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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. II


[North Bridge. __ 362 OLD AND NEW EDINBURGH. Magazine (started in Edinburgh), and minister of? son of Sir Michael Balfour of Denmylne. An emithe Congregational church in Glasgow. I nent physician and botanist, he was born in 1630, In 1828, on the 8th of June-the fiftieth year of graduated in medicine at St. Andrews, prosecuted his ministry being complete-a hundred gentlemen, his medical studies under the famous Harvey in ? connected with Lady Glenorchy?s chapel, enter- I London, after which he visited Blois, to see the t:tined Dr. Jones at a banquet given in his honour , celebrated botanical garden of the Duke de ~~ at the Waterloo Tavern, and presented him ?with an elegant silver vase, as a tribute of the respect and esteem which the people entertained for the ..uniform uprightness of his conduct during the long period they had enjoyed his ministry.? Lady Glenorchy?s chapel and school were alike demolished in 1845, as stated. The former, as a foundation, is now in Roxburgh Place, as a chapel in connection with the Establishment. ? It has now a quoad sacm district attached to it,? says FuZZarton?s Gazetteer; ?? the charge h 1835 was collegiate. <There is attached to the chapel a school attended by IOO or 120 poor children.? In the same quiet and secluded hollow, overlooked by the Trinity Church and Hospital, the Orphan Hospital, and the Glenorchy Chapel-in the very bed of. what was once the old loch, and where now prevail all the bustle and uproar of one of the most confused of railway termini, and where, ever and anon, the locomotive sends up its shriek to waken the echoes of the Calton rocks 01 the enormous masses of the Post-office buildings, and those which flank the vast Roman-like span of the Regent Bridge-lay the old Physic Gardens, for the creation of which Edinburgh was indebted to one or two of her eminent physicians in the seventeenth century. They extended between the New Port at the foot of Halkerston?s Wynd, i.e., from the east side 01 the north bridge to the garden of the Trinity College Hospital, which Lord Cockburn describes as being ?? about a hundred feet square ; but it is only turf surrounded by a gravel walk. An old thorn, and an old elm, destined never to be in leaf again, tell of old springs and old care. And there is a wooden summer house, which has heard many ipi old man?s crack, and seen the sun soften many an old man?s wrinkles.? In Gordon of Rothiemay?s view this particular garden (now among the things that were) is shown as extending from the foot of Halkerston?s Wyiid to the west gable of the Trinity Hospital, and northward in a line with the tower of the church. From the New Port, the Physic Garden, occupying much of that we have described, lay north cross the valley, to where a path between hedgerows led to the Orphan Hospital. It is thus shown in Edgar?s plan, in 1765. . 1 It owed its origin to Sir Andrew Balfour, the Guise, then kept by his countryman Dr. Robert Morison, author of the ?? Hortus Regius Bloisensis,? and afterwards, in 1669, professor of botany at Oxford. In 1667 Balfour commenced to practise as a physician in St. Andrews, but in 1670 he removed to Edinburgh, where among other improvements he introduced the manufacture of paper into Scotland. Having a small botanical garden attached to his house, and chiefly furnished with rare seeds sent by his foreign correspondents, he raised there many plants never before seen in Scotland. His friend and botanical pupil, Mr. Patrick Murray of Livingstone, had formed at his seat a botanic garden containing fully a thousand specimens of plants ; and after his death Dr. Balfour transferred the whole of this collection to Edinburgh, and, joining it to his own, laid the foundation of the first botanic garden in Scotland, for which the magistrates allotted him a part of the Trinity garden, and then, through the patronage of Sir Robert Sibbald, the eminent physician and naturalist, Mr. James Sutherland, an experienced botanist, was appointed headgardener. After this Balfour was created a baronet by Charles 11. He was the first who introduced the dissection of the hunian body into Scotland; he planned the present Royal College of Physicians, projected the great hospital now known as the Royal Infirmary; and died full of honours in 1694, bequeathing his museum to the university. It was in September, 1676, that he placed the superintending of the Physic Garden under James Sutherland, who was by profession a gardener, but of whose previous history little is known. ? By his ownindustry,? says Sir Robert SibbaId, ?heobtained to great knowledge of plants,? and seems to have been one of those self-made men of whom Scotland has produced so many of whom she may well be proud. In 1683 he published his ?Norizcs Nedicus Edinburgensis, or a catalogue of the plants in the Physic Gardens at Edinburgh, containing the most proper Latin and English names,? dedicated to the Lord Provost, Sir George Drummond. In his little garden in the valley of the North Loch he taught the science of herbs to the students of medicine for small fees, receiving no other encouragement than a salary of A20 from the city, which did not suffice to pay rent and Servants? wages, to
