Edinburgh World Heritage - News Article

 

Archive Anecdotes

Snippets from the city's archives


May 29, 2015

Three hundred and fifty years ago on the 29th May 1665 the City of Edinburgh demonstrated its loyalty to the King, Charles II. The Lord Commissioner, leading nobles, the Lord Provost and all the town council prayed for the King at a service led by the Bishop of Edinburgh in St Giles Cathedral.

This was followed by ‘a magnificent feast’ for all the nobles and gentlemen who had participated. However the poorer people of Edinburgh were not forgotten.

The following is taken from an extract quoted by Hugo Arnot in 1816 in his History of Edinburgh from the Earliest Accounts:

‘After dinner, the Lord Provost and council went to the cross of Edinburgh, where was planted a green arbour, loaded with oranges and lemons, wine liberally running for divers hours at eight several conduits to the great solace of the indigent commons there. Having drunk all the royal healths, which were seconded by the great guns from the Castle, sound of trumpets and drums, vollies from the trained bands and joyful acclamations from the people, they plentifully entertained the multitude’.

St Giles and the Mercat Cross - from Gordon of Rothiemay's map of 1647

Celebratory wine at the Mercat Cross was a long Royal tradition - the following extract is taken from the ‘Diurnal of Occurrents in Scotland’ which gave notice of Mary Queen of Scots entry into Edinburgh on the second day of September 1561:

'the quenis grace came to the Croce, qnhair thair was standand four fair virgynis, cled in the maist hevenlie clothing, and frae the quhilk croce the wine ran out at the spouttis in greit abundance; thair was the noyiss of pepill casting the glassis with wyne.'

 



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