Page:EB1911 - Volume 25.djvu/950

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.
926
STIRLING

distinguished himself at Monmouth. He took an active part in exposing the Conway Cabal, presided over the court-martial of General Charles Lee, and enjoyed the confidence of Washington to an unusual degree. In October 1781 he took command of the northern department at Albany to check an expected invasion from Canada. He died at Albany on the 15th of January 1783. He was a member of the board of governors of King's College (now Columbia University) and was himself devoted to the study of mathematics and astronomy.

See W. A. Duer, “Life of William Alexander, Earl of Stirling,” in vol. ii. of the Collections of the New Jersey Historical Society (New York, 1847).


STIRLING, a royal, municipal and police burgh, river port and county town of Stirlingshire, Scotland. Pop. (1901), 18,697. It is finely situated on the right bank of the Forth, 39! m. N.W. of Edinburgh and 295 m. N.E. of Glasgow, being served by the North British and the Caledonian railways. The old town occupies the slopes of a basaltic hill (420 ft. above the sea) terminating on the north and west in a sheer precipice. The modern quarters have been laid out on the level ground at the base, especially towards the south. Originally the town was protected on its vulnerable sides by a wall, of which remains still exist at the south end of the Black Walk. Formerly there were two main entrances — the South Port, 100 yds. to the west of the present line of Port Street, and the "auld brig" over the Forth to the north, a quaint high-pitched structure of four arches, now closed to traffic. It dates from the end of the 14th century and was once literally "the key to the Highlands." It still retains the gateway towers at both ends. Just below it is the new bridge erected in 1829 from designs by Robert Stevenson, and below this again the railway viaduct. According to local tradition, a bridge stood at Kildean, 1 m. up the river, not far from the field of the battle of Stirling Bridge (1297). The castle crowning the eminence is of unknown age, but from the time that Alexander I. died within its walls in n 24 till the union of the crowns in 1603 it was intimately associated with the fortunes of the Scottish monarchs. It is one of the fortresses appointed by the Act of Union to be kept in a state of repair, and is approached from the esplanade, on which stands the colossal statue of Robert Bruce, erected in 1877. The main gateway, built by James III., gives access to the lower and then to the upper square, on the south side of which stands the palace, begun by James V. (1540) and completed by Mary of Guise. The east side of the quadrangle is occupied by the parliament house, a Gothic building of the time of James III., now used as a barrack-room and stores. On the north side of the square is the chapel royal, founded by Alexander I., rebuilt in the 15th century and again in 1594 by James VI. (who was christened in it), and afterwards converted into an armoury and finally a store-room. Beyond the upper square is the small castle garden, partly destroyed by fire in 1856 but' restored, in which William, 8th earl of Douglas, was murdered by James II. (1452). Just below the castle on the north-east is the path of Ballangeich, which is said to have given private access to the fortress, and from which James V. took his title of "Guidman of Ballangeich" when he roved incognito. Below it is Gowan Hill, and beyond this the Mote or Heading Hill, on which Murdoch Stuart, 2nd duke of Albany, his two sons, and his, father-in-law the earl of Lennox, were beheaded in 1425. In the plain c'o the south-west were the King's Gardens, now under grass, with an octagonal turf-covered mound called the King's Knot in the centre. Farther south lies the King's Park, chiefly devoted to golf, cricket, football and curling, and containing also a race-course. On a hill of lower elevation than the castle and separated from the esplanade by a depression styled the Valley — the tilting-ground of former times — a cemetery has been laid out. Among its chief features are the Virgin Martyrs' Memorial, representing in white marble a guardian angel and the figures of Margaret M'Lauchlan and Margaret Wilson, who were drowned by the rising tide in Wigtown Bay for their fidelity to the Covenant (1685); the large pyramid to the memory of the