Old and New Edinburgh

Old and New Edinburgh

Volume VI

Volume 6 Page 203
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204 OLD AND NEW EDINBURGH. [Leith. of May. As history records, Gordon and Arran could not resist doing a little on their own account to annoy the English, so they sacked Carrickfergus, and anchored off Kyle. Sir-Andrew Wood, with a herald, was sent to take command of the fleet, but found that it had sailed; so this little armada, which might have aided in the invasion of England, was eventually destroyed by tempests, and the magnificent Michael (which will be described in a later chapter, in which some voyage to Bourdeaux, or eke die, rather than be taken." His brother Robert was captain of the Great MichaeZ in I 5 r I. James IV., stirred by the discovery of America, was early determined to create a Scottish navy, and he went about it with all the zeal of a Peter the Great. In 1512 he had no fewer than forty-six ships of war ; four of these were of more than 300 tons, and two were of IOO tons. The Lion (Sir SIGNAL TOWER, LEITH HARBOUR, 1829. (A/w S k ~ ~ . ) account will be given of Newhaven) was suffered to rot in the harbour of Brest. Prior to this John Barton had died of fever at Kirkcudbright, and was buried in the churchyard of St. Cuthbert; but he left a son named John, who was captain of the Mav WiZloughby (English prize), the same ship found in Leith Harbour by the Earl of Hertford in 1544. " John-a-Barton is not yet gone to sea," writes Sir Ralph Sadler on the 25th October, 1543 ; " but it is told me that as soon as the wind serveth he will go with the Mary Willoughby and nine sail more, half merchantmen and half men-of-war, as well furnished of men and artillery as any ships that went from Scotland these many years, being determined to accomplish their Andrew Barton's ship), which was built in 1504, was, as has beer. said, only inferior to the Greai Harry, and the MichaeZ was the largest ship in the world. Some of his galleys had triple banks of oars raised over each other, and were capable of containing each sixty inen in complete armour, besides the rowers, who numbered to each galley one hundred and four men. Besides the guns interspersed between the banks of oars, they had both artillery and small arms planted at the forecastle and stern. James encouraged the merchant skippers to extend their voyages, to fully arm their vessels, to purchase foreign ships of war, t6 import artillery, and superintend the construction of large craft at
Volume 6 Page 204
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