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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. II


High Street.] ST. MARY?S CHA4PEL. 247 made out by Latinising his name into Nz?choZaus Ea?wfirtus. It occupied the western side of Lockhart?s Court, and was accessible only by a deep archway. In an Act passed in 158r, ?<Anent the Cuinzie,? Alexander Clark of Balbirnie, Provost of Edinburgh, and Nicol Edward, whose houses were both in this wynd, are mentioned with others. The latter appears in 1585 in the Parliament as Commissary for Edinburgh, together with Michael Gilbert; and in 1587 he appears again in an Act of Parliament in favour of the Flemish craftsmen, whom James VI. was desirous of encouraging ; but, !est they should produce inferior work at Scottish prices, his Majesty, with the advice of Council, hes appointit, constitute, and ordainit, ane honest and discreit man, Nicolas Uduart, burgess of Edinburgh, to be visitor and overseer of the said craftsmen?s hail warks, steiks, and pieces . . . the said Nicolas sal have sic dueties as is contenit within the buke, as is commonly usit to be payit therfore in Flanderis, Holland, or Ingland ; I? in virtue of all of which Nicholas was freed froin all watching, warding, and all charges and impositions. In that court dwelt, in 17534761, George Lockhart of Carnwath One of the thirteen roonis in his house contained a mantelpiece of singular magnificence, that reached the lofty ceiling; but the house had a peculiar accessory, in the shape of (? a profound dungeon, which was only accessible by a secret trapdoor, opening through the floor of a small closet, the most remote of a suite of rooms extending along the south and west sides of the court. Perhaps at a time when to be rich was neither so common nor so safe as now, Provost Edward might conceal his hoards in this massy more.? The north side of Lockhart?s Court was long occupied by the family of Bruce of Kinnaird, the celebrated traveller. In Niddry?s Wynd, a little below Provost Edward?s house on the opposite side, stood St. Mary?s Chapel, dedicated to God and the Blessed Virgin Mary, according to Arnot, in 1505. Its foundress was Elizabeth, daughter of James, Lord Livingstone, Great Chamberlain of Scotland, and Countess of Ross-then widow of John Earl of Ross and Lord of the Isles, who, undeterred by the miserable fate of his father, drew on him, by his treasonable practices, the just vengeance of James III., and died in 1498. Colville of Easter U?emyss, and afterwards Richardson of Smeaton, became proprietors and patrons of this religious foundation ; and about the year 1600, James Chaliners, a macer before the Court of Session, acquired a right to the chapel, and in 1618 the Corporations of Wrights and Masons, known by the name of the United Incorporations of Mary?s Chapel, purchased this subject, ?where they still possess, and where they hold meetings,? says Arnot, writing in 1779. In the CaZedonian Mercury for 1736 we read that on St. Andrew?s Day the masters and wardens of forty masonic lodges met in St. Mary?s Chapel, and unanimously elected as their grand-master William Sinclair of Roslin, the representative of an ancient though reduced family, connected for several generations with Scottish freemasonry. For this ancient chapel a modern edifice was substituted, long before the demolition of Niddry?s Wynd; but the masonic lodge of Mary?s Chapel still exists, and we believe holds its meetings there. Religious services were last conducted in the new edifice when Viscountess Glenorchy hired it. She was zealous in the cause of religion, and conceived a plan of having a place of worship in which ministers of every orthodox denomination might preach; and for this purpose she had St. Mary?s Chapel opened on Wednesday, the 7th March, 1770, by the Rev. Mr. Middleton, the minister of a small Episcopal chapel at Dalkeith ; but she failed to secure the ministrations of any clergyman of the Established Church, though in 1779 the Rev. William Logan, of South Leith, a poet of some eminence in his time, gave his course of lectures on the philosophy of history in the chapel, prior to offering himself as a candidate for the chair of civil history in the University. On the east side of Niddry?s Wynd, nearly opp0- site to Lockhart?s Court, was a handsome house, which early in the eighteenth century was inhabited by the Hon. James Erskine, a senator, better known by his legal and territorial appellation of Lord Grange, brother of John Earl of Mar, who led? the great rising in 1715 on behalf of the Stuarts. He was born in 1679, and was called to the Scottish bar in 1705. He took no share in the Jacobite enterprise which led to the forfeiture of his brother, and the loss, ultimately of the last remains of the once great inheritance in the north from which the ancient family took its name. He affected to be a zealous Presbyterian and adherent of the House of Hanover, and as such he figures prominently in the ?? Diary? of the indus . trious \ffodrow, supplying that writer with many shreds of the Court gossip, which he loved so dearly ; but Lord Grange is chiefly remembered for the romantic story of his wife, which has long filled
Volume 2 Page 247
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