The Age of Sail in Everything: the Kidnapped monument

Since I’m limited to local topics, I went off to see something which I’ve often passed on the bus but never stopped to look at properly – the Kidnapped monument at the foot of Corstorphine hill.

The monument is technically to Robert Louis Stevenson, who is thoroughly Victorian, but the setting of the book is Georgian, and one of the characters historical enough – Alan Breck Stewart, who served in both the Hanoverian and Jacobite armies over the course of 1745, and was later found guilty for a murder he very probably didn’t commit.

As well as the statues there’s some fancy metalwork in the fence depicting the characters.

The setting of the monument is somewhere near where the two characters parted for the last time, although this second Rest and Be Thankful is much higher up the hill.

We came the by-way over the hill of Corstorphine; and when we got near to the place called Rest-and-be-Thankful, and looked down on Corstorphine bogs and over to the city and the castle on the hill, we both stopped, for we both knew without a word said that we had come to where our ways parted.

The story of the bog in true enough – Corstorphine still has its medieval church, and in early days a lamp burned there to guide travellers past the marshes by night. The niche is still there on the wall, and now holds an electic replacement.

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