Edinburgh Bookshelf

Old and New Edinburgh Vol. III


162 OLD AED NEW EDINBURGH. [Hanover Street. in yhich David Hume died the Bible Society oi Edinburgh was many years afterwards constituted, and held its first sitting. In the early part of the present century, No. 19 was the house of Miss Murray of Kincairnie, in Perthshire, a family now extinct. In 1826 we find Sir Walter Scott, when ruin had come upon? him, located in No. 6, Mrs. Brown?s lodgings, in a third-rate house of St. David Street, whither he came after Lady Scott?s death at Abbotsford, on the 15th of May in thatto him-most nielancholy year of debt and sorrow, and set himself calmly down to the stupendous task of reducing, by his own unaided exertions, the enormous monetary responsibilities he had taken upon himself. Lockhqt tells us that a week before Captain Basil Hall?s visit at No. 6, Sir Walter had suf ficiently mastered himself to resume his literary tasks, and was working with determined resolution at his ?Life of Napoleon,? while bestowing an occasional day to the ?Chronicles of the Canongate ?? whenever he got before the press with his historical MS., or felt the want of the only repose Be ever cared for-simply a change oi labour. No. 27, now a shop, was the house of Neilson of Millbank, and in No. 33, now altered and sub-divided, dwell Lord Meadowbank, prior to I 7gqknown when at the bar as Allan Maconochie. He left several children, one of whom, Alexander, also won a seat on the bench as Lord Meadowbank, in 18x9. No. 39, at the corner of George Street, w2s the house ol Majoribanks of Marjoribanks and that ilk. No. 54, now a shop, was the residence of Si1 John Graham Dalyell when at the bar, to which he was admitted in 1797. He was the second son of Sir Robert Dalyell, Bart., of Binns, in Linlithgowshire, and in early life distinguished himself by the publication of various works illustrative of the history and poetry of his native country, particularly ?Scottish Poems of the Sixteenth Century,?? ?? Bannatyne Memorials,? ?? Annals of the Religious Houses in Scotland,? Szc. He was vice-president of the Antiquarian Society, and though heir-presumptive to the baronetcy in his family, received in 1837 the honour of knighthood, by letters patent under the Great Seal, for his attainments in literature. A few doors farther down the street is now the humble and unpretentious-looking office of that most useful institution, the Edinburgh Association for Improving the Condition of the Poor, and maintained, like every other charitable institution in the city, by private contributions. Hanover Street was built about 1786. In South Hanover Street, No. 14-f old the City of Glasgow Bank-is now the new hall of the Merchant Company, containing many portraits of old merchant burgesses on its walls, and some views of the city in ancient times which are not without interest. Elsewhere we have given the history of this body, whose new hall was inaugurated on July 9, 1879, and found to be well adapted for the purposes of the company. The large hall, formerly the bank telling-room, cleared of all the desks and other fixtures, now shows a grand apartment in the style of the Italian Renaissance, lighted by a cupola rising from eight Corinthian ? pillars, with corresponding pilasters abutting from the wall, which is covered by portraits. The space available here is forty-seven feet by thirty-two, exclusive of a large recess. Other parts of the building afford ample accommodation for carrying on the business of the ancient company and for the several trusts connected therewith. The old manageis room is now used by the board of management, and those on the ground floor have been fitted up for clerks. The premises were procured for ~17,000. All the business of the Merchant Company is now conducted under one roof, instead of being carried on partly in .the Old Town and partly in the New, with the safes for the security of papers of the various trusts located, thirdly, in Queen Street. By the year 1795 a great part of Frederick Street was completed, and Castle Street was beginning to be formed. The first named thoroughfare had many aristocratic residents, particularly widowed ladies-some of them homely yet stately old matrons of the Scottish school, about whom Lord Cockburn, &c., has written so gracefully and so graphically-to wit, Mrs. Hunter of Haigsfield in No. I, now a steamboat-office; Mrs. Steele of Gadgirth, No. 13; Mrs. Gardner of Mount Charles, No. 20 ; Mrs. Stewart of Isle, No. 43 ; Mrs. Bruce of Powfoulis, No. 52 ; and Lady Campbell of Ardkinglas in No. 58, widow of Sir Alexander, last of the male line of Ardkinglas, who died in 1810,- and whose estates went to the next-heir of entail, Colonel James Callender, of the 69th Regiment, who thereupon assumed the name of Campbell, and published two volumes of ?Memoirs? in 1832, but which, for cogent reasons, were suppressed by his son-in-law, the late Sir James Graham of Netherby. His wife, Lady Elizabeth Callender, died at Craigforth in 1797. In Numbers 34 and 42 respectively resided Ronald McDonald of Staffa, and Cunningham of Baberton, and in the common stair, No. 35, there
Volume 3 Page 162
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