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272 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES.
His widow, as “ the most respectful tribute” she could pay to his memory,
published a volume of his sermons in 1799. The volume contains twelve
sermons-some of them on very interesting subjects-and all display comprehensiveness
of idea, distinguished by considerable force and clearness of expression.
No. CXI.
JAMES MARSHALL, ESQ.,
WRITER TO THE SIGNET.
THIS is a striking etching of a somewhat eccentric yet active man of business
-one of the few specimens of the old school who survived the close of last century.
The smart gait-the quick eye-aquiline nose-compressed lips-the
silver spectacles, carelessly thrown upwards-the cocked hat firmly crowning the
old black wig-and the robust appearance of the whole figure, at once bespeak
the strong nerve and decisive character of the original.
Almost every sexagenarian in Edinburgh must recollect JAMESM ARSHALL,
Writer to the Signet. He was a native of Strathaven, in Lanarkshire,
and made his debut upon the stage of life in the year 1731. From his having
become a Writer to the Signet at a period when that society was more select
than it is at present, we may fairly presume that his parents were respectable,
and possessed of at least some portion of the good things of this world.
Mr. Marshall was both an arduous and acute man of business ; but he possessed
one accomplishment that might have been dispensed with, for he was
one of the most profound swearers of his day; so much so, that few could
possibly compete with him. Every sentence he uttered had its characteristic
oath ; and, if there was any degree of wit at all in the numerous jokes which
his exuberance of animal spirits suggested, it certainly lay in the peculiar magniloquent
manner in which he displayed his “ flowers of eloquence.” As true
chroniclers, however, we must not omit recording a circumstance which, notwithstanding
this most reprehensible habit, does considerable credit to the heart
of the heathen lawyer, One day the poor Washerwoman whom he employed
appeared at his office in Milne’s Square with her head attired in a mourning
coif, and her countenance unusually rueful. “ What-what is the matter, Janet 1”
said the writer, in his usual quick manner. Janet replied, in faltering accents,
that she had lost her gzldeman. ‘‘ Lost your man !” said Marshall ; at the same
time throwing up his spectacles, as if to understand the matter more thoroughly,
“How the d- did that happen!” Janet then stated the melancholy
occurrence by which she had been bereaved. It seems that at that time
extensive buildings were going on about the head of Leith Walk j and, from ... of expression. No. CXI. JAMES MARSHALL, ESQ., WRITER TO THE SIGNET . THIS is a striking etching of a ...

Book 8  p. 381
(Score 4.22)

BIO GRAPH1 GAL SKETCHES. 159
considerably annoyed by the frequent messages from the Castle concerning the
much-wanted cook. One day the Governor’s black lackey came into the shop
to make the usual inquiry. The Bailie observed Macpherson pass the door at
the moment, and determining to get rid of his black tormentor by any means,
directed Mungo’s attention to the bacchanalian, who happened to be sober at the
time, it being then early in the forenoon. The servant, assured that Macpherson
was a cook in want of a situation, marched boldly after the lawyer, and giving
him a gentle tap on the shoulder, said “ The Governor wants to see you at the
Castle.”-u Just now 1” inquired Macpherson, his .countenance brightening up
with the anticipation of something to his advantage,-“ Soon as possible,”said
Mungo.
Macpherson immediately returned to the West Bow, cropped his beard of
three days’ standing, and, assisted by Sodom and Gomorrh, prepared for the
appointment. His sisters were equally on the tiptoe of expectation as to what
the Governor could possibly be wanting in such haste. Macpherson made various
conjectures, but in vain. Every suggestion appeared to him unlikely, save the
commencement of some important process, which nothing but his superior talents
could have pointed him out as the proper person to undertake. Brushed up, and
bedecked in something like the style of his better days, the renovated Writer to
the Signet hurried to the Castle, and was ushered into-the lobby ! where, to his
astonishment, he was desired to wait till the Governor came. This, to a W.S.,
was the reverse of courtesy ; but he naturally supposed the apparent incivility
arose from the ignorance of the lackey, and imagined the mistake would soon
be rectified by the Governor himself. “ Well, have you
got a character?” was his first salutation. ‘‘ A character !” said Macpherson,
astonished beyond measure at such a question being put to a lawyer. “ Why,
what do you mean by a character I”-“ Have you not got a character P” repeated
the Governor. “TO be sure I’ve got a character ! ’’ replied Macpherson,
still more astonished. “Where is it then, can’t you show it Z”-“ Show it !”
reiterated the lawyer, his bluff cheeks colouring with a sense of insult, “ there’s
not a gentleman in Edinburgh but knows me !’I--“ That may be,” said the
Governor, “but no one should presume to ask a place without having a character
in his pocket.”--“ The d-1 take the place-what place have I solicited?
Why, I was sent for to speak with the Governor.”--“ What are you P” said the
latter, at last conceiving the possibility of a mistake. “I’m a Writer to the
Signet,” answered Macpherson, with corresponding dignity of manner. “Writer
to the Signet ! astonishing-this is all a mistake-1 wanted a Cook ! ”-‘‘ Confound
you and your cook both!” vociferated the indignant W.S., turning on his
heel and hurrying off to drown his mortification in a meridian libation.
Nothing so easily irritated Macpherson in after times as any allusion to this
unlucky incident.
There was one redeeming virtue in the character of Macpherson rarely to
be found in professional men, and least of all in such a character ag himself,
which speaks more than language can do for the natural goodness of his heart,
The Governor came. ... GRAPH1 GAL SKETCHES. 159 considerably annoyed by the frequent messages from the Castle concerning ...

Book 8  p. 224
(Score 3.9)

John Wilson (18 May 1785 - 3 April 1854) was a Scottish writer, the writer most frequently identified with the pseudonym Christopher North of Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine
people ... Wilson (18 May 1785 - 3 April 1854) was a Scottish writer, the writer most frequently identified with the ...

Book 1  p. x
(Score 3.47)

UPPER HALL, SIGNET LIBRARY. ... HALL, SIGNET ...

Book 11  p. 100
(Score 3.39)

