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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. II


380 OLD AND NEW EDINBURGH. [South Bridge. ~~ ~~~ mechanics, and such other branches of science as were necessary in their various crafts, an association was formed, and with this general object in view the School of Arts was duly inaugurated on the 16th of October, ISPI, by a meeting at which the Lord Provost, afterwards Sir William Arbuthnot, Bart., presided. The two leading classes then established, and which continue to this day to be fundamental subjects of education in the school, were Chemistry and Mechanical or Natural Philosophy. The first meetings of the school were in a General Hope, it was resolved that an edifice should be erected with that view, appropriate to the name and character of Watt, and that it should be employed for the accommodation of the School of Arts and to promote the interests of the class from which he sprang. The directors had by them L400, which they resolved to add as a Subscription for this memorial, to the end that their school should have a permanent building of its own ; but it was not till 1851 that arrangements were completed, by which, SURGEON SQUARE. (Rrom a Drawing by Sh#krd,julZishd zn 1829.) humble edifice in Niddry Street, but after a time it was moved to one of the large houses described in Adam Square. Continued success attended the school from its opening; it had the support of all classes of citizens, particularly those connected with the learned professions ; the subscription list showing a sum of ;E450 yearly, and from this the directors, by thrifty management, were able to put aside money from time to time, as a future building fund. For the purpose of erecting a memorial in honour of James Watt at Edinburgh, a meeting was held in July, 1824. On thewotion of the .*Me Lord Cockburn, seconded by the Solicitorinstead of erecting a new house, the old one in Adam Square, which had been occupied by the school for nearly thirty years, was purchased, when the accumulated fund amounted to ~ 1 , 7 0 0 , and the directors adding ASoo, obtained the house for A2,500, after which it took the name of The Watt /nsfifufion and SchooZ of Arts. In May, 1854, the directors placed a statue of James Watt, on a granite pedestal, in the little square before the school, where both remained till r871, when the building in Adam Square, which had become too small for the requirements of the institution, was pulled down, with those which adjoined it, to make way for the broad and spacious
Volume 2 Page 380
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