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CRAMOND. 89 property of the bishops, which was not inconsiderable, was very unjustly seized on by the greedy hand of Sir James Elphinstone, subsequently Lord Balmerino. Chambers tells us that on the opposite bank of the creek of the Almond, on a craggy eminence, was placed a fortification, and from that circumstance the name Car-Almond, vulgarised into Cramond, is derived-Car-Almond meaning simply the Castle on the Almond, Maitland, on the other hand, maintains that the name is Saxon in its derivation, and signifies the mouth of the Cra. ‘Originally,’ he says, ‘the name was Cra-muthe,’ as he has so read it amongst the benefactions made to the church of Lindisfern, or Holy Island in Northumberland, and which is synonymous with Cramond. ‘Now,’ he continues, ‘as there is an easy transition between Cra and A, the name of the river may have been changed from Cra-mter to AZmon-water.’ It is only right to add, however, that our authority does not by any means dogmatise here, but only ‘humbly submits it to the judgment of the curious reader.‘ Within the parish, and on one of the north-eastem slopes of the Corstorphine. Hill, stand the fine old mansion-house and lands of Craigcrook Castle. It belonged at one time to a certain John Strachan, Esq., of whom we know nothing more than that at his death, in the year 1720, he mortified it as a charitable gift-the income then amounting to A300, but now considerably more than doubled-to be disbursed in annual sums of &3 each to a specified number of poor old men, women, and orphans, in the city of Edinburgh. But other memories, and no less dear, than those of the benevolent Jolin Strachan, linger about it. Here, in this very romantic and picturesque old mansion, with its battlemented walls and slate-covered turrets, clad with ivy and roses, and nestling so warmly in its arbour of foliage, resided for many years that sweet-blooded and noble-souled man, Lord Francis Jeffrey, of Edinburgh Review renown, and here too were composed many of those brilliant and trenchant articles which adorned the pages of by far the ;blest Quarterly of the period. That Jeffrey’s pen was occasionally dipt in gall, and that bitterly cruel and savagely earnest words now and then were born of it, is true enough-the case of the poor, consumptive, richly-gifted Keats is to the point,-but such fierce and terrific onslaughts appear rather to have been accidental to the man than of set purpose: his papers on the whole evincing a genial, generous, and encouraging tone, in perfect accord with his naturally kind and amiable disposition. Subsequently, and not over twenty years ago, the poet Gerald Massey, likewise, spent a short time in this same The origin of the name is yet a mooted point. M
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90 QUEENSFERRY TO MUSSELBURGH. interesting and beautiful mansion, and from which issued that sweet little volume of his which bears its name, ‘ Craigcrook Castle.’ Whether all the poems which constitute the volume were composed there, we cannot say; very likely not. But that many of them, and perhaps the very tenderest and truest of them-as ‘ Craigcrook Castle,’ and the ‘ Mother’s Idol Broken ’- CRAIGCROOK CASTLB. were written there, is obviously certain. And exquisiteIy fine they are, tearfully pure in thought and beautifully cut in expression, especially the odes in the last-mentioned poem. We have listened to few Iyres of truer touch and tenser string than Massey‘s. What conceivably finer than this description of the death of his infant child ?- ‘But evermore the halo Of angel-light increased, Like the mystery of moonlight That folds some fairy feast.
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