466 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES.
his “Outlines of Philosophical Education.”’ In 1801 Mr. Jardine was, along
with the late Lord Medwyn, appointed Collector of Decisions to the Faculty
of Advocates, which office they continued to hold till 1807’. In 1802 he married
the only daughter of James Bruce of Kinnaird (the celebrated Abyssinian
Traveller) and Mary Dundas of Fingask, by whom he had several children.
One of his daughters was married to her cousin, Charles Whitley Dundas, then
M.P. for Flint, the eldest son of Captain Dundas, Clerk of Ordnance, and grandnephew
of the late Lord Amesbury. Mr. Jardine was, during the Grey
administration, appointed Sheriff of Ross and Cromarty, which office he held
till his death, which took place at his house in Great King Street, Edinburgh, in
1850, when in the 62d year of his age.
XI1.-JOHN CUNNINGHAME, late Solicitor-General, and afterwards one
of the Judges of the Court of Session, was born at Port-Glasgow in 1782. His
father, John Cunninghame, Esq., was a banker in Greenock. After serving his
apprenticeship with the late Mr. MNab, as a Writer to the Signet, Mr.
Cunninghame passed advocate on the 7th March 1807. At the bar he enjoyed
very considerable practice; and in 1830 was appointed Deputy to Lord Jeffrey,
who was then Lord Advocate. ’ In 1831 he was appointed Sheriff of Elgin and
Moray ; in 1835 Solicitor-General for Scotland j and was raised to the bench
on the death of Lord Balgray in 1837.
Lord Cunninghame married Miss Margaret Richard Fisher Trotter, eldest
daughter of the late Lieutenant General Alexander Trotter, and niece of the
late Mr. Trotter of Mortonhall. He resigned his seat on the bench in May
1853, and died the year following.
No. CCCXXVII.
JOHN ROSE, ESQ. OB HOLME,
IN THE UNIFORM OF THE GRANT FENCIBLES.
THIS worthy gentleman was born on the 17th January 1744, and died 15th
May 1803. He succeeded, while a
minor, to the paternal property of Holme, which is beautifully situate on the
banks of the Nairn, about eight miles above the burgh of that name, in the
county of Inverness, where it borders on that of Nairn. He was apprenticed to
a Writer to the Signet in Edinburgh ; but having in early life married Jane,
eldest daughter of Alexander Cumming, Esq., of Logie, he relinquished the
profession of the law, and resided upon his property. His legal acquirements,
however-united as they were with great discrimination, blandness of manner,
and a kind heart-were of the utmost importance in settling disputes and preventing
ruinous litigation in his neighbourhood. No man was ever more
His family was ancient and respectable.
1 Lord Jeffrey attended ProfeasoF Jardine’s class in 1787-8.
I ... serving his apprenticeship with the late Mr. MNab, as a Writer to the Signet , Mr. Cunninghame passed advocate on ...

Book 9  p. 621
(Score 2.89)

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 163
divided Lords Craig, Cullen, and Hermand argued against; and Lords
Armadale, Meadowbank, and the Lord Justice-clerk for the relevancy ; but, as
the latter had only a casting vote, the libel was found “not relevant”4nd the
parties were dismissed.
On resigning his offices in the Courts of Session and Justiciary in 18l1,
Lord Armadale retired to Smyllum Park, his residence in Lanarkshire, where
he died on the 5th June 1825. Be married Mary, eldest daughter of the Lord
Justice-Clerk, M‘Queen, of Braxfield, by whom he had a numerous family. His
two eldest sons, Patrick and Robert, entered the army. The former served in
the 28th Light Dragoons ; and the latter, who died in Jamaica on the 20th
November 1809-deeply regretted as an officer of much gallantry and the
highest promise-was Lieut.-Colonel of the 18th Regiment of Foot. The
following notice of his demise appeared in the journals :-
“ In Jamaica, Lieut.-Colonel Robed Honyman, second son of Lord Armadale. He served as
a volunteer during the campaign in Egypt, where he was honoured with the approbation of Sir
Ralph Abercromby, and acquired the esteem and friendship of Sir John Moore, Generals Hope,
Spencer, and other distinguished otficers. At the attack on the Dutch lines, at the capture of
the Cape of Good Hope, he, under Sir David Baird, led on the 93d Regiment, of which he was
Major, and was severely wounded. As Lieut.-Colonel of the 18th Foot, he lately received the
thanks of the Commander-in-Chief of the Island of Jamaica, for his active services in suppressing
a mutiny of the black troops in that Island, where he has since fallen a victim to the fever of
the countrg, at the age of twenty-seven.”
No. CCXXVIII.
REV. DR. ALEXANDER TURNBULL,
OF DALLADIES.
DR. ALEXANDETRU RNBULwLa s the eldest son of Mr. George Turnbull, Writer
to the Signet, a gentleman of good family (being a descendant of the Turnbulls
of Stracathro, in Forfarshire), and of considerable eminence in his profession.
By his mother’s side, he was related in a distant degree to the celebrated
Charles James Fox..’ He was born in Merlin’s Wynd (subsequently removed
on the erection of the South Bridge), in the month of February 1748. While
yet a minor, he had the misfortune to lose his father, but the loss was
mitigated by the good offices of Lord Gardenstone, whom Mr, Turnbull had
appointed guardian to his children. At the usual age the subject of this notice
was apprenticed to Mr. Walter Scott, Writer to the Signet, father of Sir Walter
Scott, a gentleman of whom he was accustomed to speak in terms of affection
The rise of the family of Fox is curious. Though there are peerages, viz nchaster and Holland,
in the family, the founder, Si Stephen Fox, w~as originally B footman, in the reign of Charles IL ... of this notice was apprenticed to Mr. Walter Scott, Writer to the Signet , father of Sir Walter Scott, a ...

Book 9  p. 220
(Score 2.81)

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 243
KO. XCIX.
JOHN DAVIDSON, ESQ., AND LORD HENDERLAND.
GEORGE PATON, ESQ.
LORD MONBODDO AND DR. HUTTON.
MR. JOHN DAVIDSON, the first figure in the division entitled " Conversation,''
was the son of a bookseller in Edinburgh, and followed the profession of
a Writer to the Signet. During the greater part of his life he enjoyed, perhaps,
the most lucrative and respectable business in Edinburgh. He was a man
of superior abilities, and of great acuteness and industry. His literary acquirements
were highly estimated by his friends, to whom he frequently rendered
valuable assistance. Principal Robertson, in the preface of his History of Scotland,
which was given to the world in 1759, makes honourable mention of Mr.
Davidson in these words :-'' The facts and observations which relate to Mary's
letters, I owe to my friend Mr. John Davidson, one of the Clerks of the Signet,
who hath examined this point with his usual acuteness and industry."
Mr. Davidson printed, but did not publish, two tracts: the one on the
Regiam Majestatem, and the other on the Black Acts. In 1771 he printed for
private distribution a thin 4to volume, entitled " Accounts of the Chamberlain
of Scotland in 1329, 1330, and 1331, from the originals in the Exchequer, with
some other curious Papers." 1
He had an only
son, who died before him in early life. The late Mr. Hugh Warrender, his first
clerk, succeeded to his business at his death, which occurred at Edinburgh on
the 29th December 1797. The house built by Mr. Davidson, and for sixty
years successively inhabited by him and Mr. Warrender, was the uppermost
house on the Castle Hill, next to the Castle, on the north side of the street,
and became the property of Sir George Warrender, Bart., who inherited it under
the settlement of his relative. The founder of the family, and first baronet, was
a tradesman of Edinburgh at the beginning of last century ; a circumstance on
which Sir George prides himself exceedingly.
The estate of Stewartfield, acquired by Ifi. Davidson, was, in consequence
of a destination in his settlement, inherited by a younger son of Lord Glenlee.
For many years Mr. Davidson was agent for the Crown.
LORD HENDERLAND is represented as engaged in conversation with
Mr. Davidson--each in the attitude which, upon such occasions, he was wont
In some copies a third appendix is to be found, of which only about a dozen copias were
thrown pff. ... a bookseller in Edinburgh, and followed the profession of a Writer to the Signet . During the greater part of his ...

