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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. II


240 OLD AND NEW EDINBURGH. [High Street. When the Company of Merchant Tailors in London requested James to become a member of their guild, he declined, on the plea that he ?was already free of another company,? and referred to the similar corporation in his native capital, but added that his son Henry, the Prince of Wales, would avail himself of the honour, and that he himself would be present at the ceremony. From ?? Guthrie?s Memoirs? we learn that in 1643 a solemn and important meeting was held in the Tailor?s Hall between the conservators of peace with England and commission of the General Assembly. St. Magdalene?s Chapel, and the modern Mary?s Chapel in Bell?s Wynd, form the chief halls of the remaining corporations of Edinburgh that have long survived the purposes for which they were originally incorporated. In August, 1758, there occurred a dreadful fire in Carrubber?sClose, onwhich occasion four tenements containing fifteen famiiies were burned down, and many personswere severely injured. Towards the end of the eighteenth century gentility was still lingering here, for in the Edizburgi Adverfiser for 1783 we read of the house of Stuart Barclay of Collairniehaving a drawing-room in its ruins thirty-five persons, and shooting out into the broad street a mighty heap of rubbish. A few of the inmates almost miraculously escaped destruction from the peculiar way in which some of the strong oak beams and fragments of flooring fell over them; and among those who did so was a lad, whose sculptured effigy, as a memorial of the event, now decorates a window of the new edifice, with a scroll, whereon are carved the words he was heard uttering piteously to those who were digging out the killed and wounded: ?? Heave awa, lads, I?m no deid yet !? ST. PAUL?S CHAPEL, CARRIJBBER?S CLOSE. - - measuring Igft. by 14ft.-being for sale; and also . that belonging to Neil Campbell of Dantroon, at the foot of the close. At the head of Bailie Fyfe?s Close, No. 107, High Street, there stood a stately old stone tenement, having carved above one of its upper windows a shield bearing two mullets in chief, with a crescent in base-the arms of Trotter, with the initials I. T. I. M., and the date 1612. Elsewhere there was another shield, having the arms of the Par?ieys of Yorkshire impaled with those of Hay, and the legend Be. Pasienf , in. the. Lord, and to this edifice a peculiar interest is attached. After standing for close on 250 years, it sank suddenly-and without any premonitory symptoms or warning-to the ground with a terrible crash at midnight on the 10th of November, 1861, burying In Chalmer?s Close an old house was connected in a remote way with the famous Lord Francis Jeffrey, whose grandfather dwelt there when in the trade as a barber and periwig maker, and the old close is said to have been in his boyhood a favourite haunt of the future judge and critic. In large old English letters the name JOHN HOPE appears cut over the doorway of an adjacent turnpike stair, with a coat pf arms, now completely obliterated, and on the bed-corbel of the crowstepped gable is another shield, sculptured with a coat armorial and the initials I. H. Moulded mullions and transoms divided the large windows. - a rather uncommon feature in Scottish domestic architecture; and from the general remains of decayed magnificence, the name, initials, and armc, this is supposed-but cannot be absolutely declared -to be the mansion of the founder of the noble family of Hopetoun, John de Hope, who came from France in the retinue of Magdalene of Valois, the first queen of James V., and who, with his son Edward, bad two booths eastward of the old Kirk Style. But the name of Hope was known in Scotland in the days of Alexander 111. ; and James III., in 1488, gave to Thomas Hope a grant of some land near Leith. No. 71 is Sandiland?s Close, where tradition, but tradition only, avers there dwelt that learned and munificent prelate, James Kennedy, Bishop of Dunkeld, Lord High Chancellor, and the upright
Volume 2 Page 240
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