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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. IV


382 OLD AND NEW EDINBURGH. [Gregfriars Church. encroaching on one not fit to be touched ! The whole presents a scene equally nauseous and unwholesome. How soon this spot will be so surcharged with animal juices and oils, that, becoming one mass of corruption, its noxious steams will burst forth with the prey of a pestilence, we shall not pretend to determine ; but we will venture to say, the effects of this burying-ground would ere now have been severely felt, were it not that, besides the coldness of the climate, they have been checked by the acidity of the coal smoke and the height of the winds, which in the neighbourhood of Edinburgh blow with extraordinary violence.? h o t wrote fully a hundred years ago, but since his time the interments in the Greyfriars went on till within a recent period. George Buchanan was buried here in 1582, under a through-stone, which gradually sank into the earth and disappeared. The site, distinctly known in 1701, is now barely remembered by tradition as being on the north slope of the churchyard; but a monument in the ground, to the great Latin scholar and Scottish historian, was erected by the late great bibliopole, David Laing, so many years Librarian of the Signet Library, at his own expense. An essential feature in the memorial is a head of Buchanan in bronze, from the best likeness of him extant. The design was furnished by D. W. Stevenson, A.R.S.A. Taking some of the interments at, random, here is the grave of George Heriot (father of the founder of the adjacent hospital), who died in 1610; of George Jameson, the Scottish Vandyke, who died in 1644; and of Alexander Henderson, 1646, the great covenanting divine, and leading delegate from Scotland to the Westminster Assembly, and the principal author of the Assembly?s Catechism. His ashes lie under a square pedestal tomb, erected by his nephew, and surmounted by a carved urn. There are long inscriptions on the four sides. John Milne?s tomb, 1667, Royal Master Mason @y sixth descent), erected by his nephew, .Robert Milne, also Royal Master Mason, and builder of the modem portions of Holyrood House, records in rhyme how- ? John Milne, who maketh the fourth John, And, by descent from father unto son, Sixth Master Mason to a royal race Of seven successive kings, sleeps in this place.? It is a handsome tomb, with columns and a pediment, and immediately adjoins the eastern or Candlemaker Row entrance, in the formation of which some old mural tombs were removed; among them that of Alexander Millar, Master Tailor to James VI., dated 1616--Xiit Pnkcz$s et Civium Zucfu decotafus, as it bore. A flat stone which, by 1816, was much sunk in the earth, dated 1613, covered the grave of Dr. John Nasmyth, of the family of Posso, surgeon of the king of France?s troop of Scottish Guards, who died in London, but whose remains had been sent to the Greyfriars by order of James VI. The tomb of Sir George Mackenzie of Rosehaugh- the celebrated lawyer, and founder of the Advocates? Library, and who, as a persecutor, was so ahhorred by the people that his spirit was supposed to haunt the place where he lies-is a handsome and ornqte octagon temple, with eight pillars, a cornice, and a dome, on the southern side of the ground, and its traditional terrors we have already referred to. But other interments than his have taken place here. One notably in 1814, when the widow of Lieutenant Roderick Mackenzie of Linessie was, at her own desire, laid there, ?in the tomb of the celebrated Sir George Mackenzie, who was at the head of the Lochslin family, and to whom, by the mother?s side, she was nearly related.? (GenfZeman?s Mng., 1814.) Near it is the somewhat remarkable tomb of William Little, whilom Provost of Edinburgh in 1591. He was Laird of Over Liberton, and the tomb was erected by his great-grandchild in 1683. His kinsman, Clement Little, Advocate and Commissary of Edinburgh, whose meagre library formed the nucleus of that of the university, is also buried here. It is a mausoleum, composed of a recumbent female figure, with a pillar-supported canopy above her, on which stand four female figures at the several corners. The popular story is that the lady was poisoned by her four daughters, whose statues were placed over her in eternal remembrance of their wickedness; but the effigies are in reality those of Justice, Charity, Faith, &c., favourite emblematical characters in that age when the monument was erected; and the object in placing them there was merely ornamental. Here are interred Archibald Pitcairn, the poet, 1713, under a rectangular slab on four pillars, with an inscription by his friend Ruddiman, near the north entry of the ground; Colin MacLaurin, the mathematician, 1746; and William Ged, the inventor of stereotype printing. Here was worthy and gentle Allan Ramsay committed to the grave in 1758, and the just and u p right Lord President Duncan Forbes of Culloden, elevenyears before that time. Another famous Lord President, Robert Blair of Avontoun, was laid here in 1811. Here, too, lie the two famous Monros, father and
Volume 4 Page 382
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