Book 8  p. 341
(Score 2.74)

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 421
When all danger had at last happily passed aw‘ay, Mr. Grant settled in
Edinburgh as a Writer to the Signet, and succeeded well in business. He knew
not only how to make money, but how to take care of it, and ultimately amassed
a very considerable fortune. As illustrative of his character and the general
wariness of his habits of business, we quote the following story from the
Edinburgh Literary Journal :-
“ Mr. Ross of Pitcalnie, representative of the ancient and noble family of Ross,’ h d , like Colquhoun
Grant, been out in the forty-five, and consequently lived on terms of intimate friendship with
that gentleman. Pitcalnie, however, had rat,her devoted himself to the dissipation than the aequisition
of a fortune ; and, while Mr. Grant lived as a wealthy writer, he enjoyed little better than the
character of a broken laird. This nnfortunate Jacobite was one day in great distress for want of the
sum of forty pounds, which he could not prevail upon any of his friends to lend him, all of them
being aware of his execrable character as a debtor. At length he informed some of his companions
that he believed he should get what he wanted from Colquhonn Grant ; and he instantly proposed to
make the attempt. All who heard him scoffed at the idea of his squeezing a subsidy from so closefisted
a man ; and some even offered to lay bets against its possibility. Mr. Ross accepted the bets,
and lost no time in applying to his old brother-in-arms, whom he found immured in his chambers,
half-a-dozen flights of steps up Gavinloch’s Land, in the Lawnmarket. The conversation commenced
with the regular commonplaces ; and for a long time Pitcalnie gave no hint that he was suing in
forma pauperis. At length he slightly hinted the necessity under which he lay for a trifle of money,
and made bold to ask if Mr. Grant could help him in a professional way. ‘ What a pity, Pitcalnie,’
replied the writer, ‘you did not apply yesterday ! I sent all the loose money I had to the bank
just this forenoon. ‘ Oh, no matter,’ said Pitcalnie,
and continued the conversation, as if no such request had been preferred. By and by, after some
more topics of an ordinary sort had been discussed, he at length introduced the old subject of the
forty-five, upon which both were alike well prepared to speak. A thousand delightful recollections
then rushed upon the minds of the two friends, and, in the rising tide of ancient feeling, all distinction
of borrower or lender was soon lost. Pitcalnie watched the time when Grant was fully mellowed
by the conversation, to bring in a few compliments upon his (Grant’s) oxm particular achievements.
He expatiated upon the bravery which his friend had shown at Preston, where he was the first man to
go up to the cannon ; ou which account he made out that the whole victory, so influential to the
Prince’s affairs, was owing to no other than Colquhoun Grant, now Writer to the Signet, Gavinloch’s
Land, Lawnmarket, Edinburgh. He aho adverted to the boldness Mr. Grant had displayed in
chasing a band of recreant draguons from the field of battle up to the very gates of Edinburgh Castle ;
and farther, upon the dexterity which he subsequently displayed in making his escape from the
town.. ‘Bide a wee,’ said Mr. Grant, at this stage of the conversation, ‘till I gang ben the house.’
He immediately returned with the sum Pitcalnie wanted, which he said he now recollected having
left over for some time in the shuttle of his private desk. Pitcalnie took the money, continued the
conversation for some time longer, and then took an opportunity of departing. When he came back
to his friends, every one eagerly asked-‘ What success 2 ’ ‘Why there’s the money,’ said he. ‘ Where are my bets ! ’ ‘ How, in the name of wonder, did you
get it out of him 1 Pitcalnie explained the plan he had taken
with his friend, adding, with an expressive wink, ‘ This forty’s made out of the battle of Preston ;
but stay a wee, lads ; I’ve Falkirk i’ my pouch yet-by my faith I wadna gie it for auchty.’ ”
It is for the present quite beyond redemption.’
‘ Incredible ! ’ every one exclaimed.
Did you cast glamour in his een ?’
Mr. Grant used to pride himself on the purity and facility with which he
could read and speak the English language. How far he was justified in so
doing may be inferred from the following anecdote :-He had occasion to be in ,
London as agent in an appeal before the House of Lords ; and an opportunity
occurring for the public display of his elocution and correctness of pronunciation,
in consequence of a certain paper requiring to be read, Mr. Grant craved and
, 1 This assertion seems to be very qnest.ionable. The representation of the Ross famiIy was in the
Lords Ross-the last of whom died upon the 19th of August 1754, when the title became extinct. ... passed aw‘ay, Mr. Grant settled in Edinburgh as a Writer to the Signet , and succeeded well in business. He ...

Book 8  p. 585
(Score 2.62)

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 417
“ Johnnie M‘Gowan,” as he was.familiarly called, was well known, and generally
esteemed as a good-natured, inoffensive sort of man, with a considerable
penchant for talking on subjects not usually considered of much moment. He
was fond of antiquarian pursuits, and possessed a good library, besides a pretty
extensive private museum of curiosities and antiquities. He was the correspondent
of Buffon, to whom he sent a yearly present of an Edinburgh
Almanack.
He was famed for his conviviality and skill in the manufacture of rum-punch
-qualifications which not unfrequently called him to the head of the table, where
he uniformly displayed a great degree of scientific nicety in preparing the flowing
bowl.
Johnnie could afford ample leisure for indulgence, whether in the gratification
of his taste for antiquarian lore, or of rum-punch, He lived a bachelor ;
and was, moreover, in easy circumstances, following the profession of a writer
rather for recreation than from necessity. He died in 1805. After his death
his books and curiosities were sold; and many of the articles brought large
prices. Amongst other rare
articles in his possession was an imperfect copy of the “ Complaynt of Scot1and”l
-of which no perfect copy is known.
He was a member of the Society of Antiquaries.
BYRNE, the centre figure, as well as little GEORDIE CRANSTOW, have
been elsewhere noticed.
The remaining individual of the group, ALEXANDER WATSON, Esq. of
Glenturkie, Fifeshire, was a Writer to the Signet, and a gentleman of much
respectability-a jolly, social, good-fellow of the old school. He resided in
Craig’s Close, first stair, left hand, immediately above where the Caledonian
Mercury Office now is. At the same period (1780), Lady Betty Anstruther, Mr.
MLeod Bannatyne (afterwards Lord Bannatyne), and Mr. Smellie, printer,
occupied the fourth and fifth stories. Beside his business as a W.S.,w hich was
considerable, Mr. Watson held a situation in the Chancery Office. He lived
and died a bachelor.
This curious work is referred to by Jonathan Oldbuck, in the inimitable novel of the Antiquary ;
and he recounts, with the true gustu of a book-collector, the devices he WBS obliged to have recourse
to in order to get possession of it. A reprint, with a singularly valuable introduction by Dr. Leyden,
was published in 1801, 8vo. ... ALEXANDER WATSON, Esq. of Glenturkie, Fifeshire, was a Writer to the Signet , and a gentleman of ...

