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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. V


A , k i t h Walk.] JOHNNIE WILKES? himself in her bedroom, ?with the intention of carrying off a sum of money after she fell asleep. But the noise of opening her desk awoke her; he, for fear of detection, seized a knife which by accident lay there, and mangled her throat so dreadfully that she died next day. He then leaped from a window of the second storey, but fractured one of his legs so much in the fall that he was unable to walk, and sustained himself for several days, eating peas and turnips, until his hiding-place was discovered He afterwards graced the gibbet in Leith Walk, where his body hung for many a long year.? In more than one instance on the King?s birth- BRWNSTME HOUSE. day the effigy of Johnnie Wilkes,? that noted demagogue, Lord Mayor of London and English M.P., who made himself so obnoxious to the Scots, figured at the Gallow Lee. The custom, still prevalent in many parts of the country, and so dear to the Scottish schoolboy, of destroying his effigy with every indignity on the royal birthday, is first mentioned, we believe, in ?? Annals of the Reign of George 111.f 1770. But when only fields and green coppice lay between the city and the seaport, the gibbet at the Gallow Lee, with its ghastlyadditions,must have formed a gloomy object amid the smiling urban landscape. IN the beginning of the present century fields and nursery grounds chiefly bordered Leith Walk, CHAPTER XVI. LEITH WALK (concZdd). respectively Trotteis, Jollie?s, Ronaldson?s, and King?s Buildings-had been erected, with long open
Volume 5 Page 157
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