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Queen Victoria and Prince Albert's Trip to Scotland
Chapter XIII. Dupplin Castle


Dupplin Castle is an extensive new erection, somewhat in the Elizabethan style, built by the present noble proprietor, after the accidental destruction of the more ancient house by fire. It stands in the midst of a wide and undulating park, spreading over a part of the chain of hills flanking the northern side of the vale of the Erne, of which it affords views of very great beauty and interest, wherever the eye can penetrate the grand masses of fine old trees, gorgeously clothing it. From certain parts it commands the whole extent of plain, nearly from that point in the far west, where the river leaves the lake, and following its whole windings, till it unites itself with the Tay, as far as the eye can reach in the east, the prospect being bounded to the south by the picturesque range of the Ochils, running westward until they terminate in the vicinity of Stirling. The historical recollections connected with this spot are very remarkable in themselves, and particularly so, as they are connected with the family history of the present noble Earl of Kinnoull. It was here that the Scottish army encamped in the time of David II., in 1332, when they were surprised in the night by Edward Baliol, and terribly slaughtered. The very name of Hay was so nearly extinguished by this battle, that had not William, the chief, been succeeded by a posthumous child, the family would have ceased to exist. The castle stands on a broad terrace, into which the park slopes downwards from the north, and it has a deep and romantic ravine to the south, which divides it off as if by a natural fosse, from the rest of the grounds in that direction. The Royal standard, sent down for the occasion by the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, floated over the highest tower of the castle; and it may be here noticed, that by the gracious command of the Queen, this now remains at Dupplin Castle, as a trophy of the memorable day. Besides this, the flags belonging to the Perthshire militia were also displayed.

The noble proprietor having given the most liberal admission to the grounds, the shaven lawn was covered with people, among whom were some of the most distinguished families in the neighbourhood, whilst a number of carriages were drawn up in an alley to the westward. As the Queen drove up at twenty-five minutes before four o’clock, she was received with loud cheering, and the guard of honour, consisting of a company of the gallant 42d regiment, under the command of Captain Macpherson, brother to Cluny, presented arms, whilst the band played “God Save the Queen!” The noble Earl of Kinnoull, Lord-Lyon King-at-Arms, and Lord-Lien-tenant of the county of Perth, with his Countess, and their eldest daughter Lady Louisa, received the Queen at the principal entrance. Ilis Lordship, who was dressed in his uniform as colonel of the Royal Perthshire Militia, handed Her Majesty from her carriage, and led her into the cattle, followed by Prince Albert and the Countess.

The public apartments of Dupplin Castle are grand and imposing. The Queen was first ushered through the great hall, and thence into the library, furnished in the best taste, the walls well clothed with pictures, and some fine pietra dura tables upon exquisitely carved antique stands, with many other articles of virtu. Here Her Majesty found the Earl of Mansfield, Lord and Lady Kinnaird, Lord and Lady Willoughby de Eresby, Admiral Sir Charles Rowley, Lord and Lady Rollo, Viscount Strathallan, and Lord and Lady Ruthven, with whom she entered into familiar conversation. The Queen expressed an immediate desire for a short walk; but on being informed that the deputations were waiting with the addresses, she abandoned her intention; and that from the county being announced, Her Majesty stationed herself at the upper end of the room, with His Royal Highness Prince Albert at her left hand. On her right stood the Duchess of Norfolk and Sir Robert
Peel, and on Prince Albert’s left, Lords Aberdeen and Liverpool, and Mr. Anson. The county deputation being all present except Mr. Belshes, who was indisposed, Lord Kinnoull advanced at their head, and read the following address:—

“UNTO THE QUEEN’S MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY,

“The Loyal and Dutiful Address of the Noblemen, Justices of the Peace, and Commissioners of Supply, of the County of Perth, in General Meeting assembled.

“Most Gracious Sovereign,

“We the Noblemen, Justices of the Peace, and Commissioners of Supply of the County of Perth, with the most lively feelings of devotion and attachment to your Majesty’s person, beg leave humbly to offer our heartfelt congratulations on the auspicious occasion of your Majesty’s visit to this portion of your ancient kingdom of Scotland. It is our earnest prayer, that your Majesty’s visit may be as conducive to your Majesty’s health and happiness, as it is gratifying to all the inhabitants of this county. That your Majesty’s life may long be spared, to reign over a free, a loyal, a happy, and a contented people, is our constant and fervent prayer.”

