Child's, The English And Scottish Ballads

Volume 3 of 8 from 1860 edition -online book

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118                    THE QUEEN'S MARIE.
When she gaed up the tolbooth stairs,
The corks frae her heels did flee;                    ro
And lang or e'er she cam down again, She was condemn'd to die.
When she cam to the Netherbow port, She laughed loud laughters three ;
But when she cam to the gallows foot,               
The tears blinded her ee.
" Yestreen the Queen had four Maries,
The night she'll hae but three ; There was Marie Seaton, and Marie Beaton,
And Marie Carmichael, and me.                       so
73. The Netherbow port was the gate which divided the city of Edinburgh from the suburb, called the Canongate. S.
80. The Queen's Maries were four young ladies of the highest families in Scotland, who were sent to France in her train, and returned with her to Scotland. Keith gives as their names, p. 65. " The young Queen, Mary, embarked
at Dunbarton for France,......and with her went
......and four young virgins, all of the name of
,. Mary, viz. Livingston, Fleming, Seatoun, and Beatoun." Neither Mary Livingston, nor Mary Fleming, are mentioned in the ballad; nor are the Mary Hamilton, and Mary Carmi­chael, of the ballad, mentioned by Keith. But if this corps continued to consist of young virgins, as when originally raised, it could hardly have subsisted without occasional re­cruits ; especially if we trust our old bard, and John Knox.
The Queen's Maries are mentioned in many ballads, and the name seems to have passed into a general denomination for female attendants.—Scott.