Edinburgh Bookshelf

Old and New Edinburgh Vol. II


.276 OLD AND NEW EDINBURGH. [High Street. and from Lord Lindesay?s Lives or the Lindesays? ? we learn that his nephew, Walter Scott, when a boy, occasionally accompanied his aunt on visits to the Countess of Balcarres, and some forty years after, when having occasion to correspond with Lady Anne, he wrote : ?? I remember the ZocaZe of Hyndford? s Close perfectly, even to the Indian screen with harlequin and columbine, and the harpsichord, though I never had the pleasure of hearing Lady Anne play upon it. I suppose the close, once too clean to soil the hem of your ladyship?s garment, is now a resort for the lowest mechanics - a n d so wears the world away. . . . It is, to be sure, more picturesque to lament the desolation ~~ ~ carres, who died in 1768, a lady who is said to have been the progenitrix of as many persons as ever any woman was in the same space of time, for Sir Bernard Burke records her as having eight children and fifteen grandchildren. Her eldest daughter, Anne-and of all her family almost the only one remembered now-was the authoress of the sweet ballad of Add Robin Gray, written to the ancient Scottish air called ?The bridegroom greets when the sun gaes doon.? She was born on the 8th of December, 1750, and was married to Sir Andrew Barn a r d, C ol on ial Secretary at the Cape of Good Hope, and she died at Berkeley Square, London, in 1825, after surviving her husband eighteen years. The whole history of the ballad, and her authorship thereof, are too well known to require repetition here ; but the first verse, as she wrote it, is invariably omitted now:- ?When the sheep are in the fauld, and the kye a? at hame, When a? the weary world to sleep are gane, The waes 0? my heart fa? in showers from m y ee? While my gudeman lies sound by me.? the whole place has been (1847) converted into store-rooms and cellars.? As in many other instances, not even a tradition or a memory of the names even of the great or noble who dwelt here has come down to us. The close nunbered as go in Edgar?s old map is called the Fountain, it is supposed from the circumstance of its entrance being opposite the stone conduit in the recess near John Knox?s house. A fountain named ? the Endmylie?s Well,? frequently occurs in old historical works connected with the city, or offices therein, but whether it is the same cannot be determined now. William Powrie, one of Bothwell?s accomplices in the murder of Darnley, of towers on hills and haughs than the degradation of an Edinburgh close ; but I cannot help thinking on the simple and cosie retreats where worth and talent, and elegance to boot, were often nestled, and which now are the resort of misery, filth, poverty, and vice.? The little tea-parties of Lady Balcarres, who was a daughter of Sir Robert Dalrymple of Castleton, were always famous for the strong infusion of Jacobite spirit that pervaded them, attainted peers and baronets being always spoken of, or announced, with their old Scottish rank and titles in defiance of all acts of attainder, though she lived to see the ninth year of the reign of George 111. The next alley,called South Foulis? Close, is named Fowler?s in Edgar?s map of the city, and some portion of this alley must have escaped the conflagration of 1544, as Wilson refers to a large mansion ?that bears the date 1539 over its main doorway, with two coats of arms impaled on one large shield in the centre, but all now greatly defaced. Another nearly opposite to it exhibits
Volume 2 Page 276
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