Ivilgraston, Captain Hunter of Auchterarder, and a large body of Perthshire gentlemen and yeomen, were drawn up on horseback, in single file, behind a hedge. To these, the Sheriff of Kinross-shire resigned the care of the Queen, after he and his party had ridden with her eighteen miles in an hour and an half, including the former stop,—and the fresh horses having been put to, they took off their hats, bowed, and retired for the purpose of returning home, their attention being graciously acknowledged by Her Majesty.

At the pretty village of Bridge-of-Erne, every house had been most industriously decorated with flowers and evergreens, and a grand triumphal arch of arboreal and floral architecture, having on it an imperial crown, beautifully formed of the finest dahlias, was stretched completely across the road, with the royal standard of England waving high above it. The multitudes assembled here were immense, the galleries erected on both sides were closely filled, and the shouts of joyous acclamation which greeted the Queen as she passed, made the very rocks of Moncrieffe hill resound. The Newburgh instrumental band occupied one of these galleries, close to the arch, and as Her Majesty passed, they struck up “God Save the Queen!”

The scene that presents itself in crossing the bridge, is extremely beautiful. The fine river comes down from the left, and stretches away to the right through the broad plain, its level topped banks ever and anon supporting fine groups of timber trees—whilst the slopes immediately in front are covered with the grounds and woods of Moncrieffe House, which creep up the ragged steeps of the bold and picturesque face of its hill. Her Majesty and the Prince appeared to be delighted with this scene.

It may now be as well to record some of the preparations made by the authorities of the great county of Perth for the Queen’s reception. A meeting had been held, where addresses had been voted by acclamation. These were appointed to be presented by a deputation, consisting of the Earl of Kinnoull, Lord-Lieutenant; Mr. Home Drummond of Blair-Drummond, M.P., Vice-Lieutenant; Mr. Whigham, Sheriff of the county ; and Mr. Smythe of Methven, and Mr. Belshes of Invermay, the Convener; who were also authorised to make all necessary arrangements. They were finally informed, by a communication from Sir Robert Peel, that the addresses, both of the city and county of Perth, would he received at Dupplin Castle. The greatest anxiety prevailed as to the route which the Queen might select for her approach to Perth, the universal desire being that Her Majesty should first behold the “fair city,” and the “ample Tay,” from the Cloven Craigs, and all doubt on this subject was speedily removed by the following letter, forwarded to the Sheriff by express, and dated

“Dalkeith, September 4, 1842.

“Sir,—I have to inform you, that Her Majesty proposes to cross the Queensferry about eleven o’clock on Tuesday, and will continue her journey by Kinross to Perth. It is the intention of Her Majesty to visit Dupplin Castle. For this purpose the Queen will leave the great road at the hill of Moncrreffe, and proceed by the Hilton road, by which Her Majesty will also return, and enter Perth from the south. I have to request that you will take all such precautions as may be required to ensure order and regularity in Her Majesty’s progress through the county of Perth.—I have the honour to be, Sir, your most obedient servant,

“ABERDEEN.

“To Robert Wigham, Esq., Sheriff of Perthshire."

After receiving this letter, the Sheriff published a proclamation, pointing out the route the Queen was to follow, from her entrance into the county at Damhead, to the Palace of Scone. On Monday the 5th it rained incessantly, without damping the enthusiasm which prevailed. It was arranged, that after the gentlemen and tenantry of Stratherne should meet the Queen at Kintullo, they should pass on with her, and join the general muster of the tenantry of the county in the grounds of Scone Palace.

Tuesday proved one of the most magnificent days that ever dawned; the rain of the previous day had laid the dust, and refreshed the face of the earth, whilst the cheering influence of the sun made all nature rejoice. The road the Queen was to travel, leaves the great north line at Craigend, where two wooden erections had been constructed, and the crowd collected was immensely greater than all that had been seen before. The Queen’s route now lay up the face of the hills skirting the northern side of the vale of the Erne, affording Her Majesty a characteristic specimen of the old fashioned parish road, with all the undulations and strange angles which distinguished that ancient and now almost extinct species of way. Every thing had been done to make the surface good; but some of its turns were so extremely sharp, and two or three of the “braes” were of a degree of inclination so alarming, as very much to astonish some of Her Majesty’s English attendants. Before going down one fearfully steep hill, double drags were put upon the carriage occupied by the Queen, and it was well that this precaution was taken, for, during the descent, one of them snapped, and it is fearful to think how calamitous the fracture of that small piece of iron might have proved to the happiness of this vast empire, had not the other remained firm.

Many groups of people, who had taken up favourable positions for seeing the Queen, were highly gratified. Her Majesty enjoyed some fine points of view, commanding the rich vale of Stratherne, and looked down into the extensive grounds of Kilgraston, Freeland, Rossie, and Invermay with its “birks,” rendered classical by ancient ballad—whilst the quiet stream of the Erne meandered through the fertile plain, caught the happiest effects of light from the smiling sun—and the hills stood out clear and well defined. The Queen’s countenance reflected the beauty of these prospects by the radiant delight with which she beheld them.


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