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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. II


Leith Wynd.1 the interest of LI,OOO to day labourers as aforesaid of the neighbouring parish of Liberton ; LIOO THE WEST BOW. Scotland for Propagating Christian Knowledge ; and no family to receive above A5 sterling per 309 CHAPTER XXXVIII. T H E W E S T B O W . The West Baw-Quaint Character of its Houses-Its Modern Aspect-Houses of the Tempbar Knights-The Bowfoot Well-The Bow Port- The Bow-head-Major Weir?s Land-History of Major Thomas Weir-Personal Appearance-His Powerful Prayers-The ? Holy Sisters ?? -The Bowhead Saints-Weir?s Reputed Compact with the Devil-Sick-bed Confession-Arrest-Search of his House-Priwn Confession -Trial of Him and His Sister GrLel-Execution--What was Weir ?-His Sister undoubtedly Mad-Terrible Reputation of the House- Untenanted for upwards of a Century-Patullo?s Experience of a Cheap Lodging-Weir?s Land Improved Out of Existence-Hall of the Knights of St. John-A Mysterious House-&mervi!le Mansion-The Assembly Rooms-Opposed by the Bigotry of the Times-The Lad;-Directres;Curious Regulations. NO part of Edinburgh was so rich in quaint old houses as ?the sanctified bends of the Bow ?- singular edifices, many of them of vast and unknown antiquity, and all more or less irregular, with stone gables and dovecot gablets, timbergalleries, outshots, and strange projections, the dormer windows, patches and additions made in the succession of centuries, overhanging the narrow and tortuous street, which took the windings of the zig-zag road that led of old from the wooded waste to Dunedin, the fort on the slope, at the gates of which King David dispensed justice to his people, and his queen daily distributed bread to the poor. Among the last charters of David 11. is one to Thomas Webster, of ?ane land in the West Bow.? Its antique tenements, covered with heralc5c carvings and quaint dates, half hidden by signboards or sordid rags drying on poles, its nooks, crooks, trap-doors, and gloomy chambers, abounded with old memories, with heroic stories of ancient martial families, and with grim legends and grandmother? s tales of ghosts and of diablerie ; but to those who see it now, or all that remains of it, where it abuts on the Grassmarket, cut asunder
Volume 2 Page 309
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