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Queen Victoria and Prince Albert's Trip to Scotland
Chapter XXIV. Departure from Drummond Castle

ON Tuesday the 13th of September, the morning was beautiful. At half-past nine o’clock, the Queen and Prince Albert, with their suite, took their departure from Drummond Castle, the Guard of Honour of the 42d regiment, and the Drummond Guard, saluting Her Majesty as they did on her arrival. Lord Willoughby de Eresby and the Master of Strathallan attended the royal carriage as far as Ardoch on horseback. The Queen’s travelling dress was of the Royal Stuart tartan, with two deep flounces. She wore a white transparent cottage bonnet, with a blonde veil and small white feathers, and a cashmere shawl of a scarlet ground, with gold-coloured palms, of remarkable beauty and fineness of texture. The Prince was dressed in a plain blue surtout, black hat, and checked trowsers. The Queen took the way to the village of Muthil, where a triumphal arch had been prepared, and as Her Majesty drove slowly through the place, the loyal curiosity of the multitude was completely gratified, and she was received with enthusiastic cheering. At about a mile from this village the road to Stirling leaves the valley of the Erne, and here at the gate of Culdees, and nearly on the confines of Lord Viscount Strathallan’s property, there was an elegant triumphal arch, constructed of heather, and having a red-deer and roebuck on either side. Beside the arch was a rustic bower, in which Lady Strathallan, although in very delicate health, was waiting with her family, to offer their homage. The Queen was here gratified with a scene calculated to recall home recollections. The two grandchildren of Lord and Lady Strathallan were held up to the Boyal carriage, and presented Her Majesty with bouquets of the choicest flowers. The Queen seemed greatly moved, and, her thoughts probably turning to Windsor, she kissed the lovely infants wbth great tenderness. The triumphal arch bore this touching leg-end:—“Adieu, fair daughter of Stratherne!” in allusion to the second title of Her Majesty’s lamented father. Culdees is a fine old place, having a pretty glen, with a lively stream and ancient trees. Beyond this the country rises, and few objects of interest present themselves till the road passes, on the left, the gate and lodge of Orchill, belonging to Mr. Gillespie Graham. Immediately opposite to it, are the remains of one of the small Roman outposts, belonging to the great camp at Ardoch, in very perfect preservation. A Homan banner was here displayed in most appropriate taste, and the proprietor and his family were stationed before the gate to pay their compliments to the Queen, which she graciously acknowledged.

The Royal attention was next directed to the camp at Ardoch, to the left of the road, the most complete and entire specimen of Roman fortification in Scotland, or perhaps in Great Britain. Its situation is remarkably well chosen, having on its south-eastern side a deep morass of great extent. On the west it is partly defended by the steep banks of the water of Ivnaick, about forty or fifty feet in perpendicular height, so that one ditch only remains visible here, though it is not improbable that there may have been more originally. As the north-eastern side is the most exposed, it is guarded by five rows of ditches, still perfect, and running parallel to one another. On the north side are the same number of lines and ditches; and three or four of these artificial defences are still to be traced on the southern side, though very much obliterated. The four entrances, crossing the lines at right angles, are most distinct. The area is of an oblong form, 140 yards by 125, within the innermost lines. The prmtorium is a regular square, rising above the level of the camp, but not placed in the centre ; it measures exactly twenty yards on each side. This great work is supposed to have owed its creation to Agricola, who formed it for the Roman legions, there being other two large encampments adjoining it, for the cavalry and auxiliaries, embracing about 130 acres of ground, so that the whole thus afforded accommodation for all the forces that fought under that emperor in the great battle near the Grampians. By the time the Queen approached, the rain was falling pretty heavily, so that the carriage was closed. Major Moray Stirling, the proprietor of these interesting remains, had an archway constructed at the entrance of the camp, covered with heather and green boughs, and having a banner with the Roman eagle displayed on each side of it, and a great number of the neighbouring gentlemen, and tenantry on the estate, had assembled there to greet Her Majesty. The Royal party arrived about ten o’clock, but the wet prevented the Queen from quitting the carriage, from which, however, she enjoyed a very tolerable view of the ancient works, rendered more intelligible from a plan of them which was handed to her. Prince Albert got out of the carriage, and walked over the whole encampment, attended by Major Moray Stirling. The moment he entered the gate, the Royal standard was hoisted in the camp. He expressed himself highly gratified with all he saw, and paid the proprietor some well-merited compliments on the excellent state of preservation in which he found these interesting remains. The Royal pair were loudly cheered by a large concourse of people on their arrival and departure.

The Queen’s route lay down the valley of the Knaick, having the fine old place and grounds of Ardoch on the left. After crossing the river Allan, the horses were changed at Greenloaning, and the Royal carriage swept rapidly on to Dunblane. In her wav thither the Queen enjoyed a distant view of the old castle of Doune, built by the Earls of Menteith at a period beyond all record. It was seized by the crown in the middle of the 15th century, and remained annexed to it until the year 1502, when it was settled on Margaret, daughter of Henry VIII. of England, on her marriage with James IV., King of Scotland. In 1523, she married as her second husband Henry Lord Methven, after which she disposed of it to James Stewart, a younger brother of her husband, ancestor of the noble family of Moray, in whose hands it now remains.

Dunblane is a small town, prettily situated on the Allan water, which here becomes very beautiful. The cathedral and the Bishop's palace are picturesque and interesting ruins. It is worth recording, that the celebrated Bishop Leighton was consecrated to this See in 1662, and among many other charitable legacies, he left his library to the cathedral for the behoof of the diocese. The inhabitants of this ancient place received their Queen with every demonstration of loyalty. A flag was hoisted on the top of the grey tower of the cathedral, and its flapping disturbed the colony of daws inhabiting its more elevated regions, whilst the bells added to their discomfiture by beginning to ring at an early hour. A very handsome arch was erected by Mr. Stirling of Kippendavie, on his property at the entrance to the town, surmounted by a large floral crown, with “God Save the Queen” beneath it. At the gateway of Holme Hill, the residence of Miss Murray, there was a tasteful arch, with a crown and the letters V. A. formed of flowers, with two handsome flags. At Anchor-field, several Union-Jacks were displayed, and a large banner, having “God Save the Queen” in gold letters, with the rose, thistle, and shamrock in the centre. The Glasgow Union Bank Office was much ornamented with evergreens, flowers, and appropriate devices, and similar decorations appeared in various other quarters. A large party of special constables, wearing rosettes of royal purple, lined the street, and precautions were taken to keep the road on both sides clear of people. The Queen was received with loud cheering as she passed through the town. A discharge of rockets from Holme Hill Castle announced Her Majesty’s approach to the authorities of Stirlingshire.

Rising the hill from Dunblane, the Queen caught a glimpse of the house of Kippenross, prettily situated amidst hanging woods on the left bank of the river ; and she then had on her right the park wall and grounds of Keir, the splendid residence of Mr. Stirling. Near this Her Majesty was gratified by the very interesting spectacle of the whole of the people and children employed in the great Dean-ston cotton-works, to the number of 1500, most of them with flags and pennons in their hands, who had been marched hither, and drawn up in the field on the left of the road, the men on one flank, and the women on the other, with the word “industry” on their banners, and their band of music in the centre. As the field is considerably elevated above the road, they were displayed to great advantage, in their nice clean dresses and healthy looks. Mr. Stirling of Keir had a very magnificent arch of evergreens, with the motto, “Farewell to Perthshire, Scotland’s Queen.” He waited on horseback to receive Her Majesty at the grand entrance to his residence.

At the border line of the counties the Queen was met by Mr. Murray of Polmaise, Vice-Lieutenant of Stirlingshire, attended by Mr. Sheriff Handyside, Sir Michael Bruce of Stenhouse, Bart., Sir Gilbert Stirling of Larhert, Bart., Sir Henry Stewart Seton, Bart, of Allanton and Touch, Mr. Forbes of Callander, M.P. for the county, and Mr. Johnston of Alva, in their lieutenancy uniforms ; Mr. Maitland, in the Royal Archers’ uniform, and many gentlemen of the county; and when the Queen’s carriage came up, the whole took their places, and started off after Her Majesty. The Stirling troop of the old yeomanry, in plain clothes, turned out under Mr. Smith of Deanston, and lined the road from Keir onwards, each man falling in as the carriage passed him, and galloping after it.

