Holyrood, an abbey and palace in Edinburgh. The Augustinian abbey was founded in 1128 by David I., King of Scotland, in consequence of his miraculous preservation from the attack of a hart, whilst hunting, through the interposition of a hand holding a, flaming cross. It was dedicated to the "Black Rood," a golden cruciform casket brought to Scotland by Queen Margaret about sixty years earlier, and supposed to contain a fragment of the true cross. The Black Rood was captured by the English in the battle of Neville's Cross (1346), and deposited in St. Cuthbert's shrine in Durham cathedral, whence it disappeared during the Reformation. The abbey church, much injured by fire during the English invasions in 1544 and 1547, but subsequently repaired, was converted into the parish church of the Canongate during the Reformation, and so remained until 1687, when it became the chapel-royal. It is now in a ruined condition.
Holyrood Abbey was a frequent residence of the Scottish kings, even before the foundation of the royal palace in the reign of James IV. (about 1500). From that date to the accession of James VI. to the throne of England it was the principal abode of the Scottish sovereigns. It was almost completely destroyed by Cromwell's troops in 1650, but was rebuilt, by Charles II. Notwithstanding the numerous injuries it has undergone, a portion of the original structure of James IV. still remains. Amongst the historical scenes associated with the palace must be mentioned the murder of David Rizzio (1566), and the balls and assemblies held during the brief sovereignty of the Young Pretender, which took place in the picture gallery.. The buildings and precincts of the palace continued to be a place of sanctuary for debtors till within a very recent period.