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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. III


36 OLD AND NEW EDINBURGH. [Canongate 4? History of Music j ? Dr. Gregory ; David Xllan ; Lord Cromarty; and many others who have left $heir ?? footprints on the sands of time.? There, too, is the grave of the ill-fated Fergusson the poet, above which is the tombstone placed at the order of Robert Burns by Gowans, a marble- -cutter in the Abbey Hill, ?to remain for ever sacred to the memory of him whose name it bears,? with the inscription Bums penned :- ? HERE LIES ROBERT FERGUSSON. Born Sept. sth, 1751. Died October 16th, 1774. No sculptured marble here, nor pompous lay, This simple stone directs pale Scotia?s way No stoned urn nor animated bust ; To pour her sorrows o?er her poet?s dust.? Here, on the 16th of Tune, , - ? Henry Prentice. Died . . . . Be not curious to know how I lived ; But rather how yourself should die.? He was, however, eventually interred at Restalrig. At least three tenements of three storeys each would seem to have occupied the site of the church. One of the picturesque relics of the past in Edinburgh is the old Canongate Tolbooth, with its sombre tower and spire, Scoto-French corbelled turrets, huge projecting clock, dark-mouthed archway, its moulded windows, and many sculptured stones. Above the arch is the inscription- S. L. B. PATRIA ET POSTERIS 1591 ; and in a niche are the usual insignia of 1821, Sir Walter Scott att the burgh, the stag?s head and- cross,, the funeral of John Ballantyne, with the motto SIC ITUR AD ASTRA, while .and displayed considerable emo- the appropriate niotto ESTO FIDUS surtion. ?He cast his eyes along mounts the inner doorway to the court- -the overhanging line of the Calton house. At the south-east comer is the Hill, with its gleaming walls and old shaft of the cross and pillory, near towers, and then turning to the the entrance to the police-station. .grave again, ?I feel,? he whispered it is a fine example of the fices of the reign of Janies VI. In the tower are two bells, in Lockhart?s ear, ?I feel as if there would be less sun- -shine for me from this day one inscribed SOLI DEO HONOR ET forth.? 2y GLORIA, 1608, and a larger one, In May 1880 there was cast in 1796. Between the stately erected here a monument windows of the Council .of rose-coloured granite, Hall is a pediment sur- Wenty-six feet high, by Mr. mounted by a great thistle Ford of the Holyroad Glass and the legend :- -Works, ?? In memory of the J. R 6. JUSTITIA ET PIETAS burgh Castle, situated in , FERGUSSON?S GRAVE. Herein the magistrates soldiers who died in Edin- VALIDE SUNT PRINCIPIS ABCES. .the Parish of Canongate, interred here from the year 1692 to 1880.? It k very ornate, has on its base sculptured trophies, -and was inaugurated in presence of General Hope, his staff, and the 71st Highlanders. Prior to its erection the spot where so many soldiers have .found their last home was only a large square patch covered by grass. In the ?? Domestic Annals ? we find recorded the .death, in 1788, of Henry Prentice, by whom the field culture of the potato was first introduced into. the county of Edinburgh, in 1746. He had made .a. little money as a travelling merchant, was an .eccentric character, and in 1784 sunk A140 with the managers of the Canongate poorhouse for a weekly subsistence. He had his coffin made, with the date of his birth thereon, 1703, and long bad his gravestone conspicuously placed in the burgh churchyard, inscribed thus :- who came as successors of the abbots of Holyrood as over-lords of the burgh, held u-eekly courts for the punishment of offenders, the adjustment of small debts, and the affairs of the little municipality. That the building is older than any of the dates upon it, or that it had apredecessor, the following extracts from the ?? Burgh Records ? attest :- ?? Vndecimo decembris, an : 1567. ?The quhilk day it was concludit, be the Baillies and Counsall, to pursew quhatsomever person that is known and brutit wt the breking of the Tolbooth of this burcht, the tyme of the furth letting of Janet Robertsoun, being werdit within the samyn, &c.? In 1572 the following item occurs :- ?TO sax pynonis (pioneers?) att the Baillies *command for taking doun of the lintel-stone of the Ruld Tolbooth window-iij-s vi-d.? In 1654 several Scottish prisoners of war, con
