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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. IV


lies directly at the south-eastern base of Arthur's Seat, and has long'been one of the daily postal districts of the city. Overhung by the green slopes and grey rocks ok Arthur's Seat, and shut out by its mountainous mass from every view of the crowded city at its further base in Duddingston, says a statist, writing in 1851, a spectator feels himself sequestered from the busy scenes which he knows to' be in his immediate vicinity, as he hears their distant hum upon the passing breezes by the Willow Brae on the east, or the gorge of the Windy Goule on the south; and he looks southward and west over a glorious panorama of beautiful villas, towering , ' From the style of the church and the structure of its arches, it is supposed to date from the epoch of the introduction of Saxon architecture. A semicircular arch of great beauty divides the choir from the chancel, and a Saxon doorway, with fantastic heads and zig-zag mbuldings, still remains in the southern face of the tower. The entrance-gate to its deep, grassy, and sequestered little buryingground, is still furnished with the antique chain and collar of durance, the terror of evildoers, named the jougs, and a time-worn Zouping-on-stone, for the use of old or obese horsemen. Some interesting tombs are to be found in the burying-ground ; among these are the marble obelisk castles, rich coppice, hill and valley, magnificent in semi-tint, in light and shadow, till the Pentlands, or the 1 on e 1 y Lam m er m u i r ranges, close the distance. The name of this hamlet and parish has been a vexed subject amongst antiquaries, but as a surname it is not unknown in Scotland : thus, among the missing charters of Robert Bruce, there is one to John Dudingstoun of the lands of Pitcorthie, in Fife; and among the gentlemen GATEWAY OF DUDDINGSTON CHURCH, SHOWING TIIE JOUCS AND LOUPING-ON-STONE. slain at Flodden in I 5 I 3 there was Stephen Duddingston of Kildinington, also in Fife. Besides, there is another place of the same name in Linlithgowshire, the patrimony of the Dundases. The ancient church, with a square tower at its western end, occupies a green and rocky peninsula that juts into the clear and calm blue loch. It is an edifice of great antiquity, and belonged of old to the Tyronensian Monks of Kelso, who possessed it, together with the lands of Eastern and Western Duddingston ; the chartulary of that abbey does not say from whom they acquired these possessions, but most probably it was from David I. Herbert, first abbot of Kelso, a man of great learning and talent, chamberiain of the kingdom under Alexander I. and David I., in 1128, granted the lands of Eastern and Western Duddingston to Reginald de Bosco for an annual rent of ten marks, to be paid by him and his heirs for ever. erected to the memory of Patrick Haldane of Gleneagles by his unfortunate grandson, whose fate is also recorded thereon; and that of James Browne, LLD., Advocate, the historian of the Highlands and Highland clans, in the tower of the church. In the register of assignations for the minister's stipends in the year 1574, presented in MS. by Bishop Keith to the Advocates' Library, Duddingston is said to have been a joint dependence with the Castle of Edinburgh upon the Abbey of Holyrood. The old records of the Kirk Session are only of the year 1631, and in the preceding year the lands of Prestonfield were disjoined from the kirk and parish of St. Cuthbert, and annexed to those of Duddingston. On the r8th'of May, 1631, an aisle was added to the church for the use of the Laird of Prestonfield, his tenants and servants. David Malcolme, minister here before I 741, was an eminent linguist in his time, whose writings were commended by Pinkerton, and quoted with respect by Gebelin in his Monde Plillit$ and Bullet in his Mkmoirrs Celtiques; but the church is chiefly famous for the incumbency of the Rev. John Thomson, a highly distinguished landscape painter, who from his early boyhood exhibited a strong predilection for art, and after being a pupil of Alexander Nasmyth, became an honorary member of the Royal Scottish Academy. He became
