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Memorials of Edinburgh in the Olden Time


Volume 10 Page 470
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432 MEMORIALS OF EDIiVBURGI% v. WRYCHTISHOUSIS.' IN the description attached to a view of Wrichtishousis, in '' An elegant collection of interesting views iii Scotland," printed by Oher & Co., Nether Bow, 1802, the western wing is described as the most ancient part of the edifice, while the eastern wing is affirmed to have been built in the reign of King Robed III., and the centre range connecting the two in that of James VI. There was probably, however, no other authorit7 for this than the dates and armorial bearings, the whole of which we conceive to be the work of the latter monarch's reign. Arnot furnishes the very laconic account of it, that it is said to have been built for the reception of a mistress of King James 1V. That it was built for such a purpose cannot admit of any credit ; but it is possible that that gay and gallant monarch may have entertained special favour for some of the fair scions of the old Napier stock. Allusion is made in a foot-note, on page 351, to '' The History of the Partition of the Lennox ; " we find, however, that the author had not only pointed out the shields of the Merchiston and mTrychtishousis Napiers on the old tomb at St Giles's, in his Memoirs of Napiers of Merchiston, but we believe he was the first to detect that the bearings on one of these shields waa the Wrychtishouais arms, and not those of Scott of Thirlestane, as they had previously been presumed to be ; these tTo families having been united in the person of Francis fifth Lord Napier, son of the Baroness Napier and Sir William Scott, Bart., of Thirlestane. These arms, placed above the tablet marking the tomb of the Napier family, on the north wall of the choir of St Giles's Church, were removed, in the recent alterations, from the interior of the church, where they formerly stood above an altar-tomb, underneath the same window, on the outside of which the tablet was placed. There is no reason for believing them to be of the same date. The style of ornament round the border of the tablet can hardly be
Volume 10 Page 471
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