On passing the handsome church of Lecropt, the rich plain of Stirling opens at once, with the Airthrey grounds—the Abbey or Abbot’s Craig—and, above all, the town of Stirling, with its castle beetling over the abrupt and romantic cliffs at its western extremity backed by the distant rising grounds to the southward. Sweeping down the hill towards the Bridge of Allan, the Queen enjoyed a beautiful view up the wooded course of that river. There were three arches here, one at the inn, one at the turnpike gate, and one at the reading-room, which last had a gilded bee-hive suspended from it, and a bee with golden body and silver wings, and this quaint parody on Watt, “How doth our good Queen bee improve each shining hour.” Soon after passing through this village, the Queen came upon the property of Lord Abercromby, Lord-Lieutenant of the county, and son of the gallant Sir Ralph, who died so gloriously in Egypt. The western entrance to Airthrey Castle, one of the most beautiful places in Scotland, opens from a large trumpet-mouth recess, on each side of which a grand triumphal arch was erected by Lord Abercromby. The first was composed of two living silver firs, 46 feet high, lifted by the roots and planted on the spot, and cleared of all their branches 18 feet from the ground. Four trees were lashed around each of their stems so as to make them about six feet in diameter. Between these a very perfect arch was thrown at 28 feet from the ground, and the whole was surmounted by a crown, and entirely covered with evergreens, the pillars having a web of red cloth twisted spirally around each of them. The second arch was made of trees 38 feet high, and constructed somewhat in the same form as the other, with this difference, that on it were the letters V. A., with a triangular piece of work over the arch, crowned by the Prince of Wales’ feathers. This arch was richly decorated with flowers, and had spiral rolls of white cloth round it. In front of the gate, stood the carriage of the Lord-Lieutenant, —and in it the venerable Lord Abercromby, who, invalid as he was, and in defiance of all consequences, had made it a point with his medical attendant that he should be permitted to go thus far to uncover his grey hairs in loyal homage to his youthful sovereign. Alas! that much revered head now reposes in the tomb of his ancestors; but his memory is imperishably embalmed in the affectionate and grateful remembrance of the thousands who benefited by his charity and benevolence, and by that wide circle of friends who partook of his boundless hospitality. The business of his life was unremittingly to invent and execute the kindest Christian acts to all mankind. No wonder, then, that his grave was moistened by the tears of genuine sorrow—or that the humble writer of this work, who had the happiness of enjoying his closest friendship, should now require the indulgence of his readers for thus yielding to the feelings of his heart. The remains of Lord Abercromby were deposited in the church of Tullibody.

After passing through the Airthrey arches, the Queen was royally saluted by a small park of guns placed on an eminence within his Lordship’s grounds, which never ceased firing till Her Majesty reached the town of Stirling.

On went the Queen and her followers, by the hamlet of Causeway Head, where her escort was joined by Mr. Tait, Sheriff of Kinross and Clackmannan. Turning thence directly across the plain, Stirling and its castle rose grandly before her, like one of the picturesque hill towns of Italy. In its general features the castle is somewhat like that of Edinburgh. The sides of the road here were crowded with carriages and people, and amongst others, Mr. Kinross, the Queen’s coachmaker, had a machine, decked with flowers and evergreens, which held above seventy people. The immediate approach to Stirling is by the new bridge over the river Forth, about an hundred yards below the very antique structure which formerly yielded the only passage. The yet more ancient bridge, of the time when Sir William Wallace defeated the English army of 50,000 men, under Cressingham, in 1297, was of timber, and stood half a mile farther up, at Kildean. It is well known that Wallace, feigning to retreat, kept about 10,000 men, masqued behind the Abbey Craig, until most of the enemy had crossed, and, having left the main beam of the bridge half sawn through—a signal was given by the blast of a horn—a wedge was removed, and the bridge fell. The slaughter of the English was tremendous, and the victory complete. Happy may we consider ourselves that those days of cruel contest between the two countries are now at an end, by their union under the crown which her present Majesty wears. Mr. Wright of the Broom, now resident in the neighbourhood of Stirling, who claims to be the lineal descendant of the wright who performed that singular piece of service for Wallace, was present cheering Victoria on this occasion.

The merry bells of Stirling had been ringing all day, and as the Queen’s carriage appeared on the bridge a royal salute was fired from the Castle, in reply to the proud announcement which the Airthrey guns had first had the honour of making of Her Majesty’s approach to this ancient stronghold of her ancestors. Mr. Ramsay of Barnton, had four thorough-bred bay horses ready at the north end of the bridge, to be attached to Her Majesty’s carriage, richly caparisoned with silver-mounted harness, having crimson and silver rosettes and pad-cloths. Here the Royal vehicle was fully opened, and by this time the horsemen in attendance had increased to about two hundred.

The main road runs directly towards the lower end of the town, whilst another turns off to the right, by Saint Mary’s-wynd, into the high central part of Broad-street. At the entrance to this road, a massive and rather elegant triumphal arch had been erected by the magistrates, composed of heather, evergreens, and boughs of trees, and resting at either side on neat castellated turrets, under which were paintings of the Queen and Prince Albert. In the centre were the Royal arms of Scotland, with the word “Welcome” underneath,—and above all was a large floral crown, with a flag bearing the arms of the town. Four neatly dressed boys were stationed on various parts of the structure, waving small flags, likewise hearing the word “Welcome.” Underneath the arch was the barrier, and outside of it were erected two platforms. On that to the right stood Provost Galbraith, with the Magistrates in court dresses, and the clergy of all denominations in their gowns and bands, with the burgh schoolmasters; and that opposite was filled with ladies and gentlemen. The road beyond the arch was lined by the members of the guildry, with the Dean at their head, and Mr. Lucas bearing the standard of this very ancient and respectable body. The Dean wore the gold chain and medal belonging to his office, and a very old ring, set with precious stones, originally given to be worn by that functionary, by the monarch who created them a corporate body. It bears this inscription—“Yis for ye Deine of ye Geild of Stirling.” Next to the guildry were stationed the seven incorporated trades, headed by Mr. William Grant, their deacon-convener. The standard, composed of blue and crimson silk, and known b} the name of “the blue blanket,” was borne by James Thomson. It was presented to them by Mary of Scotland, when confirming a charter granted them by Alexander III., to be used at their “weapon-schawings,” when called upon for the defence of their sovereign, and at the same time she gave a white silk sash, which was that day worn by the convener; also the curious halberd borne by the deacon of the weavers.

As the Royal carriage approached, the assembled multitude waved their hats and shawls, and rent the air with their loud acclamations. On reaching the triumphal arch, the Queen ordered the postilions to stop, and the Provost advancing towards the carriage, followed by the Magistrates, made his obeisance, and addressed Her Majesty as follows :—

“May it please your Most Gracious Majesty,

“As Provost of Stirling, I beg leave to approach your Majesty with sentiments of the most profound respect, and in the name of the Magistrates and Town-Council of your Majesty’s Royal Burgh of Stirling, together with the whole of the inhabitants, to offer our sincere and heartfelt welcome to this part of your Majesty’s dominions in Scotland, and to assure your Majesty of our devoted loyalty and attachment to your royal person and government. We hope your Majesty has received pleasure and gratification in the short tour you have made through this part of your hereditary dominions of Scotland, and that at no very distant period you will be graciously pleased again to visit this country, and favour your Scottish subjects with another opportunity of testifying their attachment and veneration to your Majesty’s royal person and government. We sincerely pray that the Almighty may long spare your precious life to reign and rule over this great nation.” The Chamberlain then advanced with the silver keys of the town, of ancient and curious make, borne upon a crimson velvet cushion, which the Provost presented to the Queen, as he proceeded to say—“And now give me leave, with the most profound respect and devotion, to place at your Majesty’s disposal the keys of your ancient Royal Burgh of Stirling.”

To this the Queen was graciously pleased to reply—

“We arc assured that they cannot be in better hands, and it affords us much pleasure again to return them to your keeping.”

The Provost then addressed himself to Prince Albert, and said—

“May it please your Royal Highness,

“I beg most respectfully to address your Royal Highness, in the name of the citizens, town-council, and magistrates of Stirling, to offer our hearty welcome to your Royal Highness to Scotland. We duly appreciate the condescension you have manifested in accepting the freedom of the town, and we shall be delighted to reflect that your Royal Highness’s name is added to the roll of the burgesses of Stirling. The many virtues which adorn your character, and the very great amenity of your manners, has endeared your Royal Highness to the hearts of all Her Majesty’s losing and loyal subjects. Permit me, in the name of those whom I have the honour to represent, to wish your Highness good health, and every happiness that this world can afford. And now, allow me to place in your hands a box containing the freedom of the Royal Burgh of Stirling.”

His Royal Highness Prince Albert was pleased to reply—

“I am very proud of the honour you have now conferred upon me, and request that you will present to the Magistrates and Town-Council my best thanks for this mark of their esteem.”

