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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. V


Inverleith.] THE ROYAL BOTANIC GARDENS. 47 arrangement of British plants according to the Natural System ; a general collection of the hardy plants of all countries, and a series of medicinal plants. There are also a collection of European plants, according to the Linnzean System, and an extensive arboretum, a rosery, and splendid parterres ; a winter garden, museum, lecture-room, and library; a magnetic observatory and aquarium; with a construction of terraced rockeries, 190 feet long, by IZO wide. ranged geographically, so as to enable the students to examine the flora of the different countries ; and there is a general arrangement of flowering plants, illustrating the orders and genera of the entire world. There is likewise a grouping of cryptogamic plants, and special collections of other plants, British, medicinal, and economical. The usual number 01 students in the garden in summer averages about 300, and the greatest WARRISTON HOUSE. A public arboretum, comprising about thirty acres, along the west side of the Botanic Gardens, was obtained for A18,408 from the city funds, and ~16,000 from Government, This was sanctioned by the Town Council in 1877; and this large addition to the original garden was opened in April, 1881, and Inverleith House became the official residence of the Regius Keeper. Students have ample facilities for studying the plants in the garden; the museum is open at all times to them, and the specimens contained in it are used for illustrating the lectures. The University Herbarium is kept in the large hall, and can be consulted under the direction of the professor of botany, or his assistant. In it the plants are ar- 109 number is above 500. The fresh specimens of plants used for lectures and demonstrations averages above 47,300. By agreement, it has been provided that the arboretum, mentioned above, should be placed under the Public Parks Regulations Act of 1872, and be maintained in all time coming by the Government. The trustees of both Sir William Fettes and Mr. Rocheid were bound to provide proper accesses, by good roads and avenues, to the ground and to give access by the private avenue leading from St. Bernard?s Row to Inverleith House. Another avenue was also stipulated for, which was to join the road from Inverleith Place, westward to Fettes College.
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98 OLD AND NEW EDINBURGH. [WaniStolL The cost to the Government of fencing in the -ground, planting, &c., up to May, 1881, was A6,000, while the purchase of Inverleith House entailed a further expenditure ot &$,g50. In the garden are several fine memorial trees, planted by the late Prince Consort, the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Edinburgh, and others. Mr. James M?NabwaslongtheCuratoroftheRoyal I Botanic Gardens, and till his death, in November, 1878, was intimately associated with its care and, progress. The sou of William M?Nab, gardener, a native of Ayrshire, he was born in April, 1814, and five weeks later his father was appointed Curator of the Edinburgh Botanic Garden in Leith Walk. On leaving school James adopted the profession of his father, and for twelve consecutive years worked in the garden as apprentice, journeyman, and foreman, from first to last con urnore, gaining a thorough knowledge of botany and arboriculture, and, by a variety of experiments, of the best modes of heating greenhouses. In 1834 he visited the United States and Canada, and the results of his observktions in those countries appeared in the ?Edinburgh Philosophical Journal? for 1835, and the ? Transactions ? of the Botanical Society. On the death of his father in December, 1848, after thirty-eight years? superintendence of the Botanic Garden, Mr. James M?Nab was appointed to the Curatorship by the Regius Professor, Dr. Balfour. At that time the garzen did not consist of more than fourteen imperial acres, but after a time two more acres were added, and these were planted and laid out by Mr. M?Nab. A few years after the experimental garden of ten acres was added to the original ground, and planted with conifers and other kinds of evergreens. The rockery was now formed, with 5,442 compartments for the cultivation of alpine and dwarf herbaceous plants. Mr. M?Nab was a frequent contributor to horticultural .and other periodicals, his writings including papers, not only on botanical subjects, but on landscapegardening, arboriculture, and vegetable climatology. He was one of the original members of the Edinburgh Botanical Society, founded in 1836, and in 1872 was elected President, a position rarely, if ever, held by a practical gardener. In 1873 he delivered his presidential address on ? The effects of climate during the last half century on the tultivation of plants in the Botanic Garden of Edinburgh, and elsewhere in Scotland,? a subject which excited a great deal of discussion, the writer having adduced facts to show that a change had taken place in our climate within the period given. Few men of his time possessed a more thorough know!edge of his profession in all its . departments, and to his loving care and enthusiasm it is owing that the Botanic Garden of Edinburgh is now second to none. On the east side of Inverleith Row lies the ancient estate of Warriston, which has changed proprietors quite as often as the patrimony of the Touris and Rocheids. Early in the sixteenth century Warriston bglonged to a family named Somerville, whose residence crowned the gentle eminence where now the modem mansion stands. It must, like the house of h e r - leith, have formed a conspicuous object from the once open, and perhaps desolate, expanse of Wardie Muir, that lay between it and the Firth of Forth. From Pitcairn?s ? Criminal Trials ? it would a p pear that on the 10th of July, 1579, the house or fortalice at Wamston was besieged by the Dalmahoys of that ilk, the Rocheids and others, when it was the dwelling-place of William Somerville. They were ?pursued? for this outrage, but were acquitted of it and of the charge of shooting pistolettes and wounding Barbara Barrie. By 1581 it had passed into the possession of the Kincaids, and while theirs was the scene of a dreadful tragedy. Before the Lords of the Council in that year a complaint was lodged by John Kincaid, James Bellenden of Pendreich, and James Bellenden of Backspittal, ? all heritable feuars of the lands of Waristown,? against Adani Bishop of Orkney, as Commendator of Holyrood, who had obtained an Act of the Secret Council to levy certain taxes on their land which they deemed unjust or exorbitant ; and similar complaints against the same prelate were made by the feuar of abbey land at St. Leonard?s. The complainers pleaded that they were not justly indebted for any part of the said tax, as none of them were freeholders, vassals, or sub-vassals, but feuars only, subject to their feu-duties, at two particular terms, in the year. Before the Council again, in 1583, John Kincaid of Warriston, and Robert Monypenny of Pilrig, a p peared as caution for certain feuars in Broughton, in reference to another monetary dispute with the same prelate. In I 591, Jean Ramsay, Lady Warriston, probably of the same family, was forcibly abducted by Robert Cairncross (known as hleikle Hob) and three other men, in the month of March, for which they were captured and tried. The year 1600 brings us to the horrible tragedy to which reference was made above in passing. John Kincaid of Warriston was married to a very handsome young woman named Jean Livingston, the daughter of a man of fortune and good
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