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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. IV


316 OLD AND NEW EDINBURGH. [Doddingston. hills around glistening in the sun, the ring of the ice, the shouts of the careering youth, the rattle of the curling-stones, and the shouts of the players, once heard and seen, would never be forgotten.? It was to Duddingston, in 1736, that the fugitive, ? Geordie Robertson,? the stabler at Bristo Port, after effecting that escape from St. Giles?s Church by the generous courage of Wilson, which led to the catastrophe of the Porteous mob, and after passing through the East Cross Causeway, Not far from it, and nearly opposite the gate of the Manor House, stood for ages a memorable thorn, known as Queen Mary?s Tree. It was one of the oldest in Scotland, and of great proportions, being over nine feet in circumference. It formerly stood within the park, but on widening the carriageway, it remained outside, and many fissures being found in its root, they were filled up with lime and stone by order of the road trustees ; but too late: a storm in 1840 tore it up by the roots. A DUDDINGSTON LOCH. took his breathless flight. When reaching the village, he fainted from exhaustion, but after receiving some refreshment-the first he had obtained for three days-he procured a horse, rode away, and was never heard of again. Western Duddingston, at the north end of the loch, was once a populous village, wherein some forty looms were at work in the Loan, making a coarse linen stuff, then known as Duddingston hardings. It is surrounded by gardens and plantations, and in it is still shown the house in which Prince Charles slept, with his staff, on the night before he marched to Prestonpans. It was then thatched, but has now a tiled roof, and consists of two storeys. well-known and justly-reputed statist, who resided in the neighbourhood, ascertained that the Duddingston Thorn existed so far back as the reign of Alexander I. (IIO~), when it was one of the landmarks of the property on which it grew. It is mentioned in the title-deeds of the Abercorn estate, and hence the desire of the family to preserve a precise knowledge of the spot where it stood. The barony of Duddingston, which comprehends the greatest part of the whole parish, was long in possession of a family named Thomson, created baronets ot Nova Scotia, 1636, in the person of Sir Thomas Thomson of Duddingston, by CharlesI. Sir William Thomson-his son, probably-was a
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Duddingston.] DUDDINGSTON HOUSE 317 Commissioner for the Plantation of Kirks and Valuation of Benefices in 1672; but the title is now extinct, and in 1674 the barony had become the property of the atrocious Duke of Lauderdale, from whom it passed with a daughter of his first duchess, as pin money, to her husband, Archibald, tenth earl, and first Duke of Argyle. This lady was Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Lionel Talmash of Helingham, and her mother was the daughter and heiress of William Murray, Earl of mansion house upon it. It was completed in 1768, from designs furnished by the architect of Somerset House, in the Strand, Sir William Chambers, the son of Scottish parents, but born in Stockholm in 1726. It cost ~30,000, and is an elegant edifice .of a somewhat Grecian style, surrounded by plantabons, canals, and gardens, but in a situation too low for any extensive vien-. Duddingston House was for years the favourite residence of Francis, Earl of Moira, a veteran of PRINCE CHARLIE?S HOUSE, DUDDINGSTON. (From Uu Engraving in I& Roxburgh Edition of ?? Waverky,?? puhlirkrd b9 Mesm. A. & C. BZack.1 Dysart. The celebrated John and Archibald, successively Dukes of Argyle, passed much of their time here, and it is said received most of their education from their mother, who resided constantly in this, then, secluded village prior to 1734 In 1745 Duddingston was sold by Archibald, Duke of Argyle, to James, Earl of Abercorn, whose ducal descendants still hold it; but if was not until 1751 that this beautiful and valuable estate was subdivided, enclosed, and improved by James, the eighth earl, who built commodious farmhouses, planted hedgerows and coppice in places where the land, prior to 1746, rented at only ten shillings per acre ! In 1763, after the estate had been thoroughly enclosed, the earl began to build the present the American War, who, in 1803, was appointed Commander-in-chief in Scotland, where he was long deservedly popular with the people, and where he married, in 1804, Flora Mina Campbell (in herown right), Countess of Loudon, who was the first, north of the Tweed, to introduce those laconic invitation cards now so common, and the concise style of which-? The Countess of Loudon and Moira at Home?-so puzzled the Edinburgh folk to whom they wete issued. On the 14th of June, 1805, one of these ?At Homes ? is thus noticed in a print of the day :- . ?On Friday evening the Countess of Loudon and Moka gave a grand fSte at Duddingston House, to receive three hundred of the nobility and gentry in and about the city-among whom
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