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Canongate.] MORAY HOUSE. 31 fined here under a guard of Cromwell?s soldiers, effected their escape by rending their blankets and sheets into strips. In January, 1675, the captain of the Edinburgh Tolbooth complained to the Lords of Council that his brother official in the Canongate used to set debtors at liberty at his own free will, or by consent of the creditor by whom they were imprisoned without pemiission accorded. After the erection of the Calton gaol this edifice was used for the incarceration of debtors alone; and the number therein in October, 1834, was only seventeen, so little had it come to be wanted for that purpose. Within a court adjoining the Tolbooth was the old Magdalene Asylum, instituted in 1797 for the reception of about sixty females j but the foundation- stone of a new one was laid in October, 1805, by the Provost, Sir William Fettes, Bart, in presence of the clergy and a great concourse of citizens. ?In the stone was deposited a sealed bottle, containing various papers relating to the nse, progress, and by an arrangement with her younger sister, Anne Home, then Countess of Lauderdale, by whom the mansion was built. ?It is old and it is magnificent, but its age and magnificence are both different from those of the lofty piled-up houses of the Scottish aristocracy of the Stuart dynasty.? Devoid of the narrow, suspicious apertures, barred and loopholed, which connect old Scottish houses with the external air, the entrances and proportions of this house are noble, spacious, and pleasing, though the exterior ha$ little ornament save the balcony, on enormous trusses, projecting into the street, with ornate entablatures over their great windows and the stone spires of its gateway. There are two fine rooms within, both of them dome-roofed and covered with designs in bas-relief, The initials of its builder, M. H., surmounted by a coronet, are sculp THE STOCKS, FROM THE CANONGATE TOLBOOTH. (Now in the Scottisk A ~ ~ ~ w w % z R Mfucum.) present state of the asylum.? This institution was afterwards transferred to Dalry. A little below St. -John Street, within a court, stood the old British Linen Hall, opened in 1766 by the Board of Manufactures for the Sale and Custody of Scottish Linens-an institution to be treated of at greater length when we come to its new home on the Earthen Mound. Among the curious booth-holders therein was (( old John Guthrie, latterly of the firm of Guthrie and Tait, Nicholson Street,?? who figures in ? Kay?s Portraits,? and whose bookstall in the hall-after he ceased being a travelling chapman-was the resort of all the curious book collectors of the time, till he removed to the Nether Bow. A little below the Canongate Church there was still standing a house, occupied in 1761 by Sir James Livingstone of Glentenan, which possessed stables, hay-lofts, and a spacious flowergarden. By far the most important private edifice still remaining in this region of ancient grandeur and modern squalor is that which is usually styled Moray House, being a portion of the entailed property of that noble family, in whose possession it remained exactly zoo years, having become the property of Margaret Countess of Moray in 1645 tured on the south &- dow, and over another on the north are the lions of Home and Dudley impaled in a lozenge, for she was the daughter of Lord Dudley Viscount Lyle, and then the widow of Alexander first Earl of Home, who accompanied James VI. into England. She erected the house some years before the coronation of Charles I. at Edinburgh in 1633; and she contributed largely to the enemies of his crown, as appears by a repayment to her by the English Parliament of ~ 7 0 , 0 0 0 advanced by her in aid? of the Covenanters; and hence, no doubt, it was, that when Cromwell gained his victory over the Duke of Hamilton in the north of England, we are told, when the (then) Marquis of Argyle conducted Cromwell and Lambert, with their army, to Edinburgh, they kept their quarters at the Lady Home?s house in the Canongate, according to Guthrie, and there, adds Sir James Turner, they came to the terrible conclusion ?( that fhere was a necessitie fa fake away fhe King?s Zzyee;?? so that if these old walls had a tongue they might reveal dark conferences connected with the most dreadful events of that sorrowful time. In conclave with Cromwell and Argyle were the.Earls of Loudon and Lothian, the Lords Arbuthnot, Elcho, and Burleigh, with Blair, Dixon, Guthrie, and other Puritans. Here, two years subsequently, occurred, on the balcony, the cruel and ungenerous episode connected with the fallen Montrose, amid the joyous banquetings and revelry on the occasicn of
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