NT2573 : Old College quadrangle

taken 8 years ago, near to Edinburgh, Great Britain

Old College quadrangle
Old College quadrangle
The Old Quad of the University, completed in 1827, on the site of the Tounis College of 1583, renamed King James' College in 1617. It was originally occupied by the church of St Mary-in-the-Fields whose grounds stretched about 50 yards eastwards of today's South Bridge. The church was burned down during Hertford's assault in 1544, after which the council acquired the land. The house known as 'Kirk o' Field', in which the Queen's consort, Darnley, was notoriously murdered in 1567, stood at the south-east corner of the present quad, just north of South College Street. See the following link where the house is shown reduced to rubble by the gunpowder explosion. Darnley and his servant, who seem to have escaped the house, were found strangled in the garden opposite. LinkExternal link

In the LinkExternal link , the artist has distorted the true layout by bending the town wall at a right angle at the centre of the picture in order to fit his visual content into a more compact space than a landscape view. The scene is viewed from the north, showing the Potterrow Port in the lower right-hand corner (site of the bridge in today's West College Street) where the town wall, after a short deviation southwards, ran eastwards down present-day Drummond Street to the Pleasance. The wall should, in fact, continue to run horizontally to the left edge of the picture. The scenes in the top-left quarter should be shown continuously to the left of the lower-left quarter, with the garden scene then replacing the top-left quarter. This is the area now occupied by the block of buildings at the south-west corner of today's Infirmary Street (see A G Fraser, The Building Of Old College, EUP 1989)

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"The Kyngs grace blawen up with puder in the Kirk of Field the x day of Februer 1567." -- Book of the Canongate

If a letter written by Mary at the time is taken at face value, it suggests she knew nothing of the murder in advance.

"This night past being the 9th february, a litle after twa houris after midnight, the house quhairin the King was logit was in ane instant blawin in the air, he lyand sleipand in his bed, with sic a vehemencie, that of the haill loging, wallis and other, thare is nathing remanit, na, not a stane above another, bot all other carreit far away, or dung in dross to the very grund-stane. It mon be done be force of powder, and apperis to have been a myne. Be quhom it has been done, or in quhat maner, it apperis not as yit. We doubt not bot according to the diligence oure Counsale hes begun alreddie to use, the certainty of all salbe usit [known] schortly; and the same being discoverit, quhilk we watt [believe] God will never suffer to ly hid, we hope to punisch the same with sic rigor as sall serve for exemple of this crueltie to all ages tocum." -- Marie R. 11 February 1567

NT2673 : Toddrick's Wynd, High Street
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NT2573, 5244 images   (more nearby )
Photographer
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Date Taken
Monday, 21 December, 2009   (more nearby)
Submitted
Tuesday, 22 December, 2009
Category
University   (more nearby)
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NT 259 733 [100m precision]
WGS84: 55:56.8478N 3:11.2077W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NT 259 733
View Direction
East-northeast (about 67 degrees)
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