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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. IV


Arlhur?s Seat.] DR. JOHN BELL 303 sity of Edinburgh that the Medical Society has contributed much to the prosperity and reputation of this school of physic.? Such are still the objects of the Royal Medical Society, which has now, however, quitted its old hall and chambers for newer premises in 7 Melbourne Place. Its staff consists of four presidents, two honorary secretaries, curators of the library and museum, with a treasurer and sub-librarian. Many old citizens of good position had residences in and near the High School yards and Surgeon Square. Among these was Mr. George Sinclair of Ulbster, who married Janet daughter of Lord Strathmore, and who had a house of seven rooms in the yard, which was advertised in the Courant of 1761. His son was the eminent agriculturist, and first baronet of the family. In 1790 a theatre for dissections and an anatomical museum were erected in Surgeon Square by Dr. John Bell, the eminent anatomist, who was born in the city on the 12th May, 1763, and who most successfully applied the science of anatomy to practical surgery-a profession to which, curiously enough, he had from his birth been devoted by his father. The latter,about a month before the child?s birth, had-when in his 59th yea-undergone with successapainful surgicaloperation, and his gratitude led him tovowhe would rear his son John to the cause of medicine for the relief of mankind ; and after leaving the High School the boy was duly apprenticed to Mr. Alexander Wood, surgeon, and soon distinguished himself in chemistry, midwifery, and surgery, and then anatomy, which had been somewhat overlooked by Munro. In the third year after his anatomical theatre had been opened in the now obscure little square, he published his ? Anatomy of the Human Body,? consisting of a description of the action and play of the bones, muscles, and joints. In 1797 appeared the second volume, treating of the heart and arteries. During a brilliant career, he devoted himself with zeal to his profession, till in 1816 he was thrown from his horse, receiving a shock from which his constitution never recovered. CHAPTER XXXVII. AKTHUR?S SEAT AND ITS VICINITY. The Sanctuary-Geology of the Hill-Origin of its Name, and that of the Craigs-The Park Walls, 2554-A Banquet alfrrsc6The Pestilence -A Duel-?The Guttit Haddie?-Mutiny of the Old 78th Regiment-Proposed House on the Summit-bfuschat and his Cairn- Radical Road Formed-May Day-Skeletons found at the Wells 0? Wearic-Park Improvements-The Hunter?s Bog-Legend of the Hangman?s big-Duddingston-The Church-Rev. J. Thomson-Robert Monteith-The Loch-Its Sw-ans-Skatcrs--The Duddingston Thoro-The Argyle and Abercorn FamilisThe Earl of Mob-Lady Flon. HastingsCnuvin?s Hospica-Parson?s Grecn-St. Anlhonfs Chapel and Well-The Volunteer Renew before the Queen. TAKING up the history of the districts of the city in groups as we have done, we now come to Arthur?s Seat, which is already well-nigh surrounded, especially on the west and north, by streets and mansions. Towering to the height of 822 feet above the Forth, this hill, with the Craigs of Salisbury, occupies the greater portion of the ancient Sanctuary of Holyrood, which included the royal park (first enclosed and improved from a condition of natural forest by James V. and Queen Mary), St. Anne?s Yard and the Duke?s Walk (both now obliterated), the Hermitage of St. Anthony, the Hunter?s Bog, and the southern parks as far as Duddingston, a tract of five miles in circumference, in which persons were safe from their creditors for twenty-four hours, after which they must take out a Protectim, as it was called, issued by the bailie of the abbey ; the debtors were then at liberty to go where they pleased on Sundays, without molestation j but later legal alterations have rendered retirement to the Sanctuary to a certain extent unnecessary. The recent formation of the Queen?s Drive round the hill, and the introduction of the rifle ranges in the valley to the north of it, have destroyed the wonderful solitude which for ages reigned there, even in the vicinity of a busy and stormy capital. Prior to these changes, and in some parts even yet, the district bore the character which Arnot gave it when he wrote :-? Seldom are human beings to be met in this lonely vale, or any creature to be seen, but the sheep feeding on the mountains, or the hawks and ravens winging their flight among the rocks?: The aspect of the lionshaped mountain and the outline of the craig are known to every one. There is something certainly grand and awful in the front of mighty slope and broken rock and precipice, which the latter present to the city. Greenstone, which has been upheaved through strata surfaced with sandstone
Volume 4 Page 303
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