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Dalkeith

Dalkeith Church

Dalkeith is situated between the North and South Esk, 74 miles south east of Edinburgh. The parish church, an old Gothic edifice, was originally the Castle chapel, and was restored in 1852. Dalkeith was the birthplace of Professor Peter Guthrie Tait, the mathematician (1831-1901). Dalkeith Palace, a seat of the duke of Buccleuch, was designed by Sir John Vanbrugh in 1700 for the widow of the duke of Monmouth, countess of Buccleuch in her own right. It occupies the site of a castle which belonged first to the Grahams and afterwards to the Douglases, and was sold in 1642 by William, seventh or eighth earl of Morton, to Francis, second earl of Buccleuch, for the purpose of raising money to assist Charles I. in the Civil War.

The palace has been the residence of several sovereigns during their visits to Edinburgh, among them George IV. in 1822, Queen Victoria in 1842, and Edward VII. in 1903.

About one mile south is Newbattle Abbey, the seat of the marquess of Lothian, delightfully situated on the South Esk. It is built on the site of an abbey founded by David I., the ancient crypt being incorporated in the mansion. The library contains many valuable books and illuminated MSS., and excellent pictures and carvings. In the park are several remarkable trees, among them one of the largest beeches in the United Kingdom. Two miles still farther south lies Cockpen, immortalized by the Baroness Nairne and her humorous song The Laird of Cockpen, and Dalhousie Castle, partly ancient and partly modern, which gives a title to the earls of Dalhousie.

About 6 miles south-east of Dalkeith are Borthwick and Crichton castles, one mile apart, both now in ruins. Queen Mary spent three weeks in Borthwick Castle, after her marriage with Bothwell, and fled from it to Dunbar in the guise of a page. The castle, which is a double tower, was besieged by Cromwell, and the marks of his cannon-balls are still visible. In the manse of the parish of Borthwick, William Robertson, the historian, was born in 1721.



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