Edinburgh Bookshelf

Edinburgh Bookshelf


Index for “big sam ”

ROBERT MONTEITH. . 3?5 Duddingston.]
incumbent of Duddingston in 1805. His favourite
subjects were to be found in the grand and sublime
of Nature, and his style is marked chiefly by
vigour, power, and breadth of effect-strong light
and deep shadow. As a man and a Christian
minister, his life was simple, pure, and irreproachable,
his disposition kind, affable, and benevolent.
He died of apoplexy in 1840, in his sixty-second
The city must have had some interest in the loch,
as in the Burgh accounts for 1554 we read:-
?? Item : twa masons twa weeks to big the Park Dyke
at the loch side of Dudding?ston, and foreanent it
again on Priestfield syde, ilk man in the week xv?.
summa iijIi.
(?Item : for ane lang tree to put in the wall that
lyes far in the loch for outganging of ziyld beistis
v?.? ? (? Burgh Records.?)
The town or lands of Duddingston are included
in an act of ratification to James, Lord Lindsay of
the Byers, in 1592.
In the Acts of Sederunt for February, 1650, we
find Alexander Craig, in-dweller in the hamlet,
pilloried at the Tron of Edinburgh,. and placarded
as being a ? lying witness ? in an action-at-law
concerning the pedigree of John Rob in Duddingston;
but among the few reminiscences of this
place may be mentioned the curious hoax which
the episcopal incumbent thereof at the Restoration
played upon Cardinal de Retz.
This gentleman, whose name was Robert Monteith,
had unfortunately become involved in an
amour with a lady in the vicinity, the wife of Sir
James Hamilton of Prestonfield, and was cpmpelled
to fly from the scene of his disgrace. He
was the son of a humble man employed in the
salmon-fishing above Alloa ; but on repairing to
Paris, and after attaching himself to M. de la
Porte, Grand Prior of France, and soliciting employment
from Cardinal de Retz, he stated he was
?one of the Monteith family in Scotland.? The
cardinal replied that he knew the family well, but
asked to which branch he belonged. ?To the
Monteiths of Salmon-net,? replied the unabashed
The cardinal replied that this was a branch he
had never heard of, but added that he believed
it was, no doubt, a very ancient and illustrious
family. Monteith was patronised by the cardinal,
who bestowed on him a canonry in Notre Dame,
and made him his secretary, in which capacity he
distinguished himself by his elegance and purity,
in the French language. This strange man is
author of a well-known work, published in folio,
entitled, ? Hisfoa?re des TroubZes de &andBretap,
depuis Z?an 1633 juspu?a Z?an 1649, pur Robed
Menfet de Salmonet.
It was dedicated to the Coadjutor Archbishop of
Pans, with a portrait of the author; and a trans- .
lation of it, by Captain James Ogilvie, was published
in 1735 by G. Strachan, at the ?Golden Ball,?
in Cornhill.
In the year of the Revolution we find the
beautiful loch of Duddingston, as an adjunct to
the Royal Park, mentioned in a case before the
Privy Council on the 6th March.
The late Duke of Lauderdale having placed
some swans thereon, his clever duchess, who was
carrying on a legal contest With his heirs, deemed
herself entitled to take away some of those birds
when she chose; but Sir James Dick, now proprietor
of the %ch, broke a lock-fast place in
which she had put them, and set them once more
upon the water. The irate dowager raised an
action against him, which was decided in her
favour, but in defiance of this, the baronet turned
all the swans off the loch ; on which the Duke of
Hamilton, as Heritable Keeper of the palace, came
to the rescue, as Fountainhall records, alleging
that the loch bounded the King?s Park, and that
all the wild animals belonged to him ; they were,
therefore, restored to their former haunts.
Of the loch and the landsof Priestfield (orPrestonfield),
Cockburn says, in his ?Memorials? :-?I know
the place thoroughly. The reeds were then regularly .
cut over by means of short scythes with very long
handles, close to the ground, and this (system)
made Duddingston nearly twice its present size?
Otters are found in its waters, and a solitary
badger has at times provoked a stubborn chase.
The loch is in summer covered by flocks of dusky
coots, where they remain till the closing of the ice
excludes them from the water, when they emigrate
to the coast, and return With the first thaw.
Wild duck, teal, and water-hens, also frequent it,
and swans breed there prolifically, and form one
of its most picturesque ornaments. The pike, the
perch, and a profusion of eels, which are killed by
the barbed sexdent, also abound there.
In winter here it is that skating is practised as an
art by the Edinburgh Club. ?The writer recalls
with pleasure,? says the author of the ?Book of
Days,? ?skating exhibitions which he saw there early
in the present century, when Henry Cockburn,
and the philanthropist James Sipson, were conspicuous
amongst the most accomplished of the
club for their handsome figures and great skill in
the art. The scene of that loch ? in full bearing J
on a clear winter day, with its busy and stirring
multitude of sliders, skaters, and curlers, the snowy
Paris, 166 I.? ... MONTEITH. . 3?5 Duddingston.] incumbent of Duddingston in 1805. His favourite subjects were to be found in ...

Book 4  p. 315
(Score 0.81)

  Previous Page Previous Results

  Back Go back to Edinburgh Bookshelf

Creative Commons License The scans of Edinburgh Bookshelf are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 License.