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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. III


OLD AND NEW EDINBURGH. [George Street. I42 ever heard speak on such topics. The shrewdness and decision of the man can, however, stand in need of no testimony beyond what his own conduct has afforded-above all, in the establishment of his Aagazine (the conception of which, I am assured, was entirely his own), and the sub. sequent energy with which he has supported it through every variety of good and evil fortune.? Like other highly successful periodicals, BZackwoodls Magazine has paid the penalty of its greatness, for many serial publications have been pro jected upon its plan and scope, without its in herent originality and vigour. William Blackwood published the principal works of Wilson, Lockhart, Hogg, Galt, Moir, and othei distinguished contributors to the magazine, as we1 as several productions of Sir Walter Scott. Hc was twice a magistrate of his native city, and ir that capacity took a prominent part in its affairs He died on the 16th of September, 1834, in hi: fifty-eighth year. ? Four months of suffering, in part intense,? sayr the Mugazine for October, 1837, ? exhausted bj slow degrees all his physical energies, but left hi: temper calm and unruffled, and his intellect entira and vigorous to the last. He had thus what nc good man will consider as a slight privilege : thai of contemplating the approach of death with tha clearness and full strength of his mind and faculties and of instructing those around him by the solemr precefit and memorable example, by what mean: humanity alone, conscious of its own fnilty, car sustain that prospect with humble serenity.? This is evidently from the pen of John Wilson in whose relations with the magazine this deatk made no change. William Blackwood left a widow, seven sons and two daughters; the former carried on-anc their grandsons still carry on-the business in tha old establishment in George Street, which, sincc Constable passed away, has been the great literarj centre of Edinburgh. No. 49, the house of Wilkie of Foulden, i: now a great music saloon; and No. 75, nog the County Fire and other public offices, has a pe culiar interest, as there lived and died the mothei of Sir Walter Scott-Anne Rutherford, daughter o Dr. John Rutherford, a woman who, the biographei of her illustrious son tells us, was possessed o superior natural talents, with a good taste foi music and poetry and great conversational powers In her youth she is said to have been acquainted with Allan Kamsay, Beattie, Blacklock, and man) other Scottish men of letters in the last century and independently of the influence which her own talents and acquirements may have given her in training the opening mind of the future novelis4 it is obvious that he must have been much indebted to her in early life for the select and intellectual literary society of which her near relations were the ornaments-for she was the daughter of a professor and the sister of a professor, both of the University of Edinburgh. Her demise, on the 24th of December, 1819, is simply recorded thus in the obituary :-? At her house in George Street, Edinburgh, Mrs. Anne Rutherford, widow of the late Walter Scott, Writer to the Signet.? ? She seemed to take a very affectionate farewell of me, which was the day before yesterday,? says Scott, in a letter to his brother, in the 70th regiment, dated nand December; ?and, as she was much agitated Dr. Keith advised I should not see her again, unless she seemed to desire it, which she has not hitherto done. She sleeps constantly, and will probably be so removed. Our family sends love to yours. ? Yours most affectionately, ? WALTER SCOTT.? No. 78 was, in 1811, the house of Sir John Hay of Srnithfield and Hayston, Baronet, banker, who married Mary, daughter of James, sixteenth Lord Forbes. He had succeeded to the title in the preceding year, on the death of his father, Sir James, and is thus referred to in the scarce ? Memoirs of a Banking House,? by Sir William Forbe?s of Pitsligo, Bart. :- ?Three years afterwards we made a further change in the administration by the admission of my brother-in-law, Mr. John Hay, as a partner. In the year 1774, at my request, Sir Rebert Hemes had agreed that he should go to Spain, and serve an apprenticeship in his house at Barcelona, where he continued till spring, 1776, when he returned to London, and was received by Sir Robert into his house in the City-from which, by that time, our separation had taken place-and where, as well as in the banking house in St. James?s Street, he acted as a clerk till summer, 1778, when he came to Edinburgh, and entered our country house also, on the footing of a confidential clerk, during three years. Having thus had an ample experience of his abilities and merit as a man of business, on whom we might repose the most implicit confidence, a new contract ot co-partnery was formed, to commence from the 1st of January, 1782, in which Mr. Hay was assumed as a partner, and the shares stood as follow: Sir William Forbes, nineteen, Mr. Hunter Blair, nine
Volume 3 Page 142
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