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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. V


Beechwood.] SIR ROBERT DUNDAS OF BEECHWOOD. 105 to the Castle of Edinburgh under a strong escort of their comrades. General Leslie, and Lieutenant MacLean the adjutant, having accompanied this party a little way out of Glasgow, were, on their return, assailed by a mob which sympathised with the Highlanders and accused them of being active in sending away the prisoners. The tumult increased, stones were thrown ; General Leslie was knocked down, and he and MacLean had to seek shelter these documents were not formally executed, were confused in their terms, and good for nothing in a legal sense, Mrs. Rutherford of Edgerstoun very generously fulfilled to the utmost what she conceived to be the intentions of her father. Sir Robert Dundas, Bart., of Beechwood, like the preceding, figures in the pages of Kay. He was one of the principal Clerks of Session, and Deputy Lord Privy Seal of Scotland. He was born in June, 1761, and was descended from the Dundases BEECHWOOD. in the house of the Lord Provost till peace officers came, and a company of Fencibles. One of the mutineers was shot, by sentence of a court-martial. The others were sent to America. On his way back to Edinburgh General Leslie was seized with a dangerous illness, and died at ' Beechwood House on the 27th of December, '794. No will could be found among the General's repositories at Beechwood, and it was presumed that he had died intestate. However, a few days after the filneral, two holograph papers were discovered, bequeathing legacies to the amount of L7,ooo among some of his relations and friends, particularly .&I,OOO each to two natural daughters. Although 110 of Amiston, the common ancestor of whom was knighted by Charles I., and appointed to the bench by Charles 11. Educated as a Writer to the Signet, he was made deputy-keeper of Sashes, and in 1820 a principal Clerk of Session. He was one of the original members of the old Royal Edinburgh Volunteers, of which corps he was a lieutenant in 1794. He purchased from Lord Melville the estate of Dunira in Perthshire, and succeeded to the baronetcy and the estate of Beechwood on the death of his uncle General Sir David Dundas, G.C.B., who was for some time Commander-in-Chief of the forces. Sir Robert died in 1835. A winding rural carriage-way, umbrageous and
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106 OLD AND NEW EDINBURGH. [Ravelston. shady with wood, strikes from the Murrayfield Road northward past the ancient and modem houses of Ravelston. The latter is a large square-built mansion ; the former is quaint, gable-ended and crowstepped, and almost hidden among high old walls and venerable trees. In the ? Burgh Records,? under date I 5 I I, the Quarry at Ravelston appears to have been let to Robert Cuninghame, by ? William Rynde, in the name and behalf of John Rynde, clerk, prebender of Ravelston,? with the consent of the magistrates and council, patrons of the same. On the old house are two lintels, the inscriptions on which are traceable. The first date is doubtless that of its erection ; the second of some alteration or repair. GF-NE QUID NIMIS. 1622. J B. These are the initials of George Foulis of Ravelston and Janet Bannatyne his wife. The other is on a beautiful mantelpiece, now built up in the old garden as a grotto, and runs thus, but in one long line :- The first over the enpance bears, IM. AR. 1624. YE . ALSO . AS . LIVELY . STONES . ARE . BUILT . AS , A SPIRITVAL . HOVSE.-I PETER. The tomb of George Foulis of Ravelston was in the Greyfriars Churchyard, and the inscription thereon is given in Latin and English in Monteith?s ? Theatre of Mortality, 1704.? He is styled that excellent man, George Foulis of Ravelstoun, of the noble family of Colintoun, Master of the king?s mint, bailie of the city of Edinburgh, and sixteen years a Councillor. He died on the 28th of May, 1633, in his sixty-fourth year. The death and?burial are also recorded ol ?I his dearest spouse, Janet Bannatyne, with whom he lived twenty-nine years in the greatest concord.? It was one of these daughters that Andrew Hill, a musician, was tried for abducting, on the 4th of September, 1654. One of the many specific charges against this person, is that with reference to the said Marian Foulis, daughter of Foulis of Ravelston : ?he used sorceries and enchantments -namely, roots and herbs-with which he boasted that he could gain the affection of any woman he pleased,? and which he used to this young lady. ?The jury acquitted him of sorcery, strange to record in those times, ? as a foolish boaster of his skill in herbs and roots for captivating women,? but condemned him for the abduction ; and while the judges delayed for fifteen days to pass sentence he was so eaten and torn by vermin in prison that he died ! In 1661 John Foulis of Ravelston was created a baronet of Nova Scotia The tomb records that he left six daughters. In his notes to ?Waverley,? Sir Walter Scott refers to the quaint old Scottish garden of Ravelston House, with its terraces, its grass walks, and stone statues, as having, in some measure, suggested to him the garden of Tullyveolan. The baronetcy of Ravelston was forfeited by the second who bore it, Sir Archibald, who was beheaded for adherence to Prince Charles, at Carlisle, in I 746, and the lineal representatives of the line are the Foulises, Baronets of Colinton, who represent alike the families of Colinton, Woodhall, and Ravelston. The second baronet of the latter line, who was, says Burke, the son of the first baronet?s eldest son, George Primrose Foulis, by whom the lands of Dunihac, were inherited in right of his mother Margaret, daughter of Sir Archibald Primrose, and mother of the first Earl of Rosebery, bore the designation of Sir Archibald Primrose of Ravelston, whose family motto was 27iure etjure. In time the lands of Ravelston were acquired by the Keith family, and in 1822, Alexander Keith of Ravelston and Dunnottar, Knight-Marischal .of Scotland, was created a baronet by George IV. during his visit to Edinburgh. Dying without issue in 1832, the title became extinct, and the office of Knight-Marischal passed to the Earl of Erroll as Lord High Constable of Scotland. No. 43 Queen Street was the town residence of the Keith family at the time of the royal visit. A writer in BZackwood?s Magazine, on oldfashioned Scottish society, refers to Mrs. Keith of Ravelston, thus :- ?? Exemplary matrons of unimpeachable morals were broad in speech and indelicate in thought, without ever dreaming of actual evil. So the respectable Mrs. Keith of Ravelston commissioned Scott, in her old age, to procure a copy of Mrs. Behn?s novels for her edification. Shk was so shocked on her first attempt at a perusal of them, that she told him to take ? his bonny book away.? Yet, she observed, that when a young woman she had heard them read aloud in a company that saw no shadow of impropriety in them. And whatever were the faults of old Scottish society, with its sins of excess and its shortcomings in refinement, there is no disputing that its ladies were strictly virtuous, and that such slips as that of the heroine of ? Baloo, my Boy,? were so rare as to be deemed worthy of recording in rhymes. So the reformation of manners was as satisfactory as it was easy, since the foundations of the new superstructure were sound.? From Ravelston a rural road leads to Craigcrook Castle, which for thirty-four years was the
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