The Provost then again addressed the Queen, who turned towards him with the same dignity, mingled with sweetness, which she had hitherto all along preserved. “Permit me one word of your Majesty I had the honour to serve, for twenty-four years, under your Majesty’s lamented father, his late Royal Highness the Duke of Kent,”— The feelings of a daughter came upon the Queen—her eyes glistened, and filled with interest, which increased as the Provost went on—“And,” continued he, “it gives me peculiar pleasure, that, as Provost of this town, I should now have the honour of receiving your Majesty, under the immediate command of whose revered father I served in Nova Scotia, and was for thirteen years the adjutant of his regiment, during the whole of which time I had the honour to enjoy much of his patronage, countenance, and favour.” . The Queen replied with great feeling—“It gives me great gratification to find, as Provost of this Burgh, one who served so long under my revered father.”

The burgess ticket presented to Prince Albert was inclosed in a silver box, placed within another box, formed of a portion of oak from the old house in Mar-place, once the residence of the celebrated Scottish historian and poet, George Buchanan, and taken down a few years ago.

The Provost having obtained Her Majesty’s permission to precede her through the Burgh, he and his Magistrates entered their splendid equipages, emblazoned with the arms of the town, and, preceded by the Newhouse band, advanced in front of the Queen, amidst continued cheering. Immediately in rear of the Royal cortege came the Miltown band, with the members of the guildry, and the seven incorporated trades. Passing by the end of Cowan-street, the procession moved up Bridge-street, where many of the houses were decorated with flags and evergreens, and Her Majesty proceeded amidst the loyal shouts of the people, who took advantage of every point of elevation to gain a better view. Her Majesty here passed a very antique house on the right, which, notwithstanding a date of 1632 on it, is manifestly of much older standing. It is called Queen Mary’s house, and tradition says that it was occupied by her. Barriers and police were prudently placed above this, where St. Mary’s-wynd becomes so narrow, as with difficulty to admit of one carriage at a time. The fronts of the houses projected close to the Queen’s carriage, so that Her Majesty might have shaken hands with the well dressed persons who were the temporary occupants of the windows of these mean old tenements. This street comes at right angles into the lower end of Broad-street, which is like a great market-place, having its highly inclined area flanked on all sides by tall and venerable fronts of very ancient houses. These were all so decorated with paintings, evergreens, and floral designs, that it would be as vain to attempt to enumerate them, as to particularize the thousands who filled the street and the windows, who gave one universal burst of cheering as soon as the Queen appeared from the narrow way, so loud, and so prolonged, that the walls of old Stirling have not for many a day heard the like. Her Majesty was obviously not less surprised than delighted, and bowed repeatedly, with a smiling countenance, to both sides of the street. Following the steep and winding way leading to the esplanade, the Queen soon arrived at the gate of the castle, where the crowds were immense. She was much struck with the appearance of the 42d Highlanders, drawn up there, and Prince Albert expressed to Colonel MacDougall, their commanding officer, his admiration of their appearance and dress, and particularly noticed their bonnets.

The Queen was here received by the deputy-governor of the castle, whom she recognised, saying as he came forward, “Sir Archibald Christie, I believe.” As Her Majesty alighted on the scarlet cloth laid for her, the gallant veteran, who wears the highly honourable sears of terrific wounds received in the service of his sovereign, made his obeisance, and said, that he was proud to have the honour of receiving Her Majesty in one of the ancient palaces of her ancestors. The Queen’s recognition of this brave old officer was most gracious, and such as, whilst it highly honoured him, displayed the kindness of her heart. The Prince was pleased to give him a hearty shake by the hand. With the deputy-governor there was also present Sir George Murray, colonel of the 42d regiment, then forming the garrison. The Queen took the Prince’s arm, and attended by Sir Archibald on the left, they slowly crossed the drawbridge into the castle, where Her Majesty was saluted by a guard of honour. After graciously acknowledging the salute, the Queen looked round, and observing that the gate had been shut, and that the ladies of her suite had been excluded, she called Lord Liverpool towards her, and with a countenance sparkling with animation and benignity, pointed out the mistake, and said, “Lord Liverpool, this must not be,” and accordingly his lordship hastened to remedy the error; but before he reached the gate, the ladies had been admitted. The batteries were laid with crimson cloth, in expectation that the Queen might have visited them, but want of time prevented Her Majesty from going thither to look at one of the most wonderful prospects in her dominions, which, however, would have been but indifferently seen through the haze then prevailing.

In a clear day the eye looks down from this vast height upon the broad and extensive plain of Stirling, stretching away far to the eastward, bounded on its northern side by the grand range of the green Ochils, with all their woods and villages, giving variety and interest to their slopes—nearest to the eye, the fine form of Dumyot rising from them, with the craggy and richly embowered precipices on which it rests—and the varied park and grounds of Airthrey Castle, seen undulating beyond the fine isolated hill of the Abbey Craig, here presenting its bold basaltic cliffs towards the spectator. Immediately under the Castle-liill are seen the old and new bridges, with the broad majestic river winding through the deep and fertile soil in wide circles, almost converting the intermediate spaces into islands, producing the most beautiful intermixture of land with the water, which is only distinguished in certain more distant spots receding from the eye, by the stray catches of light reflected from it, ever varying from one point to another, and occasionally illuminating the whole expanse of the far-withdrawing Forth, covered with sails, together with the town of Alloa and its shipping, six miles distant from Stirling by land, but no less than twenty-four by the windings of the river. Let those who never had the good fortune to see this view, endeavour by their fancy to enrich the picture here attempted to be described, by adding to it its hedgerows, groups of trees, and buildings—its Lombardy poplars starting up spirally here and there—the venerable tower of Cambuskenneth Abbey rising from the scattered groves—the woods of Stewarthall, Polmaise, and Dunmore Park, on the southern side of the plain— those of Tullibody, Alloa, Kennet, and Tulliallan on the other— with the picturesque tower of Clackmannan rising on its prominent eminence ; and let the moving panorama of steamers and sloops be introduced working in different directions among the cornfields, with their prows directed now to one point of the compass, and again to that directly opposite to it, as they thread through the links of this most puzzling chain of inland navigation, and a scene will be produced in their minds, which, though very deficient in magnificence, may yet bear some faint resemblance to the original. When the atmosphere is bright, the eye travels all over the distant shores of the Firth, till it rests on the Castle of Edinburgh, between thirty and forty miles off. Nor is the prospect devoid of historical recollections. The very ancient name of Strivcling, or the place of strife, indicating that this was a great theatre of frequent contention from the earliest times—and situated as it was, intermediate between the four great kingdoms of North Umbria and Cumbria on the south, and the Scots and Picts on the north, it was no wonder that it should have honestly earned this name,—in proof of which no less than twelve important battle-fields may be seen from the walls.

Having gone through the deep archway leading into the first court, the Queen passed by the northern side of the palace, erected by James V., so richly and grotesquely carved with figures, and entered the great upper court-yard. Sir Archibald Christie pointed out the interesting ancient buildings surrounding its four sides, all of them pregnant with historical recollections. Here James II. was born. James III. had a peculiar attachment to Stirling Castle, and here much of his time was spent with his low and unworthy favourites, to the exclusion and consequent disgust of his nobility and barons. He built that large hall, 120 feet long, in the edifice on the north side of the square, for the meetings of parliament. He also erected the Chapel Royal, in which James VI. was baptized with grand ceremonies, and which was afterwards demolished by that monarch himself, in order to build, for the baptism of his son Prince Henry in 1508, that chapel in the west side of the square, now the armoury, where on that occasion the superb ceremonial was performed, so fully described by Nisbet and others. At the banquet which took place in the grand hall of the palace on that occasion, a huge chariot entered, attended by people allegorically dressed, and after that “a most sumptuous, artificial, and well-proportioned ship was moved in,“ "the length of her keel eighteen feet, and her breadth eight feet,” and the sea she stood upon was twenty-four feet. “ Her motion was so artificially devised within herself, that none could perceive what brought her in. She was curiously painted, and was freighted with parts of the banquet, in gilt and azure crystal dishes. Her masts were red—her cordage silk—her blocks were gilt—her sails were of double white taffeta, and she carried thirty-six brass guns, and a number of people in allegorical costumes,—and yet, extravagantly rich as she was in construction, she was but one small item amidst the multitudinous glories of this costly pageant. The eastern side of the square is formed by the western front of the palace of James V., covered like the other sides of the building with grotesque carving. The southern side and south-western angle are filled by the ancient palace of kings who reigned before the Stuart dynasty. The Queen and Prince listened with great interest to Sir Archibald Christie’s information regarding the history of these various structures.

