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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. II


Pleasance. ST. LEONARD?S CHAPEL. 383 entirely to act as barbers. In consequence, the council, on the 26th July, 1682, recommended the new corporation to supply the city with a sufficient number of persons qualified ?to shave and cut hair,? and who should continue to be upon it ; but in 1722 it ceased to have all connection with the barbers, save that the latter were obliged to enter all their apprentices in a register kept by the surgeons. By a charter of George III., dated 14th March, 1778, the corporation was erected into ?The Royal College of Surgeons of the City of Edinburgh,? a document which established a scheme of provision for the widows and children of members. In the old edifice overlooking the Pleasance the College held all its Castle of Clouts,? in the spirit of that talent which , the Scots have of conferring absurd sobriquets. By the wayside to Duddingstone, south of the Pleasance, a rising piece of ground or slight eniinence is called Mount Hooly, a corruption of Mount Holy, which marks the site of the chapel of St. Leonard and of a hospital dedicated to the same saint. As is the case with most of the ecclesiastical edifices in Edinburgh, nothing is known as to when or by whom either the chapel or hospital was built, and not a vestige remains of either now. The chapel, ere it became a ruin, rva?s the scene of a remarkably traitorous tryst, held by the _. ~ - -- -- - meetings till the erec- ~ ~ ~ --/ - tion of the new hall, to be referred to in its place; but the name of the first establishment still survives in the adjacent Surgeon Square. In it was a theatre for dissection, a museum, in which a mummy was long the chief curiosity, and the hall was hung with portraits Qf surgeons who had grown to eminence after it was built. W i 11 i am S m e 11 i e, F.R.S. and F.A.S., an eminent printer, and DAVIE DEANS? COTTAGE. known as the (FTOIIZ a Vzpette by &oars, #ubZrs/red I- the Fzrsf Edition of Robert author of the ?Philo- Chambers?s ? Tradrho~rso~Ed~irbsrgh,? 1825 ) sophy of Natural His- Douglas faction on the 2nd of February, 1528, having nothing less in view than the assassination of their sovereign, James V., ?the Commons King,? who was the idol of his people. They were to enter the palace of Holyrood by a window near the head of the king?s bed in the night, and under the guidance of Sir James Hamilton, one the monarch loved and trusted much; but the dastardly plot was discovered in time, and by the energetic measures taken to crush the devisers of it, peace of the quaint old houses of the Pleasance in 1740. A quaint three-storeyed edifice, having a large archway, peaked gables, and dormer windows, bearing the date of 1709, stood on the south side of the Pleasance, and was long known as ? Hamilton?s Folly,? from the name of the proprietor, who was deemed unwise in those days to hiild a house so far from the city, and on the way that led to the gibbet on which the bodies of criminals were hung. But the latter would seem to have been in - use till a much later period, as in the Cournnt for December, 1761, there are advertised for sale four tenements, ?lying at the head of the Pleasance, on the east side of the road leading to the gibbet.? Here still stands a goodly house of three storeys, which was built about 1724 bya wealthy tailor, and which in consequence has been denominated ?(the for a period. At St. Leonard?s Loan, which bounded the property of the abbots of Holyrood on the south, separating it on the side from the western flank of the vast Burghmuir, there stood in ancient times a memorial known as Umphraville?s Cross, erected in memory of some man of -rank who perished there in a conflict of which not a memory remains. The cross itself had doubtless been demolished as a relic of idolatry at the Reformation ; but in 1810, its base, a mass of dark whinstone, with a square hole in its centre, wherein the shaft had been fixed, was still remaining on the ancient site, till it was broken up for road metal! In his ? Diary,? Birrel records that on the 2nd April, 1600, ? being the Sabbathday, Robert Achmuty, barber, slew James Wauchope at the com
Volume 2 Page 383
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