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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. V


Braid.] THE LANDS OF BRAID. 41 the city on the south, and directly overlook Morningside. Their greatest altitude is 700 feet According to one traditional legend, these hills were the scene of ? Johnnie 0? Braidislee?s ? woeful hunting, as related in the old ballad. exposed to more than one military visitation from the garrison in Edinburgh Castle. Knox?s secretary records that on the 25th May twelve soldiers came to Braid, when the laird was at supper, and rifled the house of the miller. Braid appeared, but was treated with contempt, and was told that they would bum the house about his ears if he did not surrender to Captain Melville, who was one of the eight sons of Sir lames Melville of Raith, and his lady Helen Napier of Merchiston. Though called ? a quiet man,? the wrath of the laird was roused, and he rushed forth at the head of his domestics, the north bank of the latter stream, which meanders close to it, and which takes its rise in the bosom of the Pentlands, near the Roman camp above Bonally. It is a two-storeyed villa, with a pavilion roof CHRIST. CHURCH, MORNINGSIDE. armed with an enormous two-handed sword, and cut down one of the soldiers, who fired their hackbuts without effect, and were eventually put to flight. In the early part of the eighteenth century Braid belonged to a family named Brown, and a great portion of it in the present century had passed into the possession of Gordon of Cluny. between the Braid Hills and Blackford, stands the beautiful retreat called the Hermitage of Braid, on In a romantic, sequestered, and woody dell, 102 and little corner turrets, in that grotesque style of castellated architecture adopted at Gillespie?s Hospital, and is evidently designed by the same architect, though built about the year 1780. It was the property of Charles Gordon of Cluny, father of the ill-fated Countess of Stair, the once beautiful ?Jacky Gordon,? whose marriage was annulled in 1804, after which it frequently formed her solitary residence. It afterwards became the property of the widow of the late John Gordon of
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42 OLD AND NEW EDINBURGH. [Craiglockhart Cluny (who died recently in London), Lady Gordon-Cathcart of Killochan Castle, who has since sold it out of the family. On the hill above it, to the south, is the .farmhouse of Braid, in which died, of consumption, in 1790, Niss Burnet of Monboddo, so celebrated for her beauty, which woke the muse of Burns, as his verses show. Southward of Morningside lie the Plewlands, ascending the slope towards beautiful Craiglockhart Hill, now being fast covered with semi-detached villas, feued by the Scottish Heritages Company, surrounding a new cemetery, and intersected by the suburban line of railway. Here was built lately a great hydropathic establishment. The new city poor-house, erected at a cost of Aso,ooo, occupies, with the ground for cultivation, an area of thirty-six acres, has accommodation for more than 2,000 inmates, and is fitted up with every modem improvement conducive to health and comfort. This quzrter of Edinburgh is bounded by Craiglockhart Hill-the name of which is said to have been Cra&och-ard, with some reference to the great sheet of water once known as Cortorphin Loch. It is 546 feet in height, and richly wooded, and amid its rocks there breed the kestrel-hawk, the brown owl, the ring-ousel, and the waterhen. Among the missing charters of David 11. is one to James Sandiland, ? in compensation of the lands of Craiglokart and Stonypath, Edinburgh,? and another to ? James Sandoks (?) of the same lands.? On a plateau of the hill, embosomed among venerable trees, we find the ancient Craig House, a weird-looking mansion, alleged to be ghosthaunted, lofty, massive, and full of stately rooms, when in old times dances were stately things, ?? in which every lady walked as if she were a goddess, and every man as if he were a great lord.? It is four storeys in height, including the dormer windows j the staircase tower rises a storey higher, and has crowstepped gables. On the lintel of the moulded entrance door are the initials S. C. P., and the date 1565. During the reign of James VI. we find it the abode of a family named Kincaid, cadets of the Kincaids of that ilk in Stirlingshire, as were all the Kincaids of Warriston and Coates. From Pitcairn?s ?? Criminal Trials,? it would seem that on the 17th December, 1600, John Kincaid of the Craig House, attended by a party of friends and followers, ?bodin in feir of weir,? i.e., clad in armour, with swords, pistols, and other weapons, came to the village of the Water of Leith, and attacked :he house of Bailie John Johnston, wherein Isabel Hutcheon, a widow, ?was in sober, quiet, and peaceable manner for the time, dreading nae evil, narm, or injury, but living under God?s peace and 3ur sovereign lord?s.?? Kincaid burst in the doors, and laying hands on :he said Isabel, carried her off forcibly to the Craig House, at the very time when the king was riding in the fields close by, with the Earl of Mar, Sir John Ramsay, and others. James, on hearing of the circumstance, sent Mar, Ramsay, md other of his attendants, to Craig House, which :hey threatened to set on fire if the woman was not instantly released. For this outrage Kincaid was tried on the 13th January, 1601, and was fined 2,500 marks, payable to the Treasurer, and he was dso ordered to deliver to the king ?his brown horse.? In 1604, Thomas, heir of Robert Kincaid, got m annual rent of Azo of land at Craiglockhart; 2nd two years after, John Kincaid, the hero of the brawl, succeeded his father, James Kincaid of that ilk, knight, in the lands of Craiglockhart. In 1609 he also succeeded to some lands at ?Tow-cros? (Toll cross), outside the West Port of Edinburgh. By a dispute reported by Lord Fountainhall, Craiglockhart seems to have been the property of George Porteous, herald painter, in I 7 I I. The house would seem then to have been repaired, and the north wing probably added, and the whole was let for a yearly rent of AIOO Scots. In 1726 Craig House was the property of Sir John Elphinstone, and in the early part of the present century it belonged to Gordon of Cluny. Prior to that, it had been for a time the property of a family named Lockhart, and there, on the 5th November, 1770, when it was the residence of Alexander Lockhart, Esq., Major-General John Scott of Balcomie and Bellevue was married to Lady Mary Hay, eldest daughter of the Earl of Err01 ; and their daughter and heiress, Henrietta, became the wife of the Duke of Portland, who added to his own name and arms those of the? Scotts of Balcomie. For some years prior to 1878, the Craig House was the residence of John Hill Burton, LL.D. and F.R.S.E., a distinguished historian and biographer, who was born at Aberdeen in 1809, the son of an officer of the old Scots Brigade, and who died in 188 I at- Morton House. We are told that his widowed mother, though the daughter of an Aberdeenshire laird, was left with slender resources, yet made successful exertions to give her children a good education. After taking the degree of M.A.
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