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called the Wolf of Badenoch, having a feud with Bishop Barr, burnt down the cathedral, the parish church, a religious house called Maison Dieu, eighteen houfes of the canons, and the greatest part of the city. He was compelled for this offence to do penance before the high altar of Blackfriars' Church at Perth: a very flight punishment for such an offence. The city did not recover its previous condition for a long time; and it was many years before the new cathedral was completed. The bishops devoted a third of their incomes to this object, and at length it stood a church of rare beauty and splendour. Its central tower was one hundred and ninety-eight feet high,
ELGIN CATHEDRAL; SOUTH AISLE.
and the present remains justify the character which it attained of being the finest specimen of ecclefiaftical architecture in the kingdom, Melrofe not excepted. It exceeds that admired fabric in extent, in altitude, in general magnificence, and in richness of decoration. The remains of it at the present day are beheld by strangers with equal wonder and pleasure.
This fine cathedral, like nearly all in Scotland, fell, not by time, but by the fierce and bigoted spirit in which the reformation was introduced. In 1568, the privy council authorised the Earl of Huntley, the sheriff of Aberdeen, to strip the cathedral churches of Aberdeen and Elgin of their lead, and to fell it for the maintenance of the troops of the regent Murray. It is a curious fact that this plunder, like the lead stripped from the castle of Conway in Wales, was not destined to benefit the spoilers. As that was loft with the ship which was conveying it to Ireland, so this had scarcely left the harbour of Aberdeen for Holland, where it was to be fold, when the ship went down with it. The cathedral of Elgin, thus exposed to the elements, went gradually to decay, and in 1711 the great central tower fell.
Wordsworth speaking of such rude and selfish destruction of ancient churches from a probably just resentment against the evils and oppreffions of a corrupted faith, says :
"As when a storm hath ceased, the birds regain
Their cheerfulness, and bufily retrim
Their nefts, or chant a gratulating hymn,
To the blue ether and befpangled plain;
Even fo, in many a reconstructed fane,
That perfecution, blind with rage extreme,
May not the less, through heaven's mild countenance
For all things are lefs dreadful than they seem."
But no fuch fecond refurrection awaited this fuperb old temple. The spirit of Genevan aufterity, which came over with John Knox, allowed no revival of papal grandeur, but inaugurated a class of houses of devotion of a more rigid fimplicity.
The parts of the dilapidated cathedral remaining most entire are, the east end, parts of the tranfepts, the chapter-house, and the western entrance, flanked by two ftupendous towers. The workmanship of all these is of extraordinary richness and elaborateness. The western door is particularly fine, and the chapter-house will bear comparison with most of those generally elegant buildings. Many monuments remain and are now guarded with care. Some of the figures represent knights and barons lying in complete armour, and others are of bishops, of a coloffal fize. The surrounding area is the parish burial-ground, which is enclosed by a high wall, and kept fhut up with the care so characteristic of the Scotch in their cemeteries.
Connected with the ruins of this cathedral is a history which is curious. The free fchool of the town, which provides. clothing and maintenance for fuch children as cannot be fupported by their parents, is a modern foundation. "It owes its origin," fays Robert Chambers, in his "Picture of Scotland," "to a native of Elgin, who, having made a fortune abroad, devoted his honourable earnings to this honourable purpose. His name was Andrew Anderfon, a major-general in the fervice of the Eaft India Company; and there is fomething fingular in his history. He contrived to raise himself from the
condition of a private foldier to that honourable rank, entirely by his own merits. He had no patrimony but genius and ambition; there was something even below poverty in his origin. A small apartment is shown amid the ruins of the cathedral, where his mother, an indigent and infirm old widow, who could afford no better lodging, lived for many years while he was a
ELGIN CATHEDRAL: CHOIR.
boy; and this I humbly conceive to be, in one sense, the greatest curiofity about Elgin. In a crib, not more than five feet square, furrounded by melancholy ruins, and the dreadinspiring precincts of a churchyard, Anderson spent all his early years; the boy, who was on this account, perhaps, the