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North Bridge.7 . JAMES SUTHERLAND. 363 # 4 I say nothing of the cost of new plants, so difficult to procure in those non-travelling times. In the spring of 1689, during the siege of the Castle, a woeful mishap befell him. For certain strategic reasons it had been thought necessary by Sir John Lanier and other leaders to drain the North Loch, and, as the water thereof ran through the Botanic Gardens, as it had done of old through that of the Hospital, it came to pass that for several days the place was completely inundated, and when left dry was found to be covered with mud, and the rubbish of the city drains, so that nearly all the delicate and costly plants collected by Balfour, by Sibbald, and by Sutherland, were destroyed ; and it cost the latter and his assistants nearly a whole season to clear the ground, and in his distress he appealed to the Privy Council. That body considered his memorial, and the good services he was rendering, ?whereby not only the young physicians, apothecaries, and chirurgeons, but also the nobility and gentry, are taught the knowledge of herbs, and also a multitude of plants, shrubs, and trees, are cultivated, which were never known in this nation before, and .more numerous,? continues the Privy Council Record, ?than in any other garden in Britain, as wee1 for the?honour of the place as for the advantage -of the people.? They ?therefore awarded him a pension of 650 yearly out of the fines accruing to them. Encouraged by this, and further aided by the Lords of the Scottish Treasury, James Sutherland, in 1695, extended his operations to a piece of ground lying between the porch of Holyrood palace and the old road to Restalrig, near where the great dial stands now, where in that year he raised ?a good crop of melons,? and many ? other curious annuals, fine flowers, and other plants not ordinary in this country.? In a few years he hoped to rival London, if supplied with means to procure ?reed hedges to divide, shelter, and lay the ground ?lown,? and warm, and a greenhouse and store to preserve oranges, myrtles, and lemons, with other tender plants and fine exotics in winter.? He entreated the Lords of Council to further aid him, ?? without which the work must cease, and the petitioner suffer in reputation and interest, what he is doing being more for the honour of the nation, and the ornament and use of his majesty?s palace, than his own private behoof.? This place remained still garden ground till about the time of Queen Victoria?s first visit, when the new north approach to the palace was run through it. James Sutherland is supposed to have died about 1705, when his collection of Greek, Roman, Scottish, Saxon, and English coins and medals, was purchased by the Faculty of Advocates, and is still preserved in their library. The old Physic Garden, which had been his own, eastward of the bridge, continued to be used as such till the time when the chair of botany was? occupied by Dr. John Hope, who was born at Edinburgh in 1725, and was the grandson of Sir Alexander Hope, Lord Rankeillor. On the 13th April, 1761, he was appointed king?s botanist for Scotland, and elected a few days after, by the town council, Professor of materia medica, and of botany, He was the first who introduced into Scotland the Linnean system; and in 1768 he resigned the professorship of materia medica, that, in the end, he might devote himself exclusively to botany, and his exertions in promoting the study of it in Edinburgh were attended with the most beneficial results. His immediate predecessor, Dr. Alston, was violently opposed to the Linnean system, against which he published an essay in ?751. It was in the humble garden near the Trinity College that he taught his students, and, for the. purpose of exciting emulation among them, he annually, towards the close of the session, gave a beautiful medal to the student who had displayed most diligence and zeal in his studies. It was inscribed-? A cedro hyysopum usque. J. HOPE, Bot. Pro$, dal . . . ?I In Kay?s portraits we have a clever etching of the Professor superintending hisgardeners, in a roquelaure and cocked hat. Besides some useful manuals for facilitating the acquisition of botany by his students, two valuable dissertations by him, the one on the ??Rhtzun Palmaturn,? and the other on the ?? Fer& AssafkMu,? were published by him in the ?Philosophical Transactions.? Finding that the ancient garden was unsuited to advancing science, he used every exertion to have it removed to a more favourable situation, To further his objects the Lords of the Treasury granted him, says Arnot, ??;GI,~~o IS. z+d. to make it, and for its annual support the sum of A69 3s. At the same time the magistrates and town council granted the sum of A25 annually for paying the rent of the ground.? The place chosen was on the west side of Leith Walk. It was laid out under the eye of Professor Hope, who died in November, 1786. After the formation of the new garden, the old one was completely abandoned about 1770, and continued. to be a species of desolate waste ground, enclosed by a rusty iron railing, with here and there an old tree dying of neglect and decay, till at length innovations swept it away.
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