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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. IV


268 OLD ANI) NEW EDINBURGH [Candlemaker Row. and weekly thirty-two carriers put up in the same quarter. In that year the Candlemaker?s Row was the scene of a tragedy that excited great attention at the time-the slaughter of a noted ruffian named John Boyd, an inhabitant of the street, by Dr. Symons of the 51st or Edinburgh Regiment of Militia, on the night of the 2nd August, for which, after being out on bail under cf;~oo, he was brought before the High Court of Justiciary onacharge of murder. It would appear that about midnight Dr. Symons, after being at a dinnerparty in Buccleuch Place, was on his way through the Row to the Castle, accompanied by Lieutenant Ronaldson of the same regiment, when opposite Paterson?s Inn they were attacked by two men, one of whom, a notorious disturber of the peace, struck the doctor a blow behind the neck, and subsequently attempted to wrest his sword away, knocking him down and kicking him at the same time. Staggering to his feet,and burning with rage, the doctor drew In the open space referred to, eastward of Candlemaker Kow, Gordon of Rothiemay shows us (see p. 261) the ancient buildings known as the Society, forming an oblong quadrangle, lying east and west, with open ground to the north and south, the former sloping down to the Cowgate, and planted with trees. These buildings, the last of which -a curiously picturesque group, long forming the south-east quarter of what was latterly Brown TABLET ON THE CHAPEL OF ST. MARY MAGDALENE. (Frum a Photogva$h Zy A2rxaudw A. Ingtis.) his sword and pursued his assailant down the Row to Merchant Street, when a fresh struggle ensued, and Boyd was run through the body and left bleeding in the gutter, where he was found dead, while the doctor was totally ignorant that he had injured him so severely. The generally infamous character of the deceased being proved, the Lord Justice Clerk, Charles Hope, summed up to the effect, ? that the charge of murder was by no means brought home to the prisoner j that what he had done was altogether in self-defence, and the matural impulse of the moment, from being attacked, beaten, knocked down, and grievously insulted.? The jury returned a verdict of (? Not Guilty,? and the doctor was dismissed from the bar, and lived long years after as a practitioner in the country. Square - were only removed when Charnbers Street was made in 1871, and were , built by a society of brewers established in 1598. It was built upon a piece of ground that belonged of old to the convent of Sienna (at the Sciennes), and was a corporation for the brewing of ale and beer, commodities which have ever been foremost among the staple productions of Edinburgh, and the name of ?Society? accorded to that quarter, remained as a- tradition of the ancient company long after it had passed away. An Englishman who visited Edinburgh in 1598, wrote :-?? The Scots drink pure wines, not with sugar as the English j yet at feasts they put comfits in the wine, after the French manner, but they had not our vintners? fraud to mix their wines. I did never see nor hear that they have any public inns; but the better sort of citizens brew ale, their usual drink, which will distemper a stranger?s body.? The usual allowance of ale at table then, was a chopin, equal to about an imperial pint, to each person. Though Edinburgh ale is still famous, private brewing is no longer practised. A curious fragment of the old town wall was built into the southern edifices of the Society, and portions of them may remain, where an old established inn once stood, long known as the HoZe in fht WaU.
Volume 4 Page 268
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