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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. I


served since the Porteous mob, in 1736, on which he was discharged, with a pension for life. (E&.- Ju& Arhertiser, No. 26 I 9,) ?On Tuesday (19th of May, r789) the three companies of the City Guard were reviewed by the magistrates on the Calton Hill. The men now composing this corps have all been in the army (except a few), and the captains having all served in the line last war, a remarkable improvement and dexterity were observed in their maneuvres .and exactness of firing. The magistrates compli- - ~ ~- Highland bard Duncan Macintyre, usually called Bunacha Bhan. This man, really an exquisite poet to those understanding his language, became the object of interest to many educated persons in Perthshire, his native county. The Earl of Breadalbane sent to let him know that he wished to befriend him, and was anxious to procure him some situation that might put him comparatively at his ease. Poor Duncan returned his thanks, and asked his lordship to get him into the Edinburgh Town Guard-pay 6d. a day ! ? Donacha THE GUARD-HOUSE AND BLACK TURNPIKE &rom an Efching6y rams Sktm ofRn6irLzw.) anented the commanding officer, and gave a handsome donation to the men for their behaviour. The magistrates have ordered the night sentinels to be furnished with rattles, similar to those of the watchmen in London, in case of fire or riot, for the purpose of early assistance from the main guard.? (fiid., 1789.) All the officers wore bullion epaulettes and gilded gorgets. ?The guard! the guard!? was the common street cry for succour. ?A humble Highlander considered it as getting a berth when he was en- Zisted into the Edinburgh Guard. Of this feeling,? says Chambers, ? we have a remarkable illustration in an anecdote which I was told regarding the Bhan died in 1812, in the 89th year of his age, and was laid in the Greyfriars? churchyard. When the old Guard paraded in the Parliament Close, on the day after the battle of Falkirk, more than one musket in the ranks was found to be foul, a significant sign that they had been used against the redcoats the day before. Writing, in 1817, of . these veterans, Scott says, ?A spectre may, indeed, here and there be seen of an old grey-headed and grey-bearded Highlander, with war-worn features, but bent double by age, dressed in an old-fashioned cocked hat, bound with white tape instead of silver lace, and in coat, waistcoat, and breeches of muddy coloured red, bearing in his withered hand an ancient
Volume 1 Page 136
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