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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. V


Restalrig. ] THE MARIONVILLE TRAGEDY. 141 lution, and brought him to the ground by a mortal wound. As usual on such occasions, Consternation and distress reigned supreme j the passionate Macrae was sincerely afflicted, and it was with difficulty that Sir William Maxwell could prevail A very unfavourable view was taken of Macrae?s conduct. It was alleged that for some time before the duel he was wont to practise at a barber?s block in the garden at Marionville, and that he had pistols of a peculiar and very deadly character; CRAIGANTINNIE HOUSE. upon him to quit the field. Sir George lingered for two days, when he expired. Macrae?s days of pleasure at Marionville were ended for ever. He fled to France, and for a time took up his residence at the H8tel de la Dauphine, in Pans. The event created a great sensation in Edinburgh society. Macrae left behind him a son and daughter. As Sir George Ramsay was childless, the baronetcy went to his brother William both of which were vulgar rumours, as he was without such weapons, and those used in the duel were a clumsy old brass-mounted pair that belonged to Captain Amory, who bore testimony that Macrae, as they journeyed together to the land of exile, never ceased to bewail the fate of his friend, and that he took so obstinate a view of the valet?s case. Macrae and Amory reached France ; a summons was issued for the trial of the former, but as he
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142 OLD AND NEW EDINBURGH. [Restalrig. did not appear, sentence of outlawry was passed upon him. Meanwhile the servant?s action went on, but was not determined till February, 1792, and though the evidence proved in the clearest manner that he had been the aggressor, the sheriff and Court of Session alike awarded damages and expenses. Macrae lived in France till the progress of the French Revolution compelled him to retire to Altona. In July, 1792, the widow of his antagonist became the wife of Lieutenant Duncan Campbell of the Guards. When time had softened matters a little at Edinburgh, he began to hope that he might return home j but it was decided by counsel that he could not. Ir was held that his case was without the extenuating circumstances that were necessary, and that it seemed he had forced on the duel in a spirit of revenge; so, in the end, he had to make up his mind to the bitterness of a life-long exile. ?A gentleman of my acquaintance,? says Robert Chambers, ?who had known him in early life in Scotland, was surprised to meet him one day in a Parisian coffee-house, after the peace of 1814-the wreck or ghost of the handsome sprightly man he had once been. The comfort of his home, his country, and friends, the use of his talents to all these, had been lost, and himself obliged to lead the life of a condemned Cain, all through the one fault of a fiery temper.? This unfortunate gentleman died abroad on the 16th of January, 1820. In the immediate vicinity of Restalrig are Piershill barracks and the hamlet of Jock?s Lodge, now absorbed into the ,eastern suburb of Edinburgh. The locality is on the plain immediately under the eastern base of Arthur?s Seat, yet scarcely a mile from the sandyshore of the Firth of Forth, and independently of the attractions of growing streets and villas in the vicinity, is rich in scenery of a pleasing nature. Jock?s Lodge, long a wayside hamlet, on the lonely path that led to the Figgate Muir, is said to have derived its name from an eccentric mendicant known as Jock, who built unto himself a hut :there ; and historically the name appears first in 1650, during the repulse of Cromwell?s attack upon Edinburgh. ? The enemy,? says Nicol, ?? placed their whole horse in and about Restalrig, the foot at that place callit Jokis Lodge, and the cannon at the foot of SJisbury Hill, within the park dyke, and played with their can?lon against the Scottish leaguer lying in St. Leonard?s Craigs.? In 1692, it would appear from the Privy Council Register, that the post-boy riding with the mdil-bag on its last stage from England, was robbed ?near the place called Jock?s Lodge,? at ten o?clock at night on the 13th August by a mounted man armed with a sword and one on foot armed with pistols, who carried off the bag and the boy?s horse ; LIOO reward was offered, with a free pardon to informers ; but many such robberies were the result of political complications. In 1763 the same crime occurred again. The Edinburgh &Iuseunz for that year records that on the night of th6 11th November the post-boy who left the General Post Office was attacked at Jock?s Lodge by a man who knocked him off his horse, mounted it, and rode off with the mail-bags. On recovering, the boy went to the house of Lord Elliock, at Jock?s Lodge, and went in pursuit with some .of the senator?s servants, who found the robber in a ditch that bordered a field, cutting up the bags and opening the letters. He was secured and taken to the house of Lord Elliock, who communicated with the authorities, and the man was brought by the city guard to the Tolbooth, when he was discovered to be Walter Grahani, a workm-? n at Salisbury Craigs, who had been sentenced to death for housebreaking in 1758, but been pardoned on condition of transportation for life. There died in the hamlet here, in November, 1797, Mrs. Margaret Edgar, daughter of John Edgar of Wedderlie, relict of Louis Cauvin, teacher of French in Edinburgh, mother of the founder of the adjacent hospital which bears his name. Rear-Admiral Edgar died in 1817-last of the Edgars of Wedderlie in Berwickshire, a family dating back to I I 70. Here is one of the oldest toll-bars in the neighbourhood of Edinburgh. About the middle of the last century Colonel Piers, who commanded a corps of horse in Edinburgh, occupied a villa built on the higher ground overlooking Restalrig, and a little way north of the road at Jock?s Lodge. In the Cowant for February, 1761, it is described as being a house suited for a large- family, with double coach-house and stabling for eight horses ; and for particulars as to the rent, application was to be made to hlr. Ronald Crawford, the proprietor, who names it Piershill House. This villa occupied the exact site of the present officers? quarters, a central block of the spacious barracks for two regiments of cavalry, built there in 1793 from stones excavated at Craigmillar, in the same quarry that furnished materials for the erection of George Square and the Regent Bridge. Tnese barracks form three sides of a quadrangle, presenting a high wall, perforated by two gateways, , I ,
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