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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. IV


272 OLD AND NEW EDINBURGH. IArgyle square. Many professors succeeded Blair as tenants of the same house; among them, Alexander Chris tison, Professor of Humanity, between 1806 and 1820, father of the great chemist, Professor Sir Robert Christison, Bart. In the north-western extremity of the square was the mansion of Sir George Suttie, Bart. of that ilk, and Balgone in Haddingtonshire, who married Janet, daughter of William Grant, Lord the two squares which was described as prevailing in their amusements-tea-drinking and little fetes. at a time when manners in Edinburgh were starched, stately, and old-fashioned, as the customs and ideas. that were retained, when dying out elsewhere. On the east side of this square was the old Trades Maiden Hospital, a plain substantial edifice, consisting of a central block, having a great arched door, to which a flight of steps ascended, OLD HOUSES, SOCIETY, 1852. (From a Drawing by Gewp U'. Sim~o#.) Prestongrange ; and here also resided his son, Sir James, who, in 1818, succeeded his aunt, Janet Grant, Countess of Hyndford, as heir of the line of Prestongrange, and assumed thereby in consequence the additional name and arms of Grant. Their neighbour was Lady Mary Cochrane, dwghter of Thomas sixth Earl of Dundonald, who died unmarried at an old age. In 1795 among the residents in -4rgyle Square were Sir John Da!rymple, the Ladies Rae, Sutton (dowager), and Reay, Elizabeth Fairlie (dowager of George Lord Keay, who died in 1768). Isolated from the rising New Town on the north by. the great mass of the ancient city, and viewing it with a species of antagonism and rivalry, we may well imagine the exclusiveness of the little coteries in and wings, with a frontage of about 150 feet. It was intended for the daughters of decayed trades men, and was a noble institution, founded in 1704 by the charitable Mrs. Mary Erskine, the liberal contributor to the Merchant Maiden Hospital, and who was indeed the joint foundress of both. In 1794 fifty girls were maintained in the hospital, paying AI 13s. 4d. on entrance, and receiving when they left it a bounty of ;E5 16s. 69d., for then its revenue amounted to only A600 per annum. In the process of making Chambers Street this edifice was demolished, and the institution removed to Rillbank near the Meadows. It stood immediately opposite Minto House, a handsome and spacious edifice on the north side of the square, forty-five feet square, on the slope
Volume 4 Page 272
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