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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. II


336 OLD AND NEW EDINBURGH. [North Bridge. from somewhere about Coltbridge, to fill, and run through the North Loch, which would be of great advantage to the convenience, beauty, cleanliness, and healthiness of the town.? , In the next paragraph this far-seeing nobleman suggests the canal between the Forth and Clyde ; but all that he projected for Edinburgh, by means of his bridges, has. been accomplished to the full, and more than he could ever have dreamt of I in 1763, and a proper foundation sought for the erection, which, however, is only indicated by two dotted parallel lines in Edgar?s plan of the city, dated 1765, which ?shew ye road along ye intended bridge,? which was always spoken of as simply a new way to Leith. The first stone was deposited on? the 1st of October, 1763, and Kincaid relates that in 1794 ?some people very lately, if not yet alive, have posi- PALACE OF MARY OF GUISE, CASTLE HlLL. (Fmm a Drawing6y W. B. Scotf). The North Bridge, as a preliminary to the formation of the New Town, was first planned by Sir William Bruce of Kinross, architect to Charles II., and his design ? is supposed to be now lying in the Exchequer,? wrote Kincaid in 1794; but another plan would seem to have been prepared in 1752, yet no steps were taken for furthering the execution of it till 1759, when the magistrates applied for a Bill to extend the royalty over the ground on which the New Town stands, but were defeated by the vigorous opposition of the landholders of the county. .After four years? delay the city was obliged to set about building the bridge without having any Bill for it. , By the patriotic exertions of Provost Drummond a portion of the loch was drained tively asserted that Provost Drummond declared to them that he only began to execute what the Duke, afterwards James VII., proposed.? This auspicious event was conducted with all the pomp and ceremony the city at that time afforded. George Drummond, the Lord Provost, was appointed, as being the only former Grand- Master present to act in this position, in the absence of the then Grand-Master, the Earl of Elgin, The various lodges of the Freemasons assembled in the Parliament House at two in the afternoon; from thence, escorted by the City Guard acd two companies of militia, they marched three abreast, with all their insignia, the junior lodges going first, down Leith Wynd, from the foot of which they turned westward along the north bank
Volume 2 Page 336
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