Book 8  p. 580
(Score 2.52)

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 445
becoming a barrister, he at the same time prepared himself for admission to the
Faculty of Advocates, by studying the Scotch and Civil Law, under the celebrated
Professor Millar, in the University of Glasgow. Early imbibing Whig principles;
and the French Revolution having split society in this country into so
many parties, Mr. Macfarlane delayed following up his intention till 1804, when
he removed to Edinburgh, and came to the bar in 1806. His practice was
very considerable ; and, without swerving from his political principles, in which,
however, he was always moderate, he at length realised iuch a competency:
that, about the year 1832, when he had the misfortune of losing his wife, to
whom he had been married above thirty years (by whom he had no family), he
resolved to retire from farther public practice, which he had the satisfaction of
doing, like the philosophic Hume, without ever having preferred a request to
one great man, or even made advances to any of them. He died in 1839.
XI1.-ARCHIBALD FLETCHER, author of “ An Examination of the
Grounds on which the Convention of Royal Burghs claimed the right of Altering
and Amending the Setts or Constitution of the Individual Burghs.” Edinburgh,
1825, 8vo. He was a native of Glenlyon, Perthshire, where he was
born in 1745. His father, Angus Fletcher, was a younger brother of Archibald
Fletcher, Esq. of Bernice and Dunans, in Argyleshire. He completed his
apprenticeship, as a Writer to the Signet, with Mr. Wilson of Howden, who
afterwards admitted him into partnership. While prosecuting his professional
labours with equal zeal and success, he contrived to devote a considerable portion
of time to classical and other studies, frequently encroaching on those
hours that ought to have been given to rest; and at length, aspiring to the
toga, he became, in 1790, at the age of forty-five, a member of the Faculty of
Advocates.
Naturally of a
kind and generous disposition, he was on all occasions the friend of the oppressed,
and the consistent advocate of freedom. Many years before he was himself
known to have any view towards the bar, he effectually opposed, in a wellwritten
argumentative pamphlet, addressed to the Society of Writers to the
Signet, the adoption of a resolution by the Faculty of Advocates, prohibiting
the admission of members above twenty-seven years of age-a resolution which
would have irremediably operated to the exclusion of many industrious aspirants
to legal eminence. Much about the same period he published an essay on
Church Patronage-a subject at that time warmly debated in the Church
Courts-and in which he of course advocated the popular side. In 1784, when
Burgh Reform was first agitated in Scotland, he took an active part in the
energetic measures then adopted. He was chosen secretary to the society formed
in Edinburgh at the time; and, in 1787 was one of the delegatesdespatched to
London by the Scottish Burghs.
On his way to the metropolis Mr. Fletcher first met with the young lady
who afterwards became his wife. They were married in ’1791 ; and though
Mr. Fletcher was justly styled the father of Burgh Reform. ... in Argyleshire. He completed his apprenticeship, as a Writer to the Signet , with Mr. Wilson of Howden, ...

Book 9  p. 594
(Score 2.38)

Greyfriars Church.] TOMBS.
TOMBS IN GREYFRIARS CHURCHYARD.
1. The hlartyrs' Monument : o Monument of Sir G. McKenzie commonly called '' Blocd McKenzie " 16gz; 3, Wilhm CarJtarrs Rdomer,
and Principal of the Uhiversity of Edinburgh, 17x5 ; 4, Ebtranrx to the South Gmu$ known 85 ihq Covenant4 Rim ; 5, J&nhYhG
Keeper of the Signet, 1614 ; 4 C M y ol DaLy, 1633 ; 7, William Adam, Archirat, 1748, and W b h h n , D.D., 1793. ... Church.] TOMBS. TOMBS IN GREYFRIARS CHURCHYARD. 1. The hlartyrs' Monument : o Monument of Sir G. ...

Book 4  p. 381
(Score 2.33)

1 sa E I OG RAP H I GAL SI< ET C H ES.
family resided during summer. Being a keen amateur horticulturist, he kept
a gardener at Liberton ; and his garden, long known for the superior collection
which it contained, was much frequented.
Mr. Williamson died at Edinburgh on the 15th February 1823, in the
seventy-fourth year of his age, and was buried at Newbattle. He was twice
married, and by his first wife had two sons and a daughter. His second wife
was a sister of the late Mr. Peacock of Stenhouse, from whom he held the
house and ground at Liberton on very advantageous terms.’ His eldest son,
David, was a writer to the Signet ; and James, a writer and messenger.
No. CCXIII.
AIR. FRANCIS BRAIDWOOD,
CABINET-MAKER.
THIS caricature of a respectable citizen was meant to satirise his somewhat
extravagant and fastidious taste in matters of dress and fashion. According to
Kay’s notes, he ‘‘ was among the first of the bucks who appeared with shoestrings
instead of buckles.”’ In the Print it will be observed that these appendages
are prominently displayed, especially on the “ cloots ” of one of the ‘‘ fellow
bucks,” with whom the artist has thought proper to confront him, The
engraving originally bore the inscription-“ I say, don’t laugh, for we are
brothers.” Although by no means a fop, in the common meaning of the term,
Mr. Braidwood was not insensible to the advantages he possessed in a tall,
athletic frame, and commanding appearance ; but, much as the caricature was
calculated to wound his feelings, he displayed his good sense by taking no
other notice of it than to join heartily in the laugh which it produced.
The father of Mr. Braidwood (7vVilliam) was a candlemaker at the head of
the West Bow ; and so strictly Presbyterian and religious, that he obtained the
soubripwt of the Bowhead Saint. In burlesque of his uncommon zeal, it is told
that he once caused a bird, with its cage, to be placed in the City Guard for
profaning the Sabbath by whistling “O’er the water to Charlie.” The real
Williamson held the ground for about 20s. an acre ; and his brother-in-law became bound to
reimburse him for any ameliorations or improvements he might make on the property. On the
strength of this agreement, Williamson made out a claim for .€900, which Nr. Peacock refused to
pay. On the demise of Mr. Williamson, his heirs carried the matter before the Sheriff, when a
remit was made, and professional men appointed to inspect and report upon the extent and benefit
of the improvements.
His adoption of shoestrings, we believe, did not altogether arise from a desire to be at the top
of the ton. Eaving for some time been much annoyed by an injury on the rise of his foot-upon
which the buckle immediately pressed-he found great relief on abandoning the old fashion.
The claim waa subsequently reduced to B O O . ... very advantageous terms.’ His eldest son, David, was a writer to the Signet ; and James, a writer and ...

