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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. III


The Mound.] THE EQUIVALENT MONEY. 85 houses for the French weavers, who, in memory of their native land, named the colony Little Picardy, .and thereon now stands Picardy Place. This was in 1729. The men taught weaving, their wives and daughters the art of spinning cambric yarn ; and by the trustees a man well skilled in all the branches of the linen trade was at the same time brought from Ireland, and appointed to travel the country and instruct the weavers and others in the best modes of making cloth. '' Secondly, to indemnify for any losses they might sustain by reducing the coin of Scotland to the standard and value of England ; and thirdly, in bribing a majority of the Scottish Parliament when matters came to the Zasf push. " Of the whole equivalent, therefore, ono ~40,000 was left for national purposes ; and so lost to public spirit and to all sense of honour were the representatives of Scotland, three gr four noblemen alone excepted, that this balance was supposed to THE ROYAL INSTITUTION. Before proceeding further, we shall here quote the comprehensive statement concerning the Board ot Trustees which appears in Knox's "View of the British Empire," London, 17Sg :- " By the Treaty of Union it was stipulated that ;6398,085 should be paid to the Scots as an equivalent for the customs, taxes, and excises to be levied upon that kingdom in consequence of the English debt, jC~o,ooo,ooo, though estimated at ~17,000,000. This equivalent, if it may be so called, was applied in the following manner :- "Firstly, to pay off the capital of the Scottish India Company, which was to be abolished in favour of the English Company trading to the East Indies. be useless in the English Treasury till the year 1727, when the royal burghs began to wake from their stupor, and to apply the interest of the ~40,000 towards raising a little fund for improving the manufactures and fisheries of the country." '' An Act of Parliament " (the Act quoted before) '' now directed the application of the funds to the several purposes for which they were designed, and appointed twenty-one commissioners, who were entrusted with the management of the same and other matters relative thereto." In Lefevre's Report of July zoth, 1850, it is stated that "having regard to the origin of this Board as connected with the existence of Scotland as a separate kingdom, and to the unbroken series of
Volume 3 Page 85
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