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Edinburgh Past and Present


NEWHAVEN. 93 the butcher, or it may be some higher official of the port. Perhaps we should add that on the east of the spacious open area leading on to the foot-of the pier, is erected a handsome and commodious hotel, with edifices, of a similar style, on the opposite side, occupied as private residences. Besides, the important village of Wardie, with its rows of villas and elegantly built houses, is sufficiently near to be included in Granton. The large open space landward, conducting on to the pier, flanked by edifices of ' elegant, massive, whitesandstone masonry,' with its spacious harbour crowded with craft of every description and of every country, a forest of masts, blending so agreeably with the general joyousness of the natural scenery around, contrasts most favourably with the usual dinginess and dirt of most of the other seaports of the nation. A walk to the pier-head, on which there is a lighthouse with a brilliantly distinctive light, or along the breakwater, within 'whose giant arms the harbour lies so peacefully, is both interesting and refreshing, and is greatly frequented, especially in the long summer evenings, by the inhabitants of the city and neighbourhood. Granton is finely situated, and is a nice airy place. NEWHAVEN Is a fishing village with a harbour, and an active and industrious population, a little to the southeast, in the parish of North Leith. It sprung up during the reign of James IV., and under his favouring smile was rapidly rising into importance, when it received a check from the repressive hand of the Edinburgh Tom-Council. Jealous of its rising consequence, and entertaining fears lest it might in some manner or way affect the city injuriously, they purchased from the King, who, like all the Stuart family of royal lineage, was ever in need of money, the town and harbour, with all their rights and privileges, and so acquired a sort of absolute power over it, which, as might be expected, was not wielded to the advantage of the locality, Shortly after the creation of the village a chapel was erected, which likewise owed its existence to the King. James, with all his fun and frolic, energy and chivalry, was terribly superstitious. That untoward circumstance which, when a mere boy, he was all but forced to take a part in-the rebellion against, and murder of his father by, his subjects-had ever afterwards a most unhappy effect upon him. He never could forget it ; often it came up into his mind, disquieted his conscience, and plunged him into the deepest grief and melancholy, the only solace to, or relief from, which was in doing penance and in building chapels, Very p'ossibly it was in one of those fits of religious
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94 QUEENSFERRY TO MUSSELBURGH. despondency and fear that this sacred fabric found its origin. It was dedicated to St. Mary, and hence the little haven itself was sometimes called * Our Lady’s Port of Grace.’ For many generations Newhaven was little else than a colony of fishers, having no dealings with the outside world further than in a mere commercial capacity. This exclusiveness, however, has long ago all but disappeared, and they now freely mingle with other people, between whom and them frequent intermarriages take place. The village, too, in appearance and comfort, has of late greatly improved. Besides being now well paved, well lighted, and much more cleanly kepf, many houses of a large and substantial character have been erected in it ; while away to the west and north of it again there are rows and streets of villas and mansions, with terraces and crescents of the most handsome and imposing architecture. TRINITiYs a delightful place. Pleasantly situated on a broad fertile plateau overlooking the Fhth, and commanding a fine view of the estuary to the east, as well as of the city westwards to the Pentland and Corstorphine Hills, it forms one of the quietest and most agreeable places of residence we have the pleasure of knowing. The dwellers in this particular quarter of the district are almost all of the wealthy and more influential class ; many of them retired merchants, and W.S.’s from the city, with a goodly sprinkling of rich and genteel families from many other places and countries. ‘ The fisherwomen of Newhaven have long been famed for the picturesqueness of their dress. It consists mainly of a voluminous and truly Flemish quantity of petticoats, one or two of them of striped stuffs of very fast colours, with a jerkin sometimes of blue cloth and sometimes of variedly-hued calico. With the exception of the more matronly among them, who wear a sort of plain muslin cap or cockernony, they have no head-dress ; but their hair, in which they seem to have some pride, is in general very neatly and tastefully put up. It certainly is a very pretty sight to witness them in full costume, as they move onwards through our streets, or linger in our squares or crescents, singing out in their fine, rich, musical tones their usual cries of ‘ Caller haddies,’ ‘ Caller hemn’,’ or ‘ Caller ou’.’ Inside their dwellings likewise considerable care and tidiness are manifested. Their hygienic creed is not that of Maggie Mucklebackit, as put by the pedantic but kind-hearted Mr. Oldbuck,--‘ the clartier the cosier.’ On the contrary, they are a cleanly people; and although their dwellings, like the village itself, do smell rather strongly, for the delectation or comfort of a delicate nasal organ, of fish and mussel-bait, yet that is unavoidable to their
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