On arriving at the governor’s house, Lady Christie—now alas! no more—was at the foot of the steps to receive the Queen, attended by her two daughters, and also by Colonel Tytler, the fort-major, and Mr. Peddie, his deputy, the Countess of Mar, the Hon. Miss Abercromby, the Hon. Mrs. Lefroy, Miss Murray, daughter of Sir George Murray, Lady Seton Stewart, and the Misses Seton Stewart. The Queen entered the house, and went up stairs and visited the room where James II., after having tried in vain to exhort William, Earl of Douglas, to sever himself from his alliance with the Earl of Ross, and Lindsay Earl of Crawford, well known as Earl Beardie, by which they agreed to take part in all each others quarrels, even against the King himself,—and finding that Douglas received his remonstrances with haughty obstinacy, at last lost his temper, and drawing his dagger and exclaiming, “By Heaven, my Lord! if you will not break the league, this shall”—he stabbed him to the heart. Douglas was instantly finished by Sir Patrick Gray and others in attendance on the King, and his body was thrown out of the window, underneath which it received a hasty grave, where his skeleton was found about 40 years ago. The Queen admired the old carved roof of the room which bears the name of James I.

Having then gone out to visit the governor’s garden, filling the triangular space behind the house, the Queen climbed the ramparts, where a banquette or stand was placed against the wall for her use, but unfortunately a warm haze so filled the atmosphere, that the grand prospect thence afforded, could not he very perfectly enjoyed. This upper part of the vale of Stirling, stretching away far to the westward, is watered by the three rivers Teith, Allan, and Forth—and flanked by fine ranges of hills on either side. It is full of noble residences, and other interesting objects, among which may be mentioned Craigforth, with its lovely isolated eminence of rock and wood rising picturesquely from the valley—the ancient house and place of Touch Seton, the property of Lady Seton Stewart, from which a flag then floated in the breeze, and which nestles in a corner of the southern hills amidst extensive woods—Iveir, and Blair-Drummond, with their richly timbered parks and grounds ;—and Doune Castle, once the residence of Queen Mary. Of several of these, and particularly of Doune, the Queen did enjoy views displayed by the partial outburst of temporary fits of sunshine. When the sky is clear, the eye refuses to confine itself to these nearer objects, but stretching out athwrart the rich surface of the plain, it dwells with sublime delight on the grand chain of the Grampians bounding the view, where Benlomond, Benledi, Benvoirlich, Stuck-a-chrom, Benmore, and many other magnificent mountains of the first class, rise pre-eminent. Of the historical recollections connected with this prospect, the most prominent were those suggested by the scene immediately under the Queen’s eyes, where stood the ancient bridge of Stirling, and the field of battle between Wallace and Cressingham. Imperfect as the view was, the Queen and the Prince enjoyed it exceedingly. Looking to the north, and almost close under the walls, the situation where the young chevalier erected his batteries against the castle was pointed out by Sir Archibald. The Queen and the Prince showed their intimate acquaintance with the history belonging to the country around them, by the questions they put, and the numerous remarks the} made. Having led Her Majesty round to the southern part of the rampart, Sir Archibald pointed out to her the spot where stands the celebrated Bored Stone, in which the Royal Scottish standard was set up previous , to the battle of Bannockburn, and where Mr. Murray of Polmaise had, on this auspicious day, ordered a flag to be placed. In the hurry of narration, Sir Archibald Christie, having been previously speaking of the battle of Stirling Bridge, by mistake mentioned the Bored Stone as that in which Wallace had erected his standard previous to the battle of Bannockburn, on which Her Majesty immediately said, with a sweet playful smile—“Bruce, Sir Archibald.” The Queen looked with great interest directly down, on “the Knott.,'’ which is a beautiful architecturally formed green mound, surrounded by benches of turf—standing in the middle of what was once the royal gardens, and which is still the property of the Crown. Here, in ancient times, rural galas w'ere held by the Sovereign and Court, and the remains of a canal exist, on which they sailed in barges. The Queen was pleased to give orders that these relics should he carefully preserved, and it is to be hoped that Her Majesty may issue her royal mandate for their perfect restoration and preservation. In the Castle-hill, immediately over these gardens, is the hollow called “the Valley,” of considerable extent, where the tournaments were held, having on its south side a small rocky pyramidal mount, called “the Ladies’ Hill,” where the fair ones of the Court were wont to sit, anxiously watching the feats of their knights.

On the Queen’s return to the governor’s house, Lady Christie was graciously permitted by Her Majesty to present to her the Countess of Mar, whom the Queen kissed, and Lady Seton Steuart, who had the honour of kissing Her Majesty’s hand. The mind of the Queen, well stored as it is with historical facts, must have been somewhat struck by the circumstance of her meeting with a Countess of Mar in the very place where that family had borne almost regal sway, and one of whose predecessors had received the infant Prince Henry at his baptism here, — and that in Lady Seton she beheld a Stewart, lineally descended from Alexander, sixth Lord High Steward of Scotland, great-grandfather of Robert II., the first prince of the Stuart line, and who, as a Seton of Touch Seton, is the lineal representative of the hereditary armour-bearer and squire of the body of the Scottish sovereign.

A luncheon was prepared for the Queen and the Royal party, together with a desert, doing the highest honour to Stirlingshire; but as Her Majesty’s time would not admit of her sitting down, she with great condescension commanded some very superb grapes to be selected for her, and put into the carriage. The Queen treated the venerable soldier, Sir Archibald Christie, and his lady, with the kindest and most amiable consideration. It is painful to record the severe loss which this brave old officer has sustained by the recent death of the amiable Lady Christie. As the Queen came out leaning on the Prince’s arm, Sir Archibald directed her attention to an old chair, placed on the top of the flight of steps leading to the door, which had a piece of white satin attached to it, with an inscription telling that it was the identical chair on which James V. sat, when having been benighted out hunting, and separated from his attendants, he happened to enter a cottage in a moor, at the foot of the Ochils, near Alloa, where he was kindly received. Donaldson, the gudeman, desired his gudewife to fetch, for the unknown stranger’s supper, the hen that roosted nearest to the cock, which is always the plumpest. The King, highly pleased with his night’s lodging and hospitable entertainment, requested that the first time his host should come to Stirling, he would call at the castle, and inquire for the gudeman of Ballengeich. Donaldson did so soon afterwards, when his astonishment at finding that the King had been his guest, afforded no small amusement to the merry monarch and his courtiers; and to carry on the pleasantry, he was thenceforward designated by James by the title of King of the Moors, which descended from father to son. They continued in possession of the identical spot, the property of Erskine (now Earl) of Mar, till very lately. John Donaldson, the last monarch of the moors, died at Ballochleam, in Stirlingshire, twenty-eight years ago, aged ninety-three. He took the greatest possible care of the chair honoured as a seat by the King, affirming, that whilst he lived no harm should come to it. The Queen, smiling to Sir Archibald, carried off the satin cloth on which the history was inscribed.

Having entered the armoury, Sir Archibald directed the Queen’s attention to an old pulpit, from which John Knox had preached. Her Majesty graciously permitted Miss Fanny Christie to give her some sketches of the leading objects seen from the windows and terrace. The advanced hour prevented the Queen from visiting the nursery-room of James VI., and the school-room, where he was taught by the celebrated George Buchanan. At the outside of the portal gate, Sir Archibald drew the Queen’s attention to the bomb-proof barrack-room, beneath the ramparts, after which Her Majesty recrossed the drawbridge, and taking leave of the governor, and the ladies and gentlemen of the garrison, she got into her carriage, which went off at a slow pace with the drags on, through the double line of soldiers, with arms presented as on her entrance, and amidst loud shouts and waving of handkerchiefs from the immense crowds on the esplanade, and preceded as before by the carriages of the Provost and Magistrates. As the Queen was coming up to the castle, one of the Royal grooms said to a gentleman, “Pray, sir, do we come down this way again? for I never saw so steep a street as this.”—“No,” replied the gentleman, “not altogether; but you won’t find that the street you have yet to see will be much better in that respect.” And certainly he spoke truly, for there are not many steeper descents through a town in any part of the world. In leaving the esplanade for the Castle-wynd, the Queen passed immediately above the hollow in which are to be found the few mean and curious looking houses which have the name of Ballingoich, whence James V. adopted his title of disguise for his rambles. On the left hand side of the wynd itself stands that large and interesting old house, now the military hospital, built in 1033 by Sir William Alexander of Menstrie, secretary to Charles I., which afterwards came into the Argyll family, and was the residence of John Duke of Argyll in 1715. At the head of the broad High-street, stands that very curious old building, called Marr’s Work, begun in 1572 by the Earl of Mar when Regent, but never finished. Over one of the doors are these lines—

“The moir I stande on oppiu hitlit,
My l'avlts moir svbject are to sitlit."

And over another door are the following—

“I praiy al loikaris on this bigin,
Wi’ genteil eie to mark thair ligin.”

