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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. V


The Water of Leith.] DANIEL STEWART. 67 with sword and sash, wig and cocked hat, queue and ruffles. After looking at him steadily, but sadly, the figure melted away; and, as usual with such spectral appearances, it is alleged young Nisbet was shot at the same moment, in an encounter with the colonists. In 1784 the Dean House was the residence of Thomas Miller, Lord Barskimming, and Lord Justice Clerk. In 1845 it was pulled down, when the ground whereon it had stood so long was acquired by a cemetery company, and now-save the sculptured stones we have described--no relic remains of the old Nisbets of Dean but their burial place at the West Church-a gloomy chamber of the dead, choked up with rank nettles and hemlock. By 1881 the old village of Dean was entirely cleared away. Near its centre stood the blacksmith?s forge of Robert Orrock, who was indicted for manufacturing pikes for the Friends of the People in 1792. He and his friend, Arthur McEwan, publican in Dean Side, Water of Leith village, were legally examined at the time, and it is supposed that many of the pikes were thrown into the World?s End Pool, below the waterfall at the Damhead. South of the smithy was the village school, long taught by ? auld Dominie Fergusson.? North of it stood the old farmhouse and steading of the Dean Farm, all swept away like the quaint old village, which?was wont to be a bustling place when the commander-in-chief of the forces in Scotland tenanted the Dean, and mounted orderlies came galloping up the steep brae, and often reined up their horses at the ?Speed the Plough? alehouse, before the stately gate. Somewhere in the immediate vicinity of this old village a meeting-house was erected in 1687 for the Rev. David Williamson, of St. Cuthbert?s, who was denounced as a rebel, and intercommuned in 1674 for holding conventicles, but was sheltered secretly in the Dean House by Sir Patrick Nisbet. In 1689 he was restored to his charge at the West Church, and was one of the commissioners sent to congratulate King William on his accession to the throne. Now all the site of the village and farms, and the land between them and the Dean Bridge, is covered by noble streets, such as Buckingham Terrace and Belgrave Crescent, the position of which is truly grand. In 1876 a movement was se: on foot by the proprietors of this crescent, led by Sir James Falshaw, Bart, then Lord Provost, which resulted in the purchase of the ground between it and the Dean village, at a cost of about A5,ooo. In that year it was nearlyall covered by kitchen gardens, ruinous buildings, and brokendown fences. These and the irregularities of the place have been removed, while the natural undulations, which add such beauty to the modem gardens, have been preserved, and the plantations and walks are laid out with artistic effect, The new parish church-which was built in 1836, in the Gothic style, for accommodation of the inhabitants of the Water of Leith village1 and those of the village of Dean-stands on the western side of the old Dean Path. Farther westward is Stewart?s Hospital, built in 1849-53, after designs by David Rhind, at a cost of about ~30,000, in a mixture of the latest domestic Gothic, with something of the old castellated Scottish style. It comprises a quadrangle, about 230 feet in length by IOO feet in minimum breadth, and has two main towers, each 120 feet high, with several turrets. Mr. Daniel Stewart, of the Scottish Exchequer, who died in 1814, left the residue of his property, amounting (after the erection and endowment of a free school in his native parish of Logieraitj to about ;G13,000, with some property in the old town, to accumulate for the purpose of founding a hospital for the maintenance of boys, the children of honest and industrious parents, whose circumstances do not enable them suitably to support and educate their children at other schools. Poor boys of the name of Stewart and Macfarlane, resident within Edinburgh and the suburbs, were always to have a preference. The age for admission was to be from seven to ten, and that for leaving at fourteen . The Merchant Company, as governors, taking advantage of the powers given them by the provisional order obtained in 1870, opened the hospital as a,day school in the September of that year. The education provided is of a very superior order, qualifying the pupils for commercial or professional life, and for the universities. The course of study includes English, Latin, Greek, French, German, and all the usual branches, including drill, fencing, and gymnastics. The Orphan Hospital at the Dean was erected in 1833, after elegant designs by Thomas Hamilton, at a cost of A16,000, in succession to the older foundation, which we have already described as standing eastward of the North Bridge, on the site of the railway terminus. It comprises a large central block, with two projecting wings, a portico of Tuscan columns, and two light, elegant quadrangular towers with arches, and has within its clock-turret on the summit of its front the ancient clock of the Nether Bow Port. Its white facade stands boldly and pleasingly
Volume 5 Page 67
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