Edinburgh Bookshelf

Old and New Edinburgh Vol. V


The Grange.! GRANGE HOUSE. 49 ?The chapel of St. Roque,? says Wilson, ?? has not escaped the notice of the Lord Lyon King?s eulogist, among the varied features of the landscape that fill up the magnificent picture as Marmion rides under the escort of Sir David Lindesay to the top of Blackford Hill, in his approach to the Scottish camp, and looks down on the martial array of the kingdom, covering the wooded Links of the Burghmuir. James IV. is there represented as occasionally wending his way to attend mass at the neighbouring chapels of St. Katharine or St. Roque j nor is it unlikely that the latter may have been the scene of the monarch?s latest acts of devotion, ere he led forth that gallant array to perish around him on the field of Flodden.? In the ?Burgh Records,? 15th December, 1530, we find that James Barbour, master and governor of ?the foul folk on the mure? (i.e., the peststricken), had made away with the goods and clothes of many that were lying in the chapel of St. Roqui; and that all who had any claims to make should bring them forward on a given day; but if the clothes proved of small value, they were to be burned or given to the poor. In 1532 the provost and bailies, ?moved by devotion, have, for the honour of God and his Blissit Mother, Virgen Mane, and the holy confessour Sanct Rok,? for prayers to be said for the souls of those that lie in the said kirk and kirkyard, granted to Sir John Young, the chaplain thereof, three acres of the Burghmuir, with another acre to build houses upon; for which he and his successors were bound to keep the chapel in repair, and its slates and ? glaswyndois ? watertight. These acres are described in the ? Records ? as lying between the land of James Makgill on the west, and of William Henderson on the east, Braid?s Burn on the south, and the common passage of the Muir (ie., the Grange Loan) on the north. Early in the present century, by a new proprietor, ? the whole of this interesting and venerable ruin was swept away as an unsightly encumbrance to the estate of a retired trades. man.? Close by, a tombstone from its burying-ground long remained at the corner of a thatched cottage in the Loan. It bore the date 1600. Others were to be found in the adjacent boundary walls. Now villas are springing up fast between the Loan and Blackford Hill, which in altitude is 698 feet above the level of the sea, and of which Scott says, in ?? Marmion?.:- ?Blackford ! on whose uncultured breast, A truant boy, I sought the nest, Or listed as I lay at rest ; While rose on breezes thin The murmur of the city crowd : And, from his steeple, jingling loud, Among the broom, and thorn, and whin, St. Giles?s mingling din.? The tiends and tithes of the Burghmuir belonged of old to the abbey of Holyrood, but this did not prevent the acquisition of its fertile acres by private proprietors, or their transference to different ecclesiastical foundations. The great parish church of the city had at the earliest period of its existence as chief clergyman an official styled the Vicar of St. Giles?s, who possessed an interest in a farmhouse called St. Giles?s Grange, which has given the name of The Grange to all the pleasant suburb around where once it stood. In 1679, William Dick of Grange succeeded Janet McMath, his mother, relict of William Dick of Grange, in the lands of St. Giles?s Grange, and eighteen arable acres of the Sciennes. Before the Grange House was enlarged by the late Sir Thomas Dick Lauder, it presented, in the early part of the present century, as shown by Storer, the appearance of a plain little castellated house, with only three chimneys and one circular turret. Of old it was the patrimony of the Dicks, from whom it went to the Lauders; and in the Register of Entails for 1757, we find Mrs. Isabel Dick of Grange, and Sir Andrew Lauder of Fountainhall, her husband, entailing the lands and estate of Grange. They were cousins. He was the fifth baronet of the old and honourable line of Lauder, and she was the only child and heiress of William Dick of Grange, whose arms, argent a fesse wavy, azure, between three mullets gules, were thenceforward quartered with the rampant griffin of the Lauders. She died in the old Grange House in 1758; and there also died her mother, in 1764, ?Anne Seton, relict of William Dick of Grange: and eldest daughter of Sir Alexander Seton of Pitmedden, some time senator of the. College of Justice.? (Edinburgh Advertiser, Vol. I.) Her sister Jean died in the same house four years after. Dr. William Robertson, the historian and preacher, resided in the old Grange House in the later years of his life, and there his death occurred, on the I I th June, I 7 93- It was after the succession of Sir Thomas Dick Lauder, a well-known Zittirateur in Edinburgh society, who, early in life, was an officer of the Cameron Highlanders, that the Grange House was enlarge<, 103
Volume 5 Page 49
  Shrink Shrink   Print Print