Two flags floated from the top of this building. The ancient Gothic church, with its beautiful old tower, is a little way off the street to the right. The spectacle which the Queen enjoyed on her way down through Broad-street was extremely striking. The Town-hall, a fine antique looking building on the right, had a large painting of Her Majesty on one wing, with the well-chosen motto, “Welcome the Queen who rejoices in the happiness of her people!” On the other, there was a painting of the Prince, with the words, “Hail Royal Albert! may your union with the Queen be lasting as it is happy!” The whole was enriched with laurels, and the tower and spire were decorated with flags. But one of the best imagined mottoes was observed on the wide front of that very old house, with large windows, facing up the street, once the residence of Henry Lord Darnley, and now the sheriff-clerk’s office. The device was a crown, with V. A., and the following apt quotation, slightly altered from Scott’s Lady of the Lake—

"Slowly down the steep descent,
Fair Scotland’s Queen and nobles went,
While all along the crowded way,
Was jubilee and loud huzza!”

But it would be quite impossible to particularize the decorations, which were endless in number and variety, not a house being without some display.

Turning out of the lower end of Broad-street by the narrow Bow-street, the Queen might have expected that the next move of the horses would be up some turnpike-stair, so little does it resemble a passage for carriages. Here the houses were absolutely draped with tartan flags. Turning into Baker-street, the way became very precipitous, and the view down the vista before the carriage was singularly striking, the eye being carried through the perspective of houses, all decorated and filled with human faces, who cheered loudly as the Queen passed by, and this continued throughout Baker-street and King-street. Amongst numerous beautiful decorations, those on Drummond’s Agricultural Museum were the most remarkable, and in extremely good taste. The front of the building is tall and handsome. A beautiful drapery of wreaths, composed of heath and ears of corn, hung from a star in the centre of the cornice, with a floral crown suspended from it. Over the cornice there was a subsoil plough, surmounted by a wheat sheaf and throe flags, those at the sides sloping outwards. Before the central window there was a very large floral crown, composed of dahlias, roses, and asters, surmounted by a wreath of arbor vitae. The crown was supported by a sheaf on each side, and on the windows to left and right were the initials V. and A., executed in flowers. The minor additions to these more prominent features were elegant and tasteful. The Queen particularly remarked this decorated front, and applied to a gentleman who was riding by the carriage, for information as to what the building was.

The procession having turned into the level Port-street, at the bottom of the steep descent, proceeded towards the south, and at the Burgh-gate-barrier there was an elegant erection composed of evergreens, spanning the whole width of the way with three arches. On the top of that in the centre was “Victoria,” surmounted by a richly gilded Scottish star and crown. On the cornice were figures of the Queen and Prince Albert. On different parts of this handsome structure were placed beautiful boys in the Highland garb, with claymores in their hands, and others in blue jackets and straw hats, with satin hatbands of Victoria tartan. On passing through this arch at one o’clock, the magistrates, town-council, guildry, and others, took leave of the Queen, and Her Majesty, accompanied by the Vice-Lieutenants, Sheriff Handyside, Mr. Forbes, member for the county, and the numerous gentlemen and yeomen who were ready waiting on the county side of the arch to escort her, dashed off at a rapid pace, amidst deafening cheers from the assembled multitude, and the thunder of the castle guns. In the afternoon, 400 of the poor people were supplied with pies and bread and cheese, and a pint of strong ale each; and Mr. Ramsay of Barnton gave an ox, which was roasted whole in the valley, and distributed in portions to all who came for it.

Having cleared the town, and passed under the grand trees of the avenue of approach to Stirling, and so by the villas extending towards the country, the road still lined with crowds of shouting people, the Queen came to the village of St. Ninians, about two miles from Stirling. It is remarkable for its pretty little tower, to which a church did belong, till it was blown up by accident in 1746, by the Highland army,—for the extreme narrowness, and up and down, and winding of its main street,—and for its vicinity to that grand field of ancient Scottish glory,, Bannockburn. The scene of that momentous battle lies about half a mile to the south of St. Ninians, and the ground is still such as to render the historical description of it quite intelligible. The spot below the town, where the skirmish occurred between Randolph and Clifford, on the evening previous to the battle, is also well known. Beaton’s Mill, where the wounded James III. was put to death, after his defeat, 18th June 1488, still exists in this parish.

As the great Falkirk sheep and cattle Tryst was holding at this time, it required considerable management to get the way kept clear, the continued stream of these animals being generally so immense, that travellers prefer going several miles round to avoid them; but the proclamations issued by the authorities were rigidly and cheerfully adhered to, and not a sheep or an ox was to be seen on the road. Had this been otherwise, the blocking up of the strait passage through St. Ninians, might have detained the Queen for hours; but from the excellence of the arrangements, its steep, hollow, and narrow street was altogether unencumbered, save by a string of respectable people on each side of the way, who served to carry on the cheers that everywhere accompanied the progress of Her Majesty. One little occurrence here may be worth notice : A person in one of the windows dropped a folded piece of paper into the Royal carriage, which fell on the Queen’s knee unperceived by Her Majesty. The Prince, without saying a word, picked it up, and threw it over the side of the carriage, very properly providing in this way against the chance of its containing any thing offensive. It afterwards turned out to be a piece of poetry in honour of Her Majesty’s visit. The whole houses were white-washed, and festooned with evergreens—the windows were full of curious and happy faces— and ornamented arches were placed at both ends of the town; indeed these material demonstrations of loyalty were so numerous all along the route, as not to he easily counted.

This road is most delightful, from the charming prospects it affords to the traveller. Every now and then extensive views are enjoyed, of the rich plain of the Carse of Stirling, to which the eye finds its way over cultivated slopes, between varied knolls and groves, and groups of picturesque trees, the light frequently catching on the distant meanderings of the Forth, or its estuary, with the town and shipping of Alloa, and all its surrounding features, and the grand Ochils stretching from Dumy of eastwards. From certain points, if the traveller will only turn round to look towards it—Stirling is seen rising boldly and embattled from the peaceful and variegated plain, with the Abbey Craig, and the other objects near it—and above all, the magnificent chain of the western Highland Alps closing in the extreme distance. A few minutes spent in gazing upon such prospects as these will hardly be considered as sacrificed.

The village of Bannockburn had five very tasteful arches, and numerous parties were stationed at particular points, with bands of music and flags, the cheering being everywhere loud and joyous, and the Queen’s acknowledgments most gracious. The coal miners of West Plain, in their best holiday clothes, marched down in a body to Sauchenford to meet Her Majesty, and greeted her with the most loyal acclamations. The Torwood toll-bar had an arch across the road formed of oak and laurel, interspersed with fine flowers and mountain-ash berries. Mr. Stirling of Glenbervie welcomed Her Majesty with every possible demonstration of loyalty. A triumphal arch of laurel was carried across the road, and fastened at either end to two gigantic oaks, old denizens of the ancient and classical forest of Torwood, the retreat of the heroic Wallace, which once covered great part of the neighbouring district, and fragments of which are still to be traced. A banner was displayed above the arch, bearing the word “Welcome,” in large characters, whilst the letters V. A., executed in dahlias, were hung from the arch. Mrs. Stirling and family were stationed near it, waiting for the Queen’s approach, surrounded by their domestics, and more than an hundred labourers on the estate; whilst Mr. Stirling himself, at the head of twelve stalwart ploughmen, dressed in neat livery, and mounted on fine looking farm horses, met Her Majesty at the march of the property, and escorted her for some distance along the road. The gate to Larbert-house, the residence of Sir Gilbert Stirling, Bart., since deceased, was ornamented with a laurel arch and a large flag. The pretty village of Larbert, with its handsome church, standing on the brow of the hill overlooking the classical valley of the Carron, exhibited a laurel arch. The road passes through the village of Camelon, not far from which is the site of the ancient Roman station of that name, and the great wall of Antoninus, which ran from the Forth to the Clyde, vulgarly known by the name of Graham’s-dyke. The loyal people here had erected three arches, and they received the Queen with loud cheers. In passing along the drawbridge across the Forth and Clyde Canal, which was tastefully laid with pink cloth, the ships assembled on each side of it were all dressed in party-coloured flags.

