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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. II


208 OLD AND ?NEW EDINBURGH. [High Street. there was born in 1741 his son, the celebrated statesman, Henry Viscount Melville. There long abode, on the first floor of the ? Bishop?s Land,? a fine old Scottish gentleman, ?? one of the olden time,? Sir Stuart Thriepland, of Fingask Castle, Bart., whose father had been attainted after the battle of Sheriffmuir, which, however, did not prevent Sir Stuart from duly taking his full share in the ?45. His wanderings over, and the persecutions past, he took up his residence here, and had his house well hung, we are told, with well-painted portraits of royal per- He died 1 sonages-but not cf the reipinn house. One of the most famous edifices on the north side of the High Street was known as ? the Bishop?s Land,? so called from having been the town residence of John Spottiswood, Archbishop of St. Andrews in 1615, and son of John Spottiswood, Superintendent of Lothian, a reformed divine, who prayed over James VI., and blessed him when an infant in his cradle, in the Castle of Edinburgh. From him the Archbishop inherited the house, which bore the legend and date, BLISSIT .BE .YE. LORD. FOR.ALL. HIS. GIFTIS. 1578. consequently it must have been built when the Superintendent (whose father fell at Flodden) was in his sixty-eighth year, and was an edifice sufficiently commodious and magnificent to serve as a town residence of the Primate of Scotland, who in his zeal to promote the designs of James VI. for the establishment of Episcopacy, performed the then astounding task of no less than fifty journeys to London. The ground floor of the mansion, like many others of the same age in the same street, was formed of a deeply-arched piazza, the arches of whichsprang from massive stone piers. From the first floor there projected ~. ALLAN RAMSAY. (From the Portrait in ihe 1761 Edition e/ has ?Poems.?) a fine brass balcony, that must many a time and oft have been hung with gay garlands and tapestry, and crowded with the fair and noble to witness the state pageants of old, such as the great procession of Charles I. to Holyrood, where he was crowned by the archbishop King of Scotland in 1633. From this house Spottiswood was obliged to fly, when the nation en mnsse resisted, with peremptory promptitude, the introduction of the Liturgy. He took refuge in London, where he died in 1639, and was interred in Westminster Abbey. In 1752 the celebrated Lady Jane Douglas, wife of Sir George Stuart of Grantully, and the heroine of the famous ? Douglas cause,? was an occupant of ?? the Bishop?s Land,? till she ceased to be able to afford a residence even there. Therein, tDo, resided the first Lord President Dundas, and - - in 1805, and the forfeited honours were generously restored by George IV. in 1826 to his son, Sir Patrick M. Thriepland of Fingask, which had long before been purchased back by the money of his mother, Janet Sinclair of Southdun. On the third floor, above him, dwelt the Hamiltons of Pencaitland, and the baronial Aytouns of Inchdairnie. hlrs. Aytoun was Isabel, daughter of Kobert, fourth Lord Rollo, ? and would sometimes come down the stair,? says Robert Chambers, ? lighting herself with a little waxen taper, to drink tea with Mrs. Janet Thriepland (Sir Patrick?s sister)-for so she called herself, though unmarried. In the uppermost floor of all lived a reputable tailor and his family. All the various tenants, including the tailor, were on friendly terms with ? each other-a pleasant. thing to tell of this bit of the old world, which has left nothing of the same kind behind it in these days, when we all live at il greater distance, physical and moral, from each other.? This fine old tenement, which. was one of the most aristocratic in the street till a comparatively recent period, was totally destroyed by fire in 1814. Eastward of it stood the town-house of the Hendersons of Fordel (an old patrician Fifeshire family), with whom Queen Mary was once a visitor; but it, too, has passed away, and an
Volume 2 Page 208
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