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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. III


Albany Street.] GENERAL SCOTT. 19= Gray was ordained his successor to that charge in 1773, but he resigned it ten years afterwards. In 1785 he was appointed joint Professor of Mathematics in the University of Edinburgh with the celebrated Adam Ferguson, LL.D., and discharged the duties of that chair till the death of his friend Professor Robinson, in 1805, when he was appointed his successor. Among his works are ? Elements of Geometry ? published in I 796 ; ?Illustrations of the Huttonian Theory of the Earth ? in 1804; ?? Outlines of Natural Philosophy;? besides many papers to the scientific department of the Edinburgh &view and to various other periodicals. He died at No. 2, Albany Street, in his seventieth year, on the 20th of July, 1819. An unfinished ?? Memoir of John Clerk of Eldin,? the inventor of naval tactics, left by him in manuscript, was published after his death in the ninth volume of the ? Edinburgh Transactions.? An interesting account of the character and merits of this illustrious mathematician, from the pen of Lord Jeffrey, was inserted in the ?? Encyclopzdia Britannica ? and in the memoir prefixed to his works by his nephew, and a noble monument to his memory is erected on the Calton Hill. Northwards of the old village of Broughton, in the beginning of the present century, the land was partly covered with trees ; a road led fkom it to Canonmills by Bellevue to Newhaven, while another road, by the water of Leith, led westward. In the centre of what are now the Drummond Place Gardens stood a country house belonging to the Lord Provost Drummond, and long inhabited by him ; he feued seven acres from the Governors of Heriot?s Hospital. The approach to this house was by an avenue, now covered by West London Street, and which entered from the north road to Canonmills. On the site of that house General Scott of Balcolnie subsequently built the large square threestoreyed mansion of Bellevue, afterwards converted into the Excise Office, and removed when the Edinburgh, Perth, and Dundee Railway Company constructed the now disused tunnel from Princes Street to the foot of Scotland Street. In 1802 the l a d s of Bellevue were advertised to be sold ?by roup within the Justiciary Court Roomy for feuing purposes, but years elapsed before anything was done in the way of building. In 1823 the papers announce that ?? preparations are making for levelling Bellevue Gardens and filling up the sand-pits in that neighbourhood, with a view to finishing Bellevue Crescent, which will connect the New Town with Canonmills on one side, as it is already connected with Stockbridge on the other.? By that year Drummond Place was nearly completed, and the south half of Bellevue Crescent was finished and occupied; St. Mary?s parish church was founded and finished in 1824 from designs b j Mr. Thomas Brown, at the cost of A13,ooo for 1,800 hearers. It has a spire of considerable elegance, 168 feet in height. General Scott, the proprietor of Bellevue, was one of the most noted gamblers of his time. It is related of him that being one night at Stapleton?s, when a messenger brought him tidings that Mrs. Scott had been delivered of a daughter, he turned laughingly to the company, and said, ?You see, gentlemen, I must be under the necessity of doubling my stakes, in order to make a fortune for this little girl.? He accordingly played rather deeper than usual, in consequence of which, after a fiw hours? play, he found himself a loser by A8,ooo. This gave occasion for some of the company to rally him on his ?? daughter?s fortune,? but the general had an equanimity of temper that nothing could ruffle, and a judgment in play superior to most gamesters. He replied that he had still a perfect dependence on the luck of the night, and to make his words good he played steadily on, and about seven in the morning, besides clearing his .&8,000, he brought home A15,ooo. His eldest daughter, Henrietta, became Duchess of Portland. Drummond Place was named after the eminent George Drummond, son of the Laird of Newton, a branch of the Perth family, who was no less than six times Lord Provost of the city, and who died in 1776, in the eightieth year of his age. The two most remarkable denizens of this quarter were Charles Kirkpatrick Sharpe of Hoddam (previously of 93, Princes Street) and Lord Robertson. Among the attractions of Edinburgh during the bygone half of the present century, and accessible only to a privileged few, were the residence and society of the former gentleman. Born of an ancient Scottish family, and connected in many ways with the historical associations of his country, by his reputation as a literary man no less than by his high Cavalier and Jacobite tenets, Charles Kirkpatrick Sharpe was long looked up to as one of the chief authorities on all questions connected with Scottish antiquities. No. 93, Princes Street, the house of Mrs. Sharpe of Hoddam, was the home of her son till the time of her death, and there he was visited by Scotc Thomas Thomson, and those of the next genera
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