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would be sufficient to prompt some irascible baron or his retainer to settle his quarrel on the spot. The following incident belongs to a later period than the reign of Mary, and is but a mild specimen of the proceedings that might distract the devotion of the worshippers. One Sunday in the Church of St Giles, Crichton, laird of Frendraught, was “sitting quietly and peaceably” awaiting the beginning of the service, when a certain bishop entered and made for the laird “with ane angrie and boasteous (sic) countenance.” Frendraught made way for the angry bishop, who raised his fist with the intention of bringing it down on Crichton's head. In his excitement, however, the bishop missed his blow, but succeeded in knocking off his intended victim's hat, and this, we are told, in “the sight of the haill people conveened in the kirk, who with great griefe recented the scandalous profanation of their kirk upon the Lord's holie Sabbath.”39 But all that need be said on the subject of commotions in churches is contained in the following expressive entry in the Burgh Records of Edinburgh. Understanding,” thus the words run, “that divers contentious and wicked people have in times past made their trublances within the High Kirk of this burgh, by injuring their neighbours, drawing of swords, and shooting of pistols, and thereby abusing that place appointed chiefly (the word chiefly is noteworthy) for God's service. For remedy thereof ordains proclamation to be made,
commanding that no manner of persons take upon hand to make any sort of trublance by word or deed, bragging or provocation within the said Kirk.” 40 From what has been said it will be clear that the parish churches of Scotland in the time of Mary were associated in the minds of her subjects with other feelings besides those of devotion.
Proceeding now to make a general acquaintance with the town, we might find that it consisted of one main street—the Hiegait—from which radiated a number of wynds, closes, and vennels of varying width and respectability. In threading our way we should have to pick our steps carefully. We have seen what obstacles were presented by the numerous dust-heaps and the roving swine, but, apart from these obstacles, the street-even the Hiegate itself-offered difficulties which necessitated cautious going. Down its whole length ran the open drain or gutter, sufficiently broad and deep to form the common sewer of the community. Thus, at Peebles there was the Dean's Gutter, so called in compliment to the Dean of the town opposite whose house it flowed.*' Nor would the street be paved in the manner which excited the admiration of strangers in the case of the High Street of Edinburgh. On the contrary there would be no paving to speak of, and here and there, there would be deep holes and troughs—either the result of the elements or the deliberate work of some citizen who had fashioned them for his own convenience, heedless of the necks of the unwary passengers. In short, for anyone but a townsman to walk the street at night without a guide or a lantern would be an act of rashness which could only result in broken bones.
As we look up and down the length of the street the feature that would most attract our attention would be the numerous projections from the main buildings. These projecting structures consisted either of outside stairs, such as may still be seen at the present day, or of wooden erections which composed the booths or shops of the various tradespeople. To everybody but their owner these projecting booths were a nuisance. They often encroached so far into the street as seriously to interfere with the general traffic. Moreover, as they were occasionally surmounted by stone chimneys, which their fragile structure was hardly fitted to bear, there was always the risk of their collapsing and endangering the lives of passers-by. The magistrates did their best to check the building of these "treen (wooden) schoppis,” but their attempts were met by the cool defiance of the offending parties. Take, for example, this case of a contumacious saddler, who, by the way, seems to have been a person of some importance, as we hear of his visiting France, probably in connection with his trade. Here is the entry in the Edinburgh Records which relates his contumacy : “Decrees and ordains John Richardson, saddler, to remove and take down his wooden shop lately built under the stairs of his land on the west side of Niddrie Wynd, because the same is contrary to good neighbourhood, and the King's High Street is narrowed thereby; and the said John, being personally present, answered and declared that he would not do the same, they might do as they pleased.” 42 Other owners of wooden booths might not be so plain-spoken as Mr Richardson, but they equally contrived to elude the mandate of the Council.
If we entered the house of one of these boothkeepers, we should probably find its accommodation and furnishings similar to those of Mr James Reddoch, bailie in Stirling, an inventory of whose belongings was taken in 1560—the year before Mary's return to Scotland. The inventory is so brief that it may be recited without tedium. The house consisted of four apartments—the hall which contained a counter, a form, a meat almry and a dressing stool; the mid-chamber, with a standing bed and a press; the fore-chamber with three standing beds, a chest, a form, and a little iron chimney ; the upper chamber with three standing beds, two of them without bottoms.43 It is only the larger articles of furniture that are here enumerated, but we can eke out the list from the possessions of another Stirling bailie of an earlier day. This bailie owned to be in possession of six pewter plates, six dishes, three saucers, two trenchers, a quart, a chopin, a chandelier, two pots, one pair of sheets, a bed, a stool, two bowls, a towel.44 This
list, it should be said, did not comprise the whole household furniture of the second bailie, but both lists taken together may indicate the articles to which the greatest value was attached.
The house whose accommodation has just been described was of the general type to be found in Scottish towns. But, as is well known, in a Border town such as Jedburgh, and even in the Border villages, there was another type of house, constructed for a special purpose. Constantly exposed to English invasions, and unprovided with walls of defence (for even Jedburgh, so immediately exposed to English invasion, was without such protection), the inhabitants of the Border towns had to make such provision as they could for withstanding the enemy who forced his way into their streets. It was with this object that the so-called “bastel houses were constructed on the model of the peels, which formed the strongholds of the Border lairds. The chief feature of these bastel-houses was the vault on the ground-floor, accessible only by an arched doorway, both narrow and low. Here, on the appearance of the enemy, were bestowed the women and children, and the most valuable of the occupier's goods. In the upper rooms, which could only be reached by an outside stair, the garrison made good its defence, and, as the records of Border warfare amply prove, the defence was frequently of the most desperate kind. Tearing the thatch from the roofs, the defenders would set fire