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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. III


136 OLD AND NEW EDINBURGH. [West Church, and by an assessment on the real property within the parish; the expense for each inmate in those days was only A4 IS. 6d. On the demolition of the old church, its pulpit, which was of oak, of a very ancient form, and covered with carving, was placed in the hall of the workhouse. The number of the inmates in the first year was eighty-four. The edifice, large and unsightly, was removed, with the Diorama and several other houses, to make space for the Caledonian railway, and the poor of St. Cuthbert?s were conveyed to a more airy and commodious mansion, on the site of the old farmhouse of Werter. When the Act of Parliament in 1767 was obenclosed by a wall, on which a line of tombs is now erected. In the eighteenth century the building of note nearest to the church of St. Cuthbert, on the opposite side of the way, now named Iathian Road, was a tall, narrow, three-storeyed country villa, called, from its situation at the head of the slope, Kirkbraehead House. There the way parted from the straight line of the modern road at the kirk-gate, forming a delta {the upper base of which was the line of Princes Street), in which were several cottages and gardens, long since swept away. A row of cottages lay along the whole line of what is now Queensferry Street, under the name of Kirkbraehead. OLD WEST KIRK, AND WALLS OF THE LITTLE KIRK, 1772. (FmVJ alr Engraving of a Drawing fro?# a Moder.) tained for extending the royalty of the city ol Edinburgh, clauses were inserted in it disjoining a great portion of the ground on which the future new city was to be built, and annexing it to the parish of St. Giles, under the condition that the heritors of the lands should continue liable, as formerly, for tithes, ministers? stipends, and A300 annually of poor?s money. Thus the modern parishes of St Andrew, St. George, S t Mary, and St. Stephen-all formed since that period-have been taken from the great area of the ancient parish of St Cuthbert No very material alteration was made in the burying-ground till April, I 787, when the north side of it, which was bordered by a marsh 2,000 feet in length (to the foot of the mound) by 350 broad-as shown in the maps of that year-was drained and partially filled with earth. Then the walls and gates were repaired. The ground at the east end was raised a few years after, and The villa referred to was, towards the close of the century, occupied by Lieutenant-General John Lord Elphinstone, who was Lieutenant-Governor of the Castle, with the moderate stipend of LISO 10s. yearly, and who died in 1794. At a subsequent period its occupant was a Mr. John Butler, who figures amocg ? Kay?s Portraits,? an eccentric character but skilful workman, who was king?s carpenter for Scotland; he built Gayfield House and the house of Sir Lawrence Dundas, now the Royal Bank in St. Andrew Square. He was proprietor of several tenements in Carmbber?s Close, then one of the most fashionable portions of the old town. The villa of Kirkbraehead had been built by his father ere the Lothian Road was formed, and concerning the latter, the following account is given by Kay?s editor and others. This road, which leaves the western extremity of Princes Street at a right angle, and runs southward
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West Church.] THE LOTHIAN ROAD. =37 towards Bruntsfield Links, had long been projected, but owing to the objections raised by the proprietors of many barns, byres, and sheds which stood in the way, the plan could not be matured, till after several years of trouble and speculation j in length by twenty paces in breadth." This scheme he concerted with address, and executed with nautical promptitude It happened to be the winter season, when many men were unemployed. He had no difficulty in collecting several hundreds ST. CUTHBERT'S CHURCH. and when at last the proposal was about to be of these at the Kirkbraehcad upon the appointed agreed to by the opposing parties, the broad and ' morning before sunrise, when he gave them all a stately road was-to the surprise of the public and ' plentiful breakfast of porter, whisky, and bread and mortification of the opposition-made in one day ! cheese, after which, just as the sun rose, he ordered '' some to tear down' en- John Clerk, Bart., of Pennicuik (an' officer: of't'hc ! dlosuresi others to unroof and demolish cottages, in 1784). laid a bet with a friend to the effect I with to fill up the natural hollow (near the church- " that he. would, between sunrise and sunset, ' yard gate) to the required height. The inhabitants, execute the line of road, extending nearly a mile 1 dismayed at so vast a force and so summary a It so happened that a gentleman, said to be! Sir. 1 th,e% ,to* set to, work royal navy, who succeeded his father, Sir George, I and a considerahle portion to bring' earth where- 66
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