The Queen entered Falkirk, escorted by a large body of the Earl of Dunmore’s tenantry on horseback, with his lordship’s factor, Mr. Salmon, at their head. Her Majesty’s eyes were greeted at its entrance by a triumphal arch adorned with evergreens, and surmounted by a crown, with the words, “Welcome to Falkirk.” The town presented a very gay appearance, the fronts of all the houses being ornamented with flowers and evergreens tastefully arranged. A number of banners, bearing devices and inscriptions complimentary to the Queen, were also displayed. The roads and railway having brought people from many distant quarters, every window or place of vantage was occupied, chiefly by ladies, and the streets were densely crammed with people; and when the Queen appeared, their acclamations rent the air, whilst thousands of handkerchiefs were waved, and Her Majesty acknowledged the compliments paid to her with the most condescending expressions of gratification. Falkirk stands on ground which is high, when compared to the extensive low plain of the Carse, over which it commands very fine prospects, as well as of the distant Firth and mountains. It is also famous for its battle-fields. That where Wallace was defeated by Edward I., lies about a mile to the north of the town, near the banks of the canal, and Sir John de Graham and Sir John Stuart, two of his bravest associates, lie buried in the churchyard. Here, too, on the 17th January 174G, the Chevalier defeated the troops under General Hawley, in the well-known battle of Falkirk. The Royal carriage, with its cortege, attended by the western and middle districts of Stirlingshire, producing an accumulation of equestrians to the number of 500, proceeded from Falkirk for half a mile, and then wheeling suddenly to the right, it entered the grounds of Callander House, the seat of Mr. Forbes, member for the county, where the fresh horses were standing. The spectacle here was both animating and amusing,— the carriages moving at a rapid pace—pedestrians running across the lawn in all directions, and the horses of some of those who were mounted carrying their riders in every direction but that in which they wished to go. A party of the 53d regiment drawn up here, presented arms to the Queen. Her Majesty stopped only during the few moments occupied in changing horses, and then drove off amidst the shouts of the multitude, which she graciously acknowledged. Callander House is a princely old mansion, and the park is full of extremely fine timber. It was the property of the Livingstones, Earls of Linlithgow and Callander, till its forfeiture in 1715 by the then existing nobleman. Here it was that Cardinal Beaton and the Earl of Moray succeeded in persuading the Earl of Arran, then governor of Scotland, to break off the proposed marriage between Mary, the young Queen of Scots and Prince Edward, the heir to the English throne. Had this not been done, Mary might have been a queen-mother of England, and all the miseries she endured from Elizabeth, terminated as they were by her murder, might have been prevented; but “the ways of Heaven are dark and intricate.” It appears that Mary afterwards visited Lord Livingstone, at Callander House, in the year 1565. When Cromwell was on his way to give battle to Charles II., then encamped at the Torwood, he stormed and took Callander House, then garrisoned by the King’s troops.

Leaving the park of Callander by the east gate, the Queen reentered the public road, at the Laureneeton toll-bar, which, like all the others, was decorated with a magnificent floral archway. Mr. Forbes, who had ridden with Her Majesty from the time she entered the county at Lecropt, still continued to attend her at the head of his tenantry. Having climbed the hill into the village of Laurenceton, the Royal carriage proceeded at a very quick rate, cheered as it went on by crowds stationed by the wayside. To the right, a peep through the break in a bank disclosed for a moment the fine old Scottish house of Westquarter, situated in a valley. This is the seat of the gallant Admiral Sir Thomas Livingstone, Bart., hereditary keeper of the royal palace of Linlithgow. A little farther on, the grounds running up both sides of the valley open very prettily, whilst, to the left, a magnificent view is enjoyed over the rich flat carse country, its groves, wooded rising grounds, and fine residences, with the Firth of Forth, and the mountains bounding the scene to the north.

A triumphal arch was thrown across the road at Polmont, and there ninety of the Earl of Zetland’s tenants, well dressed and mounted, and decorated with coloured rosettes, were standing ready to wheel into the rear of the escort, which, like a river, was ever and anon receiving tributary supplies from every road that debouched into it from either side. Generally speaking, the tenantry of each particular estate were assembled in small bodies, and those who had not horses to enable them to gallop after the royal train, were at least able to stand and cheer the Queen as she passed, and many of them had bands of music. Every house, even to the humblest cottage, was adorned with flowers or banners, or both. At some distance beyond Polmont, the venerable towers of the royal Palace of Linlithgow begin to appear, and where the valley of the Avon opens up, the scene is extremely beautiful, the highly cultivated country all around it being composed of swelling hills, and gently sloping hollows, well wooded with fine groves, or intersected with hedgerows. The pace of the Royal carriage was very rapid, and the escort of mounted gentlemen and yeomen went as hard after it as if they had been in the hunting-field, until they swept down to Linlithgow bridge, which, though so called, is a full mile or more from the town.

Here the Royal carriage halted, to give Her Majesty and the Prince an opportunity of looking at the grand Viaduct of twenty arches, of fifty feet span each, carrying the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway over the fine valley of the Avon, a little way further up the stream, and at an immense height over head. The accompanying scene, and indeed the whole of the scenery beyond the viaduct, is extremely rich, well wooded, varied and beautiful; and in the distance, the noble aqueduct of the Edinburgh and Glasgow Canal is seen spanning the valley. It luckily happened that a train of carriages drew up on the viaduct at the moment Her Majesty stopped, to permit the passengers to avail themselves of their singular good fortune in thus having an opportunity of beholding their Queen, whilst, to Her Majesty, the effect of the whole scene was enhanced by its appearance, and the Royal pair gazed at it with admiration for some minutes.

During the minority of James V., a battle was fought here between the Earls of Lennox and Arran, which proved fatal to the former, and his cairn long remained to mark his grave. The most bloody part of the conflict took place close to the bridge. The river Avon, being the boundary between the counties of Stirling and Linlithgow, the authorities of the former were here prepared to resign their escort of the Queen to those of the latter. The Earl of Hopetoun, Lord-Lieutenant of the county of Linlithgow, was ready to receive the Queen, attended by Mr. Sheriff Cay, the Earl of Buchan, the Hon. Charles Hope, M. P., Mr. Dundas of Dundas Castle, Major Shairp of Houston, and a very numerous body of mounted yeomen, all well dressed. The road beyond the bridge was lined on both sides by the Earl of Buchan’s Strathbrock tenants. Lord Hopetoun, whose sudden and untimely death has so recently spread a gloom over the higher circles of London, had that day the honour of conversing with the royal travellers for some minutes. Having taken his place on the right hand side of the carriage, whilst the Sheriff occupied that on the left, the whole proceeded at a smart pace towards Linlithgow, with the gentlemen and tenantry, formed four deep, riding behind the Queen’s carriage.

The ancient burgh of Linlithgow, so intimately associated with many passages of Scottish history, chiefly consists of one very long street, stretching from west to east with gentle declivity, and thence winding up through a steep and narrow passage into the marketplace. It was whilst riding up this confined part of the street that the Regent Earl of Murray was shot from a balcony, by Hamilton of Bothwellhaugh, who hung up a black cloth on the wall behind him to destroy his shadow, and make his person less perceptible, and who escaped on a fleet horse, which he mounted from behind the house. The market-place forms a pretty considerable square, with a Dutch looking town-house, built in 1668, on the slope of the hill to the north side of it. A very curious Gothic fountain, covered over with grotesque figures spouting water, stands in the centre of the square, being a restoration of the ancient well, built in 1620, which some years ago fell into disrepair. From this square the street running eastward becomes wider, and continues so till it reaches the end of the town. A steep lane leads up to a rising ground on the north, on which stands the fine old Gothic church. Its beautiful tower was not many years ago terminated by an Imperial Crown, of great elegance of architecture, but that part of it having begun to fail, it was taken down and never afterwards restored. It was in the St. Catherine aisle of this church that James IV. was at vespers, just before the battle of Flodden, when a figure, dressed in an azure coloured robe, girt with a linen sash, and with sandals on his feet, and having a grave countenance, and wearing a profusion of yellow hair, as if he had been the spirit of Saint John, the adopted son of the Virgin Mary, suddenly appeared in a mysterious manner at the side of the desk at which the King was kneeling at his devotions, and leaning down on it with his arms in the most careless and irreverential manner, told His Majesty that “his mother laid her commands on him to forbear the journey which he purposed, as neither he nor any who went with him would thrive in the undertaking.” He likewise cautioned the King against frequenting the society of women, or using their counsel, “for,” said he, “if thou dost thou shalt be confounded and put to shame.” Immediately to the north of the church stand the beautiful and extensive ruins of the Royal Palace of Linlithgow, covering above an acre of ground. They crown a gently sloping green promontory, projecting into the pretty lake of Linlithgow, and partly surrounded on three sides by its waters. The present appearance of the whole banks, between the castle and the lake, shows that they must have been at one time laid out as a garden of “plesaunce,” in fine terraces, and when this was the ease, and the palace entire, it must have been a most delightful residence. As it now exists, it surrounds four sides of an ample court, its fafades being everywhere of polished stone, and in the centre are the remains of a fine fountain, which contributed to give to Linlithgow the character it has in the old district,

“Lithgow for wells,
Stirling for bells.”

