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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
Volume 2 Page 362
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