Her Majesty having received the address, handed it to Lord Aberdeen; and, taking from him the paper on which her reply was written, she read the following words :—

“I am very sensible of your expression of attachment and devotion to my person; and I assure you it is with great pleasure that I have visited this portion of my dominions.”

After his Lordship had read the address intended for Prince Albert, His Royal Highness replied with an earnestness and kindness of manner, that seemed to come from the heart, in the following terms :—

“Pray accept of my sincere thanks for this expression of your cordial congratulations upon the first visit of the Queen and myself to the great county of Perth. I shall always remember, with much satisfaction, the kind reception I have met with.”

After the Earl of Kinnoull had kissed hands, he retired, and the Lord Provost and Magistrates of the city of Perth, accompanied by the city clerks, all in court dresses, advanced, and Mr. Mackenzie the senior city clerk, read the following address to the Queen :—

“TO THE QUEEN'S MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY.

“May it please your Majesty,

“We, your Majesty’s dutiful and devoted subjects, the Lord Provost, Magistrates, and Town-Couucil of the City and Royal Burgh of Perth, beg leave, with the most profound respect, and the deepest sentiments of attachment to your sacred person and government, to approach your Majesty’s presence, in order to tender our joyful congratulations on the arrival of your Majesty in your ancient kingdom of Scotland. Deeply sensible of the high honour conferred on this portion of your empire by your Majesty’s most gracious visit, and warmed by the strongest feelings of national gratitude and loyal affection, we gladly embrace the opportunity afforded us of renewing our assurances of devoted loyalty and attachment to a sovereign, who has shown so sacred a regard for the liberties, and so anxious a desire to promote the welfare, of her subjects. Our hearts exult with unfeigned joy when we see in our beloved Queen the illustrious descendant of a long line of Scottish monarchs; and we most fervently pray, that it may please Divine Providence long to preserve and prosper your Majesty, and your illustrious consort, and that with every domestic blessing you may continue to reign in the hearts, and preside over the destinies of a free, loyal, and happy people.

“Signed in name, and by appointment of the Magistrates and Council, in council assembled, and the seal of the city affixed thereto,

“C. G. SIDEY, Lord Provost

Her Majesty having graciously received the address, she handed it to Sir Robert Peel, who gave her the paper containing her reply, which Her Majesty read as follows :—

“I thank you for this loyal and affectionate address. It is with much satisfaction that I approach your ancient capital. You may be assured that I shall always feel warmly interested in the prosperity of my good city of Perth.”

The Lord Provost having received this gracious reply on his knees, had the honour to kiss hands. Mr. Reid, the junior city clerk, then advanced, and read the address to Prince Albert, which His Royal Highness received, and delivered to his secretary, Mr. Anson, who put into his hands the reply, which he read as follows:—

“I accept with pleasure this address, and I take this opportunity of returning my best acknowledgments for the honour which the city of Perth has conferred upon me, by electing me to its freedom.”

The box containing the freedom of the city was forgotten, by some mistake, but it was afterwards presented at the entrance to Perth. After the magistrates retired, the royal party were ushered to the banquetting hall, where there sat down to table with the Queen and Prince Albert, Lord and Lady Kinnoull and Lady Louisa Hay, the Duchess of Norfolk, Miss Paget, Lord Aberdeen, Lord Liverpool, Sir Robert Peel, General Wemyss, Colonel Bouverie, Mr. Anson, Lord Mansfield and Lady C. Murray, Lord and Lady and Miss Willoughby de Eresby, Lord and Lady Kinnaird, Lord and Lady Ruthven, Lord Strathallan, Mr. Home Drummond, Sir Charles Rowley, Mr. Smythe of Methven, and Mr. Sheriff Whigham. Her Majesty and Prince Albert conversed freely writh the distinguished party around them. The Queen and the Prince then went on the terrace behind the house, with Lady Kinnoull; and, on their return, Prince Albert again walked out, accompanied by Lord Kinnoull. In his eager desire to approach and examine a large tree, growing below in the ravine, the Prince ran down the steep grassy bank, and his noble host, boldly following, lost his footing, and had he not been arrested by an intervening walk, he might have rolled quite down to the bottom of the precipice. But fortunately the noble Earl escaped without injury of any kind.


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