The palace became a fixed royal residence after the accession of the Stuarts. James IV. was more attached to it than to any of his other seats. He built the eastern part of the edifice, which appears to have been peculiarly magnificent. James V. added the chapel and parliament hall, both of which must have been very fine; and James VI. completed the grand square, by erecting the magnificent apartments on the north. One banquet room is 94 feet long, 30 feet wide, and 33 feet high. The chief entrance was on the east, between two flanking towers, bearing on rich entablatures the royal arms of Scotland, with the collars of the Orders of the Thistle, Garter, and Saint Michael. There is also a grand porch of entrance from the town on the south. The walls have many finely carved coats of arms on them. The palace continued habitable till 1745, when it was burned down by the carelessness of some of the royal army quartered here, on the same day that the church of St. Ninians was blown up. During the struggle between Edward I. and the Scottish patriots, the English garrison were surprised and dispossessed by the device of one Binnock, ancestor of the Binnings of Wallyford. Having been in the habit of supplying the garrison with hay, he concealed some of Bruce’s men, completely armed, in his cart, and thus introduced them into the place, so that they immediately made themselves masters of it. Binnock was rewarded with some lands in the southern part of the parish, which are still called Binning after him. The unfortunate Mary Queen of Scots was born in Linlithgow Palace, on the 8th December 1542, in a room within the north-west corner of the quadrangle.

Every thing had been done upon the occasion of the Queen’s expected visit, to brush up ancient Linlithgow. Provost Dawson was opposed to arboreal decorations, inasmuch as it was apt to occasion the robbery and destruction of shrubberies; but he gave a full license for the use of flowers,—and he sent to all the towns and villages within a reasonable distance of his own burgh, and not immediately in the line of Her Majesty’s route, to borrow all the flags and banners he could procure. He was especially fortunate in his application to the port of Borrowstounness, where he procured an immense number of flags of all sorts and colours from the shipping. Having, in the first place, taken the necessary precaution to see that the town was perfectly clean, and that the older houses were whitewashed, he distributed his flags so profusely among the inhabitants, that almost every window had one, and the whole picturesque line of street was hung with them on either side from one end to the other, presenting a very rich, novel, and extremely beautiful appearance. The town-house and spire were ornamented with five banners of huge dimensions, beautifully disposed, and the national flag floated from the walls of the palace,—from the barbican of its entrance,—and from the church tower. A wreath of flowers, tastefully arranged, was hung across the street at the western entrance to the town, precisely where the ancient gate of the burgh stood, until taken down about fifty years ago. A fine floral crown was suspended from the centre, the whole being surmounted by a broad coil of white cloth, on which were the words, “God Save the Queen and Prince Albert,” in large letters. Close to this, and on the right hand side of the way, a sloping platform was raised about four feet from the ground, for the reception of the Provost and Magistrates. A numerous body of special constables were sworn in, and these being joined by the members of the eight incorporated trades, under their respective deacons, the whole were distributed by the command of the magistrates throughout the entire length of the town, to preserve order along the whole line of the Queen’s route. They carried white rods, and were uniformly dressed in blue coats and white trowsers. These precautions were fully warranted by the prospect afterwards realized, of the immense crowds that were expected to congregate from all quarters. Airdrie alone poured four thousand of its industrious population down upon the burgh, who came the 18 miles by the Slamannan railway, at sevenpence halfpenny a-head. One of the trains, propelled by five locomotive engines, was one-third of a mile in length, and contained 1500 individuals. Bathgate, Borrowstounness, and even the opposite coast of Fife, sent their multitudes; whilst the Edinburgh and Glasgow railway brought crowds from the east and from the west, all anxious to witness Queen Victoria’s passage through Linlithgow. The Provost, Magistrates, and Council, having assembled at the Town-house at twelve o’clock, were there met by the Provost, Magistrates, and Council of Bathgate, and Mr. Gillon of Wallhouse, and at half-past twelve they proceeded in a body, with a band of music before them, and their officers carrying their halberds and the town standards, and took up their position on the platform erected at the west end of the town. One of the flags displayed the Black Bitch and the Tree, with the motto, “My fruit is fidelity to God and the King,'’ from which is derived the appellation usually given to the town, of “The faithful burgh of Linlithgow.” On the other was the well-known arms of the town, the angel Michael bearing a shield with the motto, “Collocet in ccelis nos omnes Michaelis.” The Provost and Magistrates of Linlithgow were in front of the platform, and the authorities of Bathgate were immediately behind them. The burgh officers were stationed on either side, with their halberds and banners, and a very strong body of constables was also posted here, and every precaution was taken to mark the station, and to preserve order. The band of music was placed on the north side of the street, opposite to the platform. The magistrates had previously taken care to communicate to the proper quarter their intention to be in attendance in this spot, in order to make their obeisance to the Queen and her illustrious consort as the\ passed, and, if an opportunity occurred for so doing, to read two very short addresses, one to Her Majesty, and the other to Prince Albert, conferring on His Royal Highness the freedom of the town, and copies of these were at the same time forwarded, with an assurance that the Provost would be prepared to read them, or merely to make his obeisance, as Her Majesty’s leisure might permit. That to the Queen was as follows:—

“May it please your Majesty,

“We, the Provost, Magistrates, and Council of the royal burgh of Linlithgow humbly beg to offer our loyal and affectionate congratulations on your Majesty’s arrival in this your faithful burgh, the favourite abode of many of your Royal ancestors. We devoutly pray for long life, health, and happiness to your Royal Consort and your illustrious progeny, and we humbly offer our services in conducting your Majesty through this burgh.”

The address to Prince Albert was in the following terms :—

“May it please your Royal Highness,

“We, the Provost, Magistrates, and Council of the royal burgh of Linlithgow, beg humbly and respectfully to assure your Royal Highness, that it affords us the most lively pleasure to receive your Royal Highness within the precincts of this ancient burgh; and we beg to express our admiration of your exalted character, whereby you have secured the affections of the subjects of our most gracious Sovereign; and we most respectfully, entreat your Royal Highness to permit us to have the honour of enrolling your name amongst the number of our freemen, and to accept of the usual certificate.”

A vast concourse of people had stationed themselves in the vicinity of the platform, and the multitude extended for upwards of five hundred yards up the downward slope of approach to the burgh. The road here is very spacious, having banks on either side of it, so that it was admirably adapted for enabling the crowds of spectators to get a favourable view of the sacred person of their Sovereign. The descent to the town is pretty rapid. At three o’clock the Royal carriage appeared at the crown of the height over which the highway passes, and it came down the slope at its usual smart pace, preceded by the dragoons, and accompanied by the Lord-Lieu-tenant, the Sheriff, and the proprietors and tenantry of the county. The afternoon having become rather chilly, the head of the Royal carriage was unfortunately down, so that notwithstanding the favourable position taken by the people who occupied the rising ground, they had but an unsatisfactory view of their Sovereign. As the carriage passed the stand where the magistrates were placed, they made their obeisance to Her Majesty, the standards and pikes were lowered, and the band played “God Save the Queen,” but as there was no appearance of a stop, the Provost naturally imagined that the reading of the addresses had been declined. The cheers of the people were most enthusiastic, and the crowds collected on the high part of the road to the westward, hoping to be gratified by a sight of the Queen, made a simultaneous rush towards the station of the magistrates, where they expected that Her Majesty would halt to receive an address. Finding that the carriage drove on, they followed, accumulating as they proceeded, till at length the street getting narrower, it became choked up, and the horses having become entangled in the mass, the postilions were compelled to pause for a few moments, at the distance of some twenty yards below the platform. The Provost, Magistrates, and Council, availing themselves of this accident, succeeded, after a severe struggle, in putting themselves in front of the Queen’s carriage, and the halberdiers having cleared the way, they proceeded at a gentle pace at the head of the procession. As no opportunity for reading the addresses was afforded, the Provost made no attempt to do so, but the burgess ticket conferring the freedom of the town on Prince Albert, was afterwards transmitted to His Royal Highness, and most graciously received.

During the Queen’s progress to the Cross-well, Her Majesty was attended by continued cheering, and every possible demonstration of the most enthusiastic loyalty. When the Royal carriage had reached the square, it was conducted to a position on the slope between the Town-hall and the fountain. A Guard of Honour of the 53d regiment, drawn up in front of the former, presented arms. Here the horses were changed, and during the short interval necessary for that purpose, the Queen was observed to draw the attention of the Prince to the fountain, which is indeed a very great curiosity. To the thousands who had placed themselves here to await the arrival of the Queen, were now added the thousands who had pressed after the Royal cortege, and certainly this great mass of people, which completely filled the square, all glowing with sentiments of the utmost affection and loyalty to their young Sovereign, now quietly seated in her carriage in the midst of them, presented a spectacle which can never be forgotten by any one who had the good fortune to behold it. Sir Thomas Livingstone, keeper of the palace of Linlithgow, was there ready to attend the Queen thither if it had been her pleasure to visit those most magnificent and interesting ruins, and it is much to be regretted that the lateness of the hour, and the nature of the other Royal arrangements, should have prevented Her Majesty from enjoying this gratification. The fresh horses having been attached, the Royal carriage moved onwards, preceded by the Magistracy, and these having stood aside at the eastern end of the town, and made their humble bows, the Queen left her faithful burgh of Linlithgow, amidst the cheers, and followed by the blessings of its inhabitants, and all wbo were that day within its precincts.

