June 30, 1685
On this day Archibald Campbell, the 9th Earl of Argyll, was led from the Laigh Council House to the Mercat Cross of Edinburgh. This was the normal site for public business including executions. The Maiden had been moved out of storage and quickly erected atop an elevated platform for all to see.
|Artist's rendering of the Maiden.|
Argyll climbed the steps to the Maiden. He knelt, embraced the device, uttered " Lord Jesus, receive
me into Thy glory" three times, raised his hand as a signal to the executioner, and it was over.
Mercat Cross From wikipedia: "A mercat cross is the Scots name for the market cross found frequently in Scottish towns, cities and villages where historically the right to hold a regular market or fair was granted by the monarch, a bishop or a baron. It therefore served a secular purpose as a symbol of authority, and was an indication of a burgh's relative prosperity." The Mercat Cross of Edinburgh was first granted before 1365. It became the spot for all major public events.
The Rothemayus map of Edinburgh of about 1647 gives a great feel for the location of various sites along the Royal mile in 1685 when Argyll was executed and Robert Campbell sat in the Canongate Tolbooth.
|Mercat Cross today|