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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. IV


Lad Plovosts] PROVOST DRUMMOND. 281 - fluence of the Duke of Lauderdale. in return for ment of Colonel Gordon, who with Leslie and Walter Butler of the Irish Musketeers, slew the great M?allenstein, Duke of Friedland. Sir Hugh Cunningham was provost when Anne was proclaimed by the heralds at the Cross, on the 8th of March, 1702, Queen of Scotland ; and she in her first letter to Parliament pressed them to consider the advantages which might accrue to of the city. A cadet of the noble house of Perth, he his view of the city-a work wonderful for its ? got a protection to enable him to appear in this I minuteness and fidelity-to provost Tod and the matter. ? Thus he was brought to the street again.? Council, who made him a free burgess, and paid him His predecessor in 1676 was a Sir William Binny, A333 6s. 8d. Scots, or A27 16s. 8d. sterling for who, in 1686 had a curious case before the Court I the drawing, which was engraved in Holland by of Session, against Hope of Carse, on the testa- De Witt, and dedicated to the provost and magisi trates, who appear by the city accounts to have had a collation on the occasion. The provost who was present at and presided over the barbarous execution of Montrose, in 1650, was Sir James Stewart of Coltness, who suffered therefor a long imprisonment after the Restoration, and was only rescued from something worse by his having obtained for his Grace L6,ooo as the price of the citadel of Leith. Sir Andrew while in the civic chair conducted himself so tyrannically, by applying the common good of the city for the use of himself and his friends, and by inventing new employments and concessory offices within it, to provide for his dependents, that the citizens, weary of his yoke, resolved to turn him out at the next election ; but he having had a majority the burgesses were forced to ?intent a reduction of the election.? This case being submitted to the Chancellor and President, they ordered an Act to be passed in the Common Council of the city, declaring that none should hereafter continue in office as provost for more than two years. But this regulation has not been strictly observed, and the Lord Prwosts of the city are now elected for three years. In 1683 Sir George Drummond was Lord Pre vost ; but in August, 1685, he became a bankrupt, and took refuge in the Sanctuary at Holyrood, the first, says Fountainhall, ?that during his office has broke in FAinburgh.? A week or two afterwards, a riot having taken place at the Town Guard-house, the Lord Chancellor, the Earl oi Perth, who was bound to do what he could to protect the provost, 84 was born in 1687, and when only eighteen years of age was employed by the Committee of the Scottish Parliament to give his assistance in the arrangement of the national accounts prior to the Union; and in 1707, on the establishment of the Excise, he was rewarded with the office of Accountant- General, and in I 7 I 7 he was a Commissioner of the Board of Customs. In 1725 he was elected Lord Provost for the first time, and two?years afterwas named one of the commissioners and trustees for improving the fisheries and manufactures of Scotland. Hewasthe principal agent in the erection of the Royal Infirmary ; and in I 745 he served as a volunteer with Cope?s army at the Rattle of Prestonpans. As grand-master of the freemasons he laid the foundation-stone of the Royal Exchange, and in 1755 was appointed to that lucrative-if dubious -office, a trustee on the forfeited estates of the Jacobite lords and landholders. We have related (in its place) how he laid the foundation-stone of the North Bridge. He died in 1766 in the eightieth year of his age, and was honoured, deservedly, with a public funeral in the Canongate. To Provost Drummond Dr. Robertson the historian owed his appointment as Principal of the University, which was also indebted to him for the institu
Volume 4 Page 281
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