Covenanters, and the Ladies' Rock, from which ladies viewed the jousts in the Valley. Adjoining the cemetery on the south is Greyfriars, the parish church, also called, since the Reformation (1656), when it was divided into two places of worship, the East and West churches. David I. is believed to have founded (about 1 130) an earlier church on their site dedicated to the Holy Rood, or Cross, which was burned in 1406. The church was rebuilt soon afterwards and possibly some portions of the preceding structure were incorporated in the nave. The choir (the East church) was added in 1494 by James IV., and the apse a few years later by James Beaton, archbishop of St Andrews, or his nephew, Cardinal David Beaton. At the west stands the stately battlemented square tower, 90 ft. high. The nave (the West church), divided from the aisles by a double row of massive round pillars, is a transition between Romanesque and Gothic, with pointed windows. The crow-stepped Gothic gable of the south transept affords the main entrance to both churches. The choir is in the Decorated and Perpendicular styles and is higher than the nave. The parish church is 200 ft. long, 55 ft. broad and 50 ft. high. Within its walls Mary Queen of Scots was crowned in 1543, when nine months old, and in the same year the earl of Arran, regent of Scotland, abjured Protestantism; in 1544 an assembly of nobles appointed Mary of Guise queen-regent; on the 29th of July 1567 James VI. was crowned, John Knox preaching the sermon, and in August 1571 and June 1578 the general assembly of the Church of Scotland met. James Guthrie (1612-1661), the martyr, and Ebenezer Erskine (1680-1794), founder of the Scottish Secession Church, were two of the most distinguished ministers. To the south-west of the church is Cowane's Hos- pital, founded in 1639 by John Cowane, dean of gild, for twelve poor members of the gildry; but the deposition of the charity has been modified and the hall serves the purpose of a gildhall. Adjoining it is the military prison. Near the principal entrance to the esplanade stands Argyll's Lodging, erected about 1630 by the 1st earl of Stirling. On his death in 1640 it passed to the 1st marquess of Argyll and is now a military hospital. Broad Street contains the ruins of Mar's Work, the palace built by John Erskine, 1st (or 6th) earl of Mar, about 157°, according to tradition, out of the stones of Cambuskenneth Abbey; the old town house, erected in 1701 instead of that in which John Hamil- ton, the last Roman Catholic archbishop of St Andrews, was hanged for alleged complicity in the murders of Darnley and the regent Moray; the town cross, restored in 1891, and the house which was, as a mural tablet says, the " nursery of James VI. and his son Prince Henry." The important buildings include: the high school; the trades hall, founded by Robert Spittal, James IV. 's tailor, in the Back Walk; the burgh buildings, with a statue of Sir William Wallace over the porch; the National Bank, occupying the site of the Dominican monastery, founded in 1223 by Alexander II. and demolished at the Reformation; the Smith Institute, founded in 1873 by Thomas Stewart Smith, an artist, containing a picture-gallery, museum and reading- room; the public halls; the Royal Infirmary and various charitable institutions. Woollen manufactures (carpets, tartans, shawls) are the staple industry, and tanning, iron-founding, carriage-building and agricultural implement-making are also carried on, in addition to furniture factories, cooperage and rubber works. The harbour being accessible only at high water, and then merely to vessels of small tonnage, the shipping trade is inconsiderable.

Stirling is under the jurisdiction of a council with provost and bailies, and, along with Culross, Dunfermline, Inverkeithing and Queensferry (the Stirling burghs) returns a member to Parliament. The Abbey Craig, an outlying spur of the Ochils, 1^ m. north-east of Stirling, is a thickly-wooded bill (362 ft. high), on the top of which stands the Wallace monument (1869), a baronial tower, 220 ft. high, surmounted with an open-work crown. The Valhalla, or Hall of Heroes, contains busts of eminent Scotsmen. Cambuskenneth Abbey is situated on the left bank of the Forth, about 1 m. east-north-east of Stirling by ferry across the river. The name is derived from the Gaelic and means "the Crook of Kenneth," or Cairenachus. a friend