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ROBERT MONTEITH. . 3?5 Duddingston.] incumbent of Duddingston in 1805. His favourite subjects were to be found in the grand and sublime of Nature, and his style is marked chiefly by vigour, power, and breadth of effect-strong light and deep shadow. As a man and a Christian minister, his life was simple, pure, and irreproachable, his disposition kind, affable, and benevolent. He died of apoplexy in 1840, in his sixty-second year. The city must have had some interest in the loch, as in the Burgh accounts for 1554 we read:- ?? Item : twa masons twa weeks to big the Park Dyke at the loch side of Dudding?ston, and foreanent it again on Priestfield syde, ilk man in the week xv?. summa iijIi. (?Item : for ane lang tree to put in the wall that lyes far in the loch for outganging of ziyld beistis v?.? ? (? Burgh Records.?) The town or lands of Duddingston are included in an act of ratification to James, Lord Lindsay of the Byers, in 1592. In the Acts of Sederunt for February, 1650, we find Alexander Craig, in-dweller in the hamlet, pilloried at the Tron of Edinburgh,. and placarded as being a ? lying witness ? in an action-at-law concerning the pedigree of John Rob in Duddingston; but among the few reminiscences of this place may be mentioned the curious hoax which the episcopal incumbent thereof at the Restoration played upon Cardinal de Retz. This gentleman, whose name was Robert Monteith, had unfortunately become involved in an amour with a lady in the vicinity, the wife of Sir James Hamilton of Prestonfield, and was cpmpelled to fly from the scene of his disgrace. He was the son of a humble man employed in the salmon-fishing above Alloa ; but on repairing to Paris, and after attaching himself to M. de la Porte, Grand Prior of France, and soliciting employment from Cardinal de Retz, he stated he was ?one of the Monteith family in Scotland.? The cardinal replied that he knew the family well, but asked to which branch he belonged. ?To the Monteiths of Salmon-net,? replied the unabashed adventurer. The cardinal replied that this was a branch he had never heard of, but added that he believed it was, no doubt, a very ancient and illustrious family. Monteith was patronised by the cardinal, who bestowed on him a canonry in Notre Dame, and made him his secretary, in which capacity he distinguished himself by his elegance and purity, in the French language. This strange man is author of a well-known work, published in folio, entitled, ? Hisfoa?re des TroubZes de &andBretap, depuis Z?an 1633 juspu?a Z?an 1649, pur Robed Menfet de Salmonet. It was dedicated to the Coadjutor Archbishop of Pans, with a portrait of the author; and a trans- . lation of it, by Captain James Ogilvie, was published in 1735 by G. Strachan, at the ?Golden Ball,? in Cornhill. In the year of the Revolution we find the beautiful loch of Duddingston, as an adjunct to the Royal Park, mentioned in a case before the Privy Council on the 6th March. The late Duke of Lauderdale having placed some swans thereon, his clever duchess, who was carrying on a legal contest With his heirs, deemed herself entitled to take away some of those birds when she chose; but Sir James Dick, now proprietor of the %ch, broke a lock-fast place in which she had put them, and set them once more upon the water. The irate dowager raised an action against him, which was decided in her favour, but in defiance of this, the baronet turned all the swans off the loch ; on which the Duke of Hamilton, as Heritable Keeper of the palace, came to the rescue, as Fountainhall records, alleging that the loch bounded the King?s Park, and that all the wild animals belonged to him ; they were, therefore, restored to their former haunts. Of the loch and the landsof Priestfield (orPrestonfield), Cockburn says, in his ?Memorials? :-?I know the place thoroughly. The reeds were then regularly . cut over by means of short scythes with very long handles, close to the ground, and this (system) made Duddingston nearly twice its present size? Otters are found in its waters, and a solitary badger has at times provoked a stubborn chase. The loch is in summer covered by flocks of dusky coots, where they remain till the closing of the ice excludes them from the water, when they emigrate to the coast, and return With the first thaw. Wild duck, teal, and water-hens, also frequent it, and swans breed there prolifically, and form one of its most picturesque ornaments. The pike, the perch, and a profusion of eels, which are killed by the barbed sexdent, also abound there. In winter here it is that skating is practised as an art by the Edinburgh Club. ?The writer recalls with pleasure,? says the author of the ?Book of Days,? ?skating exhibitions which he saw there early in the present century, when Henry Cockburn, and the philanthropist James Sipson, were conspicuous amongst the most accomplished of the club for their handsome figures and great skill in the art. The scene of that loch ? in full bearing J on a clear winter day, with its busy and stirring multitude of sliders, skaters, and curlers, the snowy Paris, 166 I.?
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