Book 9  p. 163
(Score 2.29)

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 15
At what other engagements our hero of the “Lawnmarket” was present,
during the continuance of hostilities prior to the peace of 1801, is uncertain;
but that he was actively employed may be inferred from the various sums of
prize-money which he remitted to his family.
?Vhen the treaty of Amiens was concluded, Yetts returned to Edinburgh ;
and with the money he had accumulated during his sea-adventures, made another
effort to settle down in respectable citizenship. With this view he opened a
small spirit shop at the head of Turk’s Close; but the speculation proved
unsuccessful. The narration of “ hk hair-breadth ’scapes ” no doubt brought
many loungers about his shop ; and it is possible that, with prudence, he might
have done pretty well. The reverse was the case; and the cLdevant barber
once more put to sea. In 1806 he was on board the Blanche frigate, which,
in company with other two-the Phabe and the Thames-were sent to the North
Seas, for the protection of the Greenland fisheries. On the 30th of July the
Blanche fell in with the Guewiere French frigate off Faro, when, after a smart
action of forty-five minutes, the latter surrendered. The Guerriere being one of
the largest class of frigates, was much superior to the Blanche. Yetts escaped
without a wound ; and a letter written by him to a friend-the substance of
which appeared in the Edinburgh Advertiser at the time-gave the first intelligence
of the capture.
We come now to the last scene in the chequered life of the hapless tonsor.
The following year, 180’7, the Blanche frigate having been despatched to the
coast of France with sealed instructions, she struck upon a rock on the night
of the 5th of March, within about thirty miles of Brest, and went to pieces in the
course of a few hours. Forty-five persons were lost,, among whom waa poor
Yetts. According to the information of one of his shipmates, who communicated
the intelligence of his death, he might easily have escaped from the
wreck; His companions repeatedly urged him to follow in their boat, but he
would not leave the ship, and doggedly sat down upon a stone in the galley to
await his fate, and went down with her. This strange indifference to life was
attributed to an attachment which he had formed for a Welsh lad on board,
whom he had taught to read, and who had been washed overboard when the
vessel struck.
The survivors were taken to Brest, where they were well treated ; and were
subsequently marched off to Verdun as prisoners of war.
The principal figures in the Coach are those of MRS. DTJNN, of the “ Hotel;”
MISS SIBBYH ~TON(f ormerly described); and MRS. PENNYwh, ose husband,
Mr. John Penny, was a writer in Forrester’s Wynd, and clerk to “ Johnnie
Bnchan,” Writer to the Signet. Mrs. Dunn occupies the centre position-Mra
Penny is seated above-and, to the left, will easily be distinguished the portly
figure of Sibby Hutton. The other ladies are intended for MRS. GRIEVE ( d e
of the Lord Provost), fih.9. WRIGm, etc. ... Forrester’s Wynd, and clerk to “ Johnnie Bnchan,” Writer to the Signet . Mrs. Dunn occupies the centre ...

Book 9  p. 17
(Score 2.18)

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 95
might have ranked with the first names in the British Senate. He retired from
the business of the Church Courts in 1780, but still continued his pastoral duties,
preaching when his health permitted, till within a few months of his death,
which took place at Grange House, near Edinburgh, on the 11th June 1793.
His colleague Dr, John Erskine, in a sermon preached after his death, said,
“ Few minds were naturally so large and capacious as Dr, Robertson’s, or stored
by study, experience, and observation, with so rich furniture. His imagination
was correct, his judgment sound, his memory tenacious, his temper agreeable,
his knowledge extensive, and his acquaintance with the world and the heart of
man very remarkable.”
Dr. Robertson is said to have excited the enmity of Dr. Gilbert Stuart, in
consequence of his assumed opposition to the appointment of that clever, but
vindictive personage, to one of the Law chairs in the University. Whether the
Principal really interfered is not certain, but Stuart believed he had done so,
and that was quite sufficient to induce him to take every means in his power to
annoy his imagined enemy. The “View of Society in Europe,” is in direct
opposition to the luminous introduction to Dr. Robertson’s ‘‘ History of Charles
V.,” and the ‘‘ History of Scotland, from the Reformation to the Death of Queen
Mary,” is an undisguised and virulent hypercritical attack on the “History
of Scotland ” by the same eminent writer, and does no great credit to the talents
of Dr. Stuart. The Empress Catherine of Russia was so delighted with Dr.
Robertson’s works, that she presented him with a handsome gold enamelled snuffbox,
richly set with diamonds, through Dr. Rogerson, which is still in possession
of the family.
The eldest son, a Lord
of Session, retired some years ago from the Bench ; he lived in Charlotte Square,
and died only last year (1836). The next son, Lieutenant-General James, who
distinguished himself under Lord Conmallis, still lives at Canaan Bank, near
Edinburgh. The third son was also in the army, but, having ’married the
heiress of Kinloch-Moidart, now (1837) resides almost entirely on his eshte.
The eldest daughter married Patrick Brydone, Esq. of Lennel House, author of’
a “ Tour through Sicily and Malta,” one of whose daughters became Countess
of Minto; and another, the wife of Admiral Sir Charles Adam, K.B. The
youngest daughter married John Russell, Esq., Writer to the Signet.
Dr. Robertson left three sons and two daughters.
No. XIlIII.
QUARTERMASTER TAYLOR.
THIS gentleman was an officer in the 7th Regiment of Foot, and served under
General Elliot, afterwards Lord Heathfield, during the memorable siege of Gibraltar
by the Spaniards. While in Edinburgh, during the year 1788, his
extreme corpulency rendered him very conspicuous, and induced Mr. Kay to
make him the subject of the present etching. It is said that the night before
his death he was offered €400 for his commission, which he refused ... K.B. The youngest daughter married John Russell, Esq., Writer to the Signet . Dr. Robertson left three sons and ...

Book 8  p. 137
(Score 2.17)

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 157
Between the years 1781 and 1785 Mr. Lawson published a full detail of the
proceedings in his case, in a pamphlet occupying nearly 300 pages of letterpress ;
also, '' Three Letters addressed to candid Christians of all denominations."
He immediately thereafter went to London, where he was well received hy
several Dissenting clergymen, and from whom he obtained a license to preach,
which he continued to do for a few years, in connection with the Relief body.
Mr. Lawson died at Leith on the 27th of August 1788.
No. LXVI.
AN EXCHANGE OF HEADS.
HUG0 ARNOT, ESQ.-MR. 'CVILLIADI MACPHERSON,
AND ROGER HOG, ESQ.
THE " Exchange of Heads " is supposed to have taken place betwixt two
individuals, so very opposite in every describable feature, that the one has been
denominated a shadow, while the other, par excellence, may as appropriately be
termed substance. The space between shadow and substance is ingeniously
devoted to the full development of a back view of a third party, who, differing
entirely from either, displays a rotundity of person more than equal to the
circumference of both.
Some account has already been given of MR. ARNOT, whose head, forming
the apex to the solid pyramid of Macpherson's trunk, appears first to the left in
the trio of figures. Respecting his substantial friend, however, whose ponderous
head, as if poised on a needle, seems like an infringement of the laws of gravity,
some amusing gossip has been preserved.
MR WILLIAM MACPHERSON, whose father was sometime deacon of
the masons in Edinburgh, was a Writer to the Signet, and, in many respects,
a man of very eccentric habits. He lived in that famed quarter of the city, the
West Bow, three stairs up, in a tenement which immediately joined the city
wall, and looked towards the west, but which has been recently removed to
make way for the improvements now in progress, and which have all but annihilated
the Bow. Mr. Macpherson continued a bachelor through life, and seemed
from many circumstances to have conceived a determined antipathy to the
" honourable state of matrimony." He had two maiden sisters who kept house
with him ; but whether they entertained similar prejudices, or remained single ... whose father was sometime deacon of the masons in Edinburgh, was a Writer to the Signet , and, in many ...

