Parliament House. EDINBURGH. 66. Route. 519
Totthe S. of St. Giles's is Parliament Square, an open space,
formerly the churchyard, with an Equestrian Statue of Charles II.
Adjacent is a stone inscribed 'I. K. 1572', supposed to mark the
grave of John Knox. On the S. side of the square (entr. in the W.
corner) stands the extensive Parliament House (PL E, 4), formerly
the place of meeting of the Scottish Parliament, and now the seat
of the Supreme Law Courts of Scotland (open daily, 10-4).
We first enter the _reat Hall, where numerous 'Advocates' in wig
and gown, 'Writers to the Signet', and solicitors may be seen in conference
with their clients. The hall, which has a line oaken roof, contains statues
and paintings of celebrated Scottish jurists and statesmen. The large
'Stained Glass Window, executed at Munich from a design by Kaulbach,
represents the foundation of the College of Justice by James V. in 1537.
At the S. end of the Hall is a Corridor, extending 300 ft. towards
the E., from which the different Courts are entered. . The door opposite
the entrance to the hall leads to a staircase descending to the Advocates'
Library, the largest library in Scotland, containing about 490,000 vols.,
numerous valuable MSS., a sitting figure of Sir Walter Scott, the MS. of
'Waverley', a copy of the first printed Bible (Fust and Gutenberg), the Con¬
fession of Faith signed by James VI. in 1590, etc. (keeper, Mr. W. K. Dickson;
10-4, Sat. 10-1). On the upper floor, in the N.W. angle, is the Signet
Library (adm. by order from a member), with over 100,000 vols., belonging to
the 'Writers to the Signet' (i.e. solicitors, originally clerks of the Secretary
of State, who prepared writs passing under the King's signet).
The Supreme Court of Scotland consists of two Courts of Appeal,
each with 3-4 judges, forming the 'Inner House', and five Courts of first
instance, with one judge each, forming the 'Outer House'. There are in
all 13 judges, at the head of whom are the Lord President and the Lord
Justice Clerk, presiding over the First and Second Divisions respectively
of the Inner House. The Civil Courts sit daily, 10-4, except Mon.; the Crim¬
inal Court for serious offences on Mon. only. The legal vacations last
from 20th Mar. to 12th May, from 20th July to 15th Oct., and for about a
fortnight at Christmas.
In the High St., nearly opposite St. Giles, are the City Cham¬
bers containing the City Museum (free daily), with memorials of
Burns formerly in Burn s Monument. Farther on, at the corner of
the busy South Bridge Street, rises the Tron Church (PL E, 4), so
called from the old 'Tron', or town weighing-machine. A little
farther on, beyond the street known as the 'Bridges' (p. 521), to
the left, is John Knox's House (PL F, 4), where he is erroneously
said to have lived from 1560 to 1572, recognisable by its projecting
front (daily, 10-4 or 5, adm. 6d.). — We now enter the Canongate,
passing Moray House (now a training-college; PL F, 4) on the
right, and the Canongate Tolbooth (comp. p. 518; 1591), with its
clock, on the left. In the churchyard of Canongate Church (PL F, 4)
lie Adam Smith (d. 1790), Dugald Stewart (d. 1828), and Robert
Fergusson (d. 1790; headstone erected by Burns).
At the foot of the Canongate lies *Holyrood Palace (PL G, 3),
the former residence of the Scottish kings, dating in its present
form mainly from 1670-79 (open free 10-5, in winter 11-4 or 5).
The rooms of Mary, Queen of Scots, are still preserved, and contain
some relics of that ill-fated princess. In the vestibule of the audience-
chamber a brass plate on the floor indicates the spot where Rizzio expired.
The Picture Gallery consists of a long series of imaginary portraits of
Scottish kings, remarkable f< >r their strong family-likeness.