Amidst the roaring of the cannon of a battery, erected by Provost Dawson, the Royal carriage proceeded up the hill from the eastern end of Linlithgow, at a pace that soon distanced the whole crowd of followers on foot, and not a few of those upon horseback. From several parts of the road the Queen had fine views of the rich country through which she was travelling. Having soon swept on to the village of Winchburgh, Her Majesty’s attention was there directed to the fine old ruin of Niddry Castle, in an ancient grove of trees, a little to the right of the road. This was the place to which Mary Queen of Scots retreated the night after her escape from Lochleven. As the carriage proceeded, the wooded hill of Dundas opened to the left. To the right were the fine woods of Newdiston, planted by the celebrated Field-Marshal John Earl of Stair, as remarkable for his enterprise and capacity in the field, as for his wisdom in the cabinet. The grounds are ahove three miles in circumference, and the trees were arranged by him according to the plan of one of Marlborough’s battles, in which he had been himself engaged: yet the effect of the whole, now that they have become of great age and size, is extremely good.

At Kirkliston, where the horses were again changed, there was a handsome arch across the road. The church here is exceedingly curious and ancient, having been one of those belonging to the Knights-Hospitallers of St. John of Jerusalem, who had large possessions in this parish previous to the Reformation. The village being situated on the upper part of a pretty slope, the view all over the extensive plain stretching to the westward of Edinburgh, is extremely fine, embracing the Pentland range, and all those beautiful hills in the neighbourhood of the capital, Arthur Seat, Braid, Blackford, Craig-lockhart, and others, together with the Castle of Edinburgh. Sweeping down for about a mile to the Boathouse-bridge, over the river Almond, the Queen’s carriage passed through the turnpike-gate a little way beyond it, and there Her Majesty again entered the county of Edinburgh. Here the Lord-Lieutenant of Linlithgowshire, with the gentlemen and farmers of his escort, left the Queen, and their places were taken by the Duke of Buccleuch, and a body of three or four hundred mounted gentlemen and farmers of the county and city of Edinburgh, marshalled by Sir John Hope, Baronet. The Royal carriage proceeded at so quick a pace, that it put both the horses and men to their mettle. One farmer was riding like fury with his girths burst from the buckles and hanging down, and a gentleman calling his attention to the circumstance—“Hoot!” said he, “I ken that very weel; but tv ha can think o’ stopping to buckle girths on sic a day as this.” And on he went, whipping and spurring with the best of them.

At a field’s breadth to the left stands a very curious monument of antiquity, called the Catstone, giving name to the surrounding farm. It is a single stone, in the form of an irregular prism, about 4| feet in height, and 11^ feet in circumference, with the following inscription, deeply cut in a rude manner on its south-eastern face :—


This has very much puzzled antiquaries. Buchanan, and other historians, tell us, that a very bloody battle was fought here on the banks of the Almond, in the year 995, between Kennethus, natural brother and commander of the forces of Malcolm II., King of Scotland, and Constantine, when both the generals were killed.

The approach to Edinburgh from this side is extremely fine. It passes over the rich and beautiful plain, through which the rivers Almond and Leith find their way, the Pentland hills bound it to the right, and in advance of them are those of Craiglockhart, Braid, and Blackford, whilst to the left arise the lovely wooded hills of Craigie-hall and Corstorphine, with their groves and villas, and in the midst of all the Castle of Edinburgh starts boldly up, backed by Arthur’s Seat. All along the road handsome floral decorations appeared on the houses. These were especially remarkable in the neat little village of Corstorphine, where the humblest vied with each other in their endeavours to manifest their attachment to their Sovereign. The church here was built in the form of a Jerusalem Cross, by Sir John Forester of Corstorphine, in 1429. It is a strong and very curious Gothic fabric, with a fine heavy stone roof. It contains a number of curious monuments of the Lords Forester and others, with recumbent figures of knights in armour, and of ladies in the costume of the time in which they lived. In its eastern end there was a pully, whence hung a lamp in olden times, which was kept burning at night, from the rental of an acre of ground close to Coltbridge, called the Lamp Acre. This was done to cheer the late and lonely traveller on his dreary way, and to aid him in directing his course aright—the literal purpose, in truth, for which all churches were originally erected. But here the lamp was to assist him in avoiding the many bad steps and bogs, which, highly cultivated as the country now is, and good as the road may now appear, then, doubtless, beset the way from Edinburgh so thickly, as to put him in great peril of falling a victim to the wiles of Will o’ the Wisp, and his mischievous elves. But with roads such as we have now, and patent bull’s eye lights, throwing the blaze of day for some hundred yards before a vehicle, the occupation of the solitary lamp has been long since gone, and the acre for its support has been diverted to the purpose of raising potatoes to keep the little spark of life burning in the village schoolmaster.

The whole three miles of road from Corstorphine to Edinburgh, running for great part of the way along the base of the Corstorphine hills, and then crossing the river of Leith by Coltbridge, and so onward till it reaches the western extremity of the city, presented one uninterrupted line of carriages, and the footpaths and walls were covered with people, pressing to welcome the return of their Queen. The boys and girls of the Orphan Hospital were ranged along the top of a wall to the west of Whltehouse toll-bar, all clothed in their best apparel, with branches of trees in their hands, and their countenances shining with joy. The Queen was received with loud and continued cheering all along this line, and especially at the toll-har, where she arrived about twenty minutes past four, and where fresh horses were ready. Here, consequently, the greatest mass of the multitude was congregated, and during the somewhat less than two minutes occupied in changing horses, the shouts there were deafening.

Sweeping past the Railway station, and so into town by West Maitland-street, Athol-place, Coates and Athol-crescents, East Maitland-street, and Shandwick-place, all lined by the Inniskilling Dragoons, the windows and balconies were filled with ladies and gentlemen, who cheered Her Majesty, and waved their handkerchiefs, in expression of their joy for her safe return. At the point where West Maitland-street and Morrison-street branch off, a whole stream of carriages and people, both on foot and on horseback, rushed away up the latter, with fearful risk of tremendous collisions, hut with the hope, that as they had only one side of the triangle to go along, they might reach the upper end of the Lothian-road before the Queen should pass. Two farmers on heavy draught horses had been sadly thrown out, but when they came to Morrison-street, one shouted to the other, “Jock! come awa’ this way, man, and maybe we’ll catch her yet!” and off they set together, helter-skelter, their two animals blowing like porpoises. As the Queen reached the end of Princes-strect, the Castle began to fire a royal salute. This part of the way was lined by the 53d regiment. Reaching the upper end of the Lothian-road, long before Jock or his friend, and many better mounted individuals, the Queen swept through Bread-street, and by the Main-point, into Lauriston, and so on through Bristo-street and Newington to Mayfield toll-bar—all this amidst the incessant cheering of the crowds that lined the streets and filled the windows.

At Mayfield toll-bar, where the Queen arrived at five o’clock, the weary horses of the gentlemen of the western part of the county, who had ridden with her eight miles in little more than half-an-hour, were relieved, and those of the southern and eastern districts, marshalled by Captain Burn Callander, were waiting ready mounted. The change of horses took place here; and as this was the last, it may he now stated, that no less than 286 pairs in all were required for the Queen’s journey, which were admirably supplied by Mr. Isaac Scott, postmaster, Kirkbraehead. Whilst the changes of the horses and escort were making, the immense crowds assembled here kept up the most deafening shouts—her Majesty, as usual, most graciously acknowledging their compliments, and then off dashed the carriage again with its followers, at such a pace, by Greenend and Gilmerton to Dalkeith, that the five miles were performed in twenty-three minutes. On reaching the Palace, the yeomen gave three hearty cheers as the royal pair alighted, and the Queen afterwards bowed graciously to them from the window of the drawing-room.

The royal dinner-party this day consisted of—

The Queen and Prince Albert,
The Duke and Duchess of Buecleuch,
Sir Robert Peel,
The Hon. Miss Paget,
General Wemyss, Sir James Clark, Colonel Bouverie, Captain Ingram, Captain Warren,
The Duchess of Norfolk, The Earl of Hardwick, Lady Mary Campbell,
The Earl and Countess of Cawdor,
The Earl of Liverpool, The Earl of Aberdeen,
Lord Frederick and Lady Augusta Fitzclarence,
Lieutenant Atkins,
Lieutenant Fenton, Cornet Emmett.
Lord and Lady John Scott, Lord and Lady Emlyn,

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