Book 8  p. 222
(Score 2.12)

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 241
A good many subscribers were procured for the l1 Retrospect ; ” the manuscript
was nearly completed ; and arrangements for printing it so far entered
into, that the Print by Kay was engraved as a frontispiece to the book.’ The
death of the author, however, prevented the publication. He died on the 16th
of September 1817, in the seventy-fourth year of his age, and the oldest Deacon
of the fourteen Incorporated Trades of Scotland.
The manuscript
remained in the hands of his widow; but on her dea.th in 1832, his
papers unfortunately were so much scattered and destroyed, that almost no
vestige of the work remains.
Mr. Sommers married, first, Joan Douglas, daughter of a glazier who resided
in Libberton’s Wynd ; and, secondly, Jean or Jeanie Fraser, sister of the wife
of Nathaniel Gow, the famous musician.
The (‘ Retrospect ” probably contained much curious matter.
No. CCLI.
MR. FRANCIS ANDERSON, W.S.,
MR. JAMES HUNTER,
AND HIS SON, MR. GEORGE HUNTER.
THIS graphic scene appears from the Print to have occurred in the Parliament
Square, and was probably witnessed by the artist from his own shop window.
Mr. Hunter is in the act of inviting his friend Mr. Anderson to dinner
-the excessive deafness of the latter accounting for the singular posture in
which the parties are placed.
MR. FRANCIS ANDERSON, brother to the banker of that name,
was a Writer to the Signet, and held the appointment of Deputy-Auditor
in the. Exchequer. He resided in George Street, and had his office in the
Royal Exchange. His father, who lived at Stoneyhill,2 was factor to the
Earl of Wemyss, to which situation the subject of our notice latterly BUGceeded.
1 It will be observed, in confirmation of this, that the volume displayed in the hand of the
author contains an outline of the spire of St. Giles. Sornmen’ History was probably suggested by
Creech’s Comparative View of Edinburgh in the yean 1763 and 1783, which wan subsequently
brought down to 1793,
The villa of Stoneyhill is situated on the river Esk, about half s mile above Mnaselburgh. It
was formerly the residence of Sir William Sharp, son of Archbishop Sharp ; and more recently of
the notorious Colonel Charteris.
VOL. 11. 2 1 ... ANDERSON, brother to the banker of that name, was a Writer to the Signet , and held the appointment of ...

Book 9  p. 321
(Score 2.06)

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 241
A good many subscribers were procured for the l1 Retrospect ; ” the manuscript
was nearly completed ; and arrangements for printing it so far entered
into, that the Print by Kay was engraved as a frontispiece to the book.’ The
death of the author, however, prevented the publication. He died on the 16th
of September 1817, in the seventy-fourth year of his age, and the oldest Deacon
of the fourteen Incorporated Trades of Scotland.
The manuscript
remained in the hands of his widow; but on her dea.th in 1832, his
papers unfortunately were so much scattered and destroyed, that almost no
vestige of the work remains.
Mr. Sommers married, first, Joan Douglas, daughter of a glazier who resided
in Libberton’s Wynd ; and, secondly, Jean or Jeanie Fraser, sister of the wife
of Nathaniel Gow, the famous musician.
The (‘ Retrospect ” probably contained much curious matter.
No. CCLI.
MR. FRANCIS ANDERSON, W.S.,
MR. JAMES HUNTER,
AND HIS SON, MR. GEORGE HUNTER.
THIS graphic scene appears from the Print to have occurred in the Parliament
Square, and was probably witnessed by the artist from his own shop window.
Mr. Hunter is in the act of inviting his friend Mr. Anderson to dinner
-the excessive deafness of the latter accounting for the singular posture in
which the parties are placed.
MR. FRANCIS ANDERSON, brother to the banker of that name,
was a Writer to the Signet, and held the appointment of Deputy-Auditor
in the. Exchequer. He resided in George Street, and had his office in the
Royal Exchange. His father, who lived at Stoneyhill,2 was factor to the
Earl of Wemyss, to which situation the subject of our notice latterly BUGceeded.
1 It will be observed, in confirmation of this, that the volume displayed in the hand of the
author contains an outline of the spire of St. Giles. Sornmen’ History was probably suggested by
Creech’s Comparative View of Edinburgh in the yean 1763 and 1783, which wan subsequently
brought down to 1793,
The villa of Stoneyhill is situated on the river Esk, about half s mile above Mnaselburgh. It
was formerly the residence of Sir William Sharp, son of Archbishop Sharp ; and more recently of
the notorious Colonel Charteris.
VOL. 11. 2 1 ... ANDERSON, brother to the banker of that name, was a Writer to the Signet , and held the appointment of ...

Book 9  p. 322
(Score 2.06)

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 241
A good many subscribers were procured for the l1 Retrospect ; ” the manuscript
was nearly completed ; and arrangements for printing it so far entered
into, that the Print by Kay was engraved as a frontispiece to the book.’ The
death of the author, however, prevented the publication. He died on the 16th
of September 1817, in the seventy-fourth year of his age, and the oldest Deacon
of the fourteen Incorporated Trades of Scotland.
The manuscript
remained in the hands of his widow; but on her dea.th in 1832, his
papers unfortunately were so much scattered and destroyed, that almost no
vestige of the work remains.
Mr. Sommers married, first, Joan Douglas, daughter of a glazier who resided
in Libberton’s Wynd ; and, secondly, Jean or Jeanie Fraser, sister of the wife
of Nathaniel Gow, the famous musician.
The (‘ Retrospect ” probably contained much curious matter.
No. CCLI.
MR. FRANCIS ANDERSON, W.S.,
MR. JAMES HUNTER,
AND HIS SON, MR. GEORGE HUNTER.
THIS graphic scene appears from the Print to have occurred in the Parliament
Square, and was probably witnessed by the artist from his own shop window.
Mr. Hunter is in the act of inviting his friend Mr. Anderson to dinner
-the excessive deafness of the latter accounting for the singular posture in
which the parties are placed.
MR. FRANCIS ANDERSON, brother to the banker of that name,
was a Writer to the Signet, and held the appointment of Deputy-Auditor
in the. Exchequer. He resided in George Street, and had his office in the
Royal Exchange. His father, who lived at Stoneyhill,2 was factor to the
Earl of Wemyss, to which situation the subject of our notice latterly BUGceeded.
1 It will be observed, in confirmation of this, that the volume displayed in the hand of the
author contains an outline of the spire of St. Giles. Sornmen’ History was probably suggested by
Creech’s Comparative View of Edinburgh in the yean 1763 and 1783, which wan subsequently
brought down to 1793,
The villa of Stoneyhill is situated on the river Esk, about half s mile above Mnaselburgh. It
was formerly the residence of Sir William Sharp, son of Archbishop Sharp ; and more recently of
the notorious Colonel Charteris.
VOL. 11. 2 1 ... ANDERSON, brother to the banker of that name, was a Writer to the Signet , and held the appointment of ...

