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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. V


Munayfield.] ROSEEURN HOUSE. 103 WHEN YOU WILL ENTER AT CHRIST HIS DOOR AYE MIND YOU THE ROOM TO THE POOR. frages of the Saints,? and is still used after vespers in all Roman Catholic churches, is a curious feature in a Scottish house of post-Reformation times. Westward of Coltbridge there is pointed out a spot where Cromwell?s forces occupied the rising ground in I 650, after his repulse before Edinburgh, and where he was again out-generalled by the gallant Sir David Leslie, whose army was posted by the Water of Leith and the marshy fields along its banks. Tradition assigns to R~seburn House the honour of having given quarters for that night to Oliver Cromwell, which is probable enough, as it is in the immediate vicinity of the position assumed by his army; and with this tradition the history, if it can be called so, of Roseburn ends. In levelling some mounds here, some few years since, ?some stone coffins were found,? says LINTEL AT ROSEBURN HOUSE. the portion of a legend, GOD KEIP OURE CROWNE, AND SEND GUDE SUCCESSION, and the date 1526. The other lintel is over an inner door, and has a shield with two coats of arms impaled : in the first canton are three rose-buds, between a chevron charged with mullets ; in the second canton are three fish, fess-wise ; in the panel are the initials M. R. and K. F. ; and underneath the legend and date, ? All my hoip is in ye Lord, I j62.? Why this house-the whole lower storey of which is strongly vaulted with massive stone-should be decorated with the royal arms, it is impossible to learn now, but to that circumstance, and perhaps to the date 1562, and the initials M. R., evidently those of the proprietor, may be assigned the unsupported local tradition, which associates it with the presence there of Mary and Bothwell j but the house was evidently in existence when the latter seized the former on the adjacent highway. According to Mr. James Thomson, the present occupant of Roseburn House, whose forefathers have resided in it for more than a century, tradition names one of the apartments ?Queen Mary?s room,? being, it is said, the room in which she slept when she lived there. The long legend, which is taken from the ? Suf. Daniel Wilson, ?and a large quantity of human bones, evidently of a very ancient date, as they crumbled to pieces on being exposed to the air ; but the tradition of the neighbouring hamlet is that they were the remains ot some of Cromwell?s troopers. Our informant,? he adds, ? the present intelligent occupant of Roseburn House, mentioned the curious fact that among the remains dug up were the bones of a human leg, with fragments of a wooden coffin, or case of the requisite dimensions, in which it had evidently been buried apart.? North-west of Coltbridge House and Hall lies Murrayfield, over which the town is spreading fast in the form ot stately villas. Early in the last century it was the property of Archibald Murray of Murrayfield, Advocate, whose son Alexander, a Senator of the College of Justice, was born, in 1736, at Edinburgh. Being early designed for the Bar, he became a member of the Faculty of Advocates in 1758, and three years after was appointed sheriff at Peebles. In 1765 he succeeded his father as one of the Commissaries of Edinburgh, and a few years after saw him Solicitor-General for Scotland, in place of
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104 OLD AND NEW EDINBURGH. [Beechwood. Henry Dundas, appointed Lord Advocate. After being Member for Peebles, he was raised to the bench, assuming the title of Lord Henderland, from an estate he possessed in that county. He was what is called a double-gowned Senator. He also held the office of Clerk of the Pipe in the Scottish Exchequer Court, an office which, through the interest of Lord Melville, was subsequently held by his sons. He died of cholera morbus in 1796. He saw much hard service during the American War of Independence, and was second in command at the battle of Guildford, when the colonists, under General Green, were defeated on the 15th of March, 1781. He commenced the action at the head of his division, the movements of which were successful on every point. ? I have been particularly indebted to Major-General Leslie for his gallantry and exertion, as well as his assistance in ROSEBURN HOUSE. Westward of Murrayfield, on the southern slope of Corstorphine Hill, is Beechwood, embosomed among trees, the beautiful seat of the Dundases, Baronets of Dunira and Comrie, Perthshire. It is said that it caught the eye of the Duke of Cumberland, when marching past it in 1746, and he remarked that ?it was the handsomest villa he had seen, and most like those in England.? In the last century it was the property and residence of Lieutenant-General the Hon. Alexander Leslie, Colonei of the 9th Regiment, brother of the 6th Earl of Leven and Melville, who began his military career as an ensign in the Scots Foot Guards in 1753, and attained the rank of Major- General in 1779. His mother was a daughter of Monypenny of Pitmilly, in Fifeshire. every other part of the service,? wrote Lord Cornwallis in one of his despatches. Leslie was appointed to the command of the 9th Foot on the 4th July, 1788, and from that time held the rank of Lieutenant-GeneraL In 1794, while second in command of the forces in Scotland, in consequence of a mutiny among the Breadalbane Highland Fencibles at Glasgow, he left Edinburgh with Sir James Stewart and Colonel Montgomerie (afterwards Earl of Eglinton) to take command of the troops collected to enforce order. By the judicious conduct of Lord Adam Gordon, the Commander-in-Chief, who knew enough of the recently raised regiment to be aware ? that Highlanders may be led, not driven,? an appeal to force was avoided, and the four ringleaders were brought
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