Book 9  p. 323
(Score 2.06)

86 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES.
No. XXXVIII.
A GROUP OF AERONAUTS.
IN this group the principal figure is LUNARDIo, f whom we ,am previously
given some account. The next, to the left, is MR. JAMES TYTLER, chemist,
and well known in Edinburgh as a literary character of some eminence. He
was born at the manse of Fearn, of which place his father was minister. James
received an excellent provincial education ; and afterwards, with the proceeds
of a voyage or two to Greenland, in the capacity of medical assistant, he llemoved
to Edinburgh to complete his knowledge of medicine, where he made rapid
progress not only in his professional acquirements, but in almost every department
of literature.
At an early period he became enamoured of a sister of Mr. Young, Writer
to the Signet, whom he married. From this event may perhaps be dated the
laborious and poverty-stricken career of Tytler. His means, at the very outset,
were unequal to the task of providing for his matrimonial engagements, and from
one failure to another he seems to have descended, until reduced to the verge of
indigence.
He first attempted to establish himself as a surgeon in Edinburgh ; and then
removed to Newcastle, where he commenced a laboratory, but without success.
In the course of a year or two he returned to Leit,h, where he opened a shop
for the sale of chemical preparations ; and here again his evil destiny prevailed.
It is possible his literary bias might have operated as a drag upon his exertions.
These repeated failures seemed to have destroyed his domestic happiness. His
wife, after presenting him with several children, left him to manage them as best
he could, and resided with her friends, some time in Edinburgh, and afterwards
in the Orkneys.
Previous to this domestic occurrence, Tytler had abandoned all his former
religious connexions, and even opinions j and now finding himself thrown upon
his literary resources, he announced a work entitled, “Essays on the most
important subjects of Natural and Revealed Religion.” Unable to find a bookseller
or printer willing to undertake the publication of his Essays, Tytler’s
genius and indefatigable spirit were called forth in an extraordinary manner.
Having constructed a printing-press upon a principle different from those in
use,’ and having procured some old materials, he set about arranging‘ the types
of his Essays with his own hands, and without previously having written down
his thoughts upon paper. Mr. ‘Ray states in his MS., that twenty-three
Supposed to have been the origin of those afterwards manufactured by the ingenious John
Ruthven. -Chambers’s BiogTaJhy. ... BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. No. XXXVIII. A GROUP OF AERONAUTS. IN this group the principal figure is LUNARDIo, f ...

Book 8  p. 122
(Score 2.03)

Beechwood.] SIR ROBERT DUNDAS OF BEECHWOOD. 105
to the Castle of Edinburgh under a strong escort of
their comrades.
General Leslie, and Lieutenant MacLean the
adjutant, having accompanied this party a little
way out of Glasgow, were, on their return, assailed
by a mob which sympathised with the Highlanders
and accused them of being active in sending
away the prisoners. The tumult increased,
stones were thrown ; General Leslie was knocked
down, and he and MacLean had to seek shelter
these documents were not formally executed, were
confused in their terms, and good for nothing in a
legal sense, Mrs. Rutherford of Edgerstoun very
generously fulfilled to the utmost what she conceived
to be the intentions of her father.
Sir Robert Dundas, Bart., of Beechwood, like the
preceding, figures in the pages of Kay. He was
one of the principal Clerks of Session, and Deputy
Lord Privy Seal of Scotland. He was born in
June, 1761, and was descended from the Dundases
BEECHWOOD.
in the house of the Lord Provost till peace
officers came, and a company of Fencibles. One
of the mutineers was shot, by sentence of a
court-martial. The others were sent to America.
On his way back to Edinburgh General Leslie
was seized with a dangerous illness, and died at
' Beechwood House on the 27th of December,
'794.
No will could be found among the General's repositories
at Beechwood, and it was presumed that
he had died intestate. However, a few days after
the filneral, two holograph papers were discovered,
bequeathing legacies to the amount of L7,ooo
among some of his relations and friends, particularly
.&I,OOO each to two natural daughters. Although
110
of Amiston, the common ancestor of whom was
knighted by Charles I., and appointed to the
bench by Charles 11. Educated as a Writer to
the Signet, he was made deputy-keeper of Sashes,
and in 1820 a principal Clerk of Session. He was
one of the original members of the old Royal
Edinburgh Volunteers, of which corps he was a
lieutenant in 1794. He purchased from Lord
Melville the estate of Dunira in Perthshire, and
succeeded to the baronetcy and the estate of
Beechwood on the death of his uncle General Sir
David Dundas, G.C.B., who was for some time
Commander-in-Chief of the forces. Sir Robert
died in 1835.
A winding rural carriage-way, umbrageous and ... SIR ROBERT DUNDAS OF BEECHWOOD. 105 to the Castle of Edinburgh under a strong escort of their ...

Book 5  p. 105
(Score 2.01)

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 425
The figure on the right of Mr. Cauvin is meant to represent MR SCOTT,
farmer, Northfield, who survived, and was long an intimate friend of the
Founder of the Hospital. An intelligent and skilful agriculturist, he was greatly
esteemed in the neighbourhood, and by none more so than those who were his
dependants. One man is said to have been in his employment between thirty
and forty years; and another, who died at a very advanced age, had been
servant in the family for upwards of sixty years. Mr. Scott waa an elder of
the parish church of Duddingston. His wife, a Miss Graham, by whom he
had several children, died in 1834.’
No. CCCXV.
MRS. SMITH,
IN THE COSTUME OF 17 9 5.
THAT this Portraiture was sketched without a sitting may be conjectured
from a memorandum by the artist, which states that when the lady heard of
his intention to publish her likeness, “she sent for him to come and get a
proper look at her; but he did not choose to accept the invitation.” Those
who remember Mrs. Smith will have little difficulty in recognising a strong
likeness to her in the Etching.
MRS. or rather LUCKIES, MITH(fo r so in her later years she was uniformly
styled) is dressed in the somewhat ridiculous fashion prevailing towards the
close of last century. The Print bears the date 1795 ; and at that period she
resided in South Bridge Street. Some years afterwards she removed to a
house purchased for her in Blackfriars’ Wynd.
Mrs. Smith was a native of Aberdeen, and had in early life been married
to a trader of the name of Kinnear, by whom she had a son and two daughters.
After the death of her husband she resumed her maiden name of Smith.
Her favourite walk was the Meadows. She was a stout, comely-looking woman,
and usually dressed well. She lived to old age, in the enjoyment of two
annuities-one of which she derived from a gentleman of fortune, the husband
of one of her daughters. The other daughter was also well married, and
we believe settled in America. Mrs. Smith died in January 1836.
His eldest son, Andrew, was s Writer to the Signet ; and David, who formerly assisted him in
the management of Northfield, was a large sheep-farmer near Gala Water. Three of his five
daughtera were respectably msrried ; the eldest to John Parker, Esq., S.S.C., who was appointed to
the office of Principal Extractor in the Conrt of Session ; the second to I&. George Law, farmer,
Morton ; and the second youngeat to Adam Paterson, Esq., W.S.
VOL. 11. 31 ... died in January 1836. His eldest son, Andrew, was s Writer to the Signet ; and David, who formerly assisted ...

Book 9  p. 569
(Score 2.01)

282 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES.
No. CCLXIV.
MR. HAMILTON BELL, W.S.,
CARRYING A VINTNER’S BOY FROM EDINBURGH TO MUSSELBURGH,
AND
MR. JOHN RAE, SURGEON-DENTIST,
ACCOMPANYING HIM IN THE CHARACTER OF BOTTLE-HOLDER.
THE scene described in this Etching records a somewhat ludicrous but highly
characteristic instance of the social spirit of former times. At a convivial
meeting overnight, a pedestrian match was entered into betwixt Mr. Innes, confectioner,
and Mr. Bell, to walk from Edinburgh to Musselburgh ; the latter, a
man of uncommon strength, agreeing to carry the waiting-’boy of the tavern, in
which they were then regaling themselves,’ on his back. In order to avoid
the gaze of spectators, as well as to anticipate the scorching heat of a summer
day, the bet was decided early next morning, almost unknown to any one, save
a few fish-women, some of whom are represented as on their way to the
Edinburgh market, to which they then repaired at a irery early hour.
AIR. HAMILTON BELL was a Writer to the Signet of considerable
respectability and extent of employment. He was originally from Forfarshire,
but had been brought up and educated in Edinburgh. His mother for many
years kept a well-frequented tavern in the Canongate. He served his apprenticeship
with Mr. Walter ROSSW, .S., whose friendship he enjoyed long afterwards
; and from him he probably imbibed, in addition to a knowledge of law,
a taste for antiquarian research and a keen passion for music. To a powerful
frame and vigorous constitution, he added a spirit somewhat impatient of control,
which occasionally led to ebullitions of temper not of the most polite or
pleasant description. Like other professional men of his day, he conducted his
business chiefly in taverns. Fortune’s was hig favourite haunt ; and there, in
the enjoyment of high-jinks, and other pleasantries of the olden time, the tedious
dulness of law was often enlivened or forgotten. He was also a member of the
Cape Club, which met every night. From his deep potations with the knights
of the Cape, a dropsy ensued, a.nd a vast quantity of water having been taken
from his body, his life was despaired of by his acquaintances. He rallied, howl
The “Star and Garter Tavern,” Writers’ Court, then kept by Mr. James Hunter, and afterwards
possessed by Mr. Paxton of the Royal Exchange Coffee-house. . ... at a irery early hour. AIR. HAMILTON BELL was a Writer to the Signet of considerable respectability and ...

Book 9  p. 374
(Score 1.97)

B I 0 GR AP €1 I C AL S ICE T C HE S. 235
of the Earl and his lady, than he burst out into an immoderate fit of laughter.
The artist, apprised of the visit, was in readiness, and the next portraiture that
appeared was the jolly Laird of Sonachan in the attitude described.
DONALDC AMPBELLE,s q., of Sonachan, in the county of Argyle, was born id
the year 1735 j and in the early part of his life served as a lieutenant in the
first West Fencible Regiment. He afterwards became an active and judicious
agriculturist, and dedicated his whole attention to country affairs. His paternal
estate not being large, he was, soon after quitting the army, appointed Chamberlain
of Argyle, by the late John Duke of Argyle, and subsequently Collector of
Supply for that county-both which situations he held for a period of nearly
twenty years.
He married, in the year 1777, Mary, only daughter of Robert Maclachlan,
Esq., of Maclachlan, by whom he left four sons and two daughters. His
brothers were John, a Captain‘of Cavalry in the East India Company’s service,
killed in India; and Archibald, a subaltern in the British army, killed in
America.
Mr. Campbell died in March 1808, in the seventy-third year of his age.
His eldest son, who succeeded to the property, was for many years a Writer to
the Signet in Edinburgh,
CCL.
AIR. THOMAS SOMMERS,
HIS MAJESTY’S GLAZIER FOR SCOTLAND.
THOMAS SO3f.MERS-the friend and biographer of Fergusson the poet-was
originally from Lanarkshire. He came to Edinburgh early in life ; so early indeed,
that he may be said to have been brought up in the city almost from
infancy. He first became acquainted with Fergusson in 1756, who, then in the
sixth year of his age, was a pupil of Mr. Philp, an English teacher in Niddry’s
Wynd, and who was on terms of intimacy with Mr. Sommers.
After finishing his apprenticeship as a glazier, Sommers proceeded to London.
He was then about twenty years of age ; and shortly after his arrival, as he used
frequently to relate, he had the satisfaction of witnessing the coronation of
George 111. and his consort. In the capital he found good employment for
several years ; and he was enabled, on his return to Edinburgh, to commence
business for himself, by opening a paint and glazier’s shop in the Parliament
Square.
Possessed of an education much superior to most of his contemporaries in
the same station of life, Mr. Sommers soon acquired influence in the manage ... I 0 GR AP €1 I C AL S ICE T C HE S. 235 of the Earl and his lady, than he burst out into an immoderate fit of ...

Book 9  p. 314
(Score 1.95)

EIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 4;9
his entering the arena of the King’s Bench. The esteem entertained for him
by his Scottish friends was manifested by a public banquet, at which eight
hundred were present, given to his lordship (then Henry Brougham, Esq., M.P.)
at Edinburgh, on the 5th April 1825. Lord Brougham’s father died in Edinburgh
on the 18th February 1810.
339. This is a second Portrait of the late REV. DR. PEDDIE. It was
executed in the same year with the one formerly given, and is therefore in
some measure superfluous.
340. THE MAN OF CONSEQUENCET. his is said to be the likeness of an old
gentleman (now dead) who was by profession a Writer to the Signet. There
can be little doubt that it is the resemblance of some self-important personage
who once figured as a denizen of “ Auld Reekie ;” but as Kay has given no
designation, it is impossible to state with anything like certainty who the Print
is meant to represent.
341. THE WOMAN WHO MINDED HER OWN AFFAIRS, is another of the
characters regarding whom the artist has left no record. The Portrait is said
to bear a striking resemblance to a Mrs. Gibb, who at one time was landlady
of a tavern of some note, near the head of the Canongate, and which had for
its sign the figure of a goat. She was a contemporary of Peter Ramsay, the
famed stabler in St. Mary’s Wynd, and exerted herself greatly in favour of the
coaches which that individual commenced running betwixt Edinburgh and
Leith.l Her husband was the first in Edinburgh who kept a hearse and
mourning-coach for hire. It was at the sign of the goat that Peter Williamson
exhibited himself in the costume of a Cherokee Indian, shortly after his return
from America.
342. MODERNN URSING. This was meant as a satire on the short-waisted
gowns in fashion towards the close of last century.
343. GEORGEP RATTA ND A FOOL. Honest George, who was for many years
city bell-man, has already had the honour of a place in the body of the work.
The name of the “ fool ” is unknown.
344. QUARTER-MASTEGRU EST,o f the Pembrokeshire Cavalry, stationed at
Edinburgh in 1798. This and the two following were executed at the request
of the parties themselves.
345. MR. NUGENoTf the above regiment.
346. XIR, WOODROWof ,t he Pembrokeshire Cavalry.
At that period the notion of expditious travelling must-have been very different from what it
is at present. Peter’s coaches, proceeding by the Eaater Road, took full three hours to complete
the journey-one being spent in going, another in resting at Leith, and 8 third in returning. ... of an old gentleman (now dead) who was by profession a Writer to the Signet . There can be little doubt that it ...

Book 9  p. 637
(Score 1.94)

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