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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. VI


307 - Trinity.] EASTER AND WESTER PILTON. Now Trinity possesses a great number of handsome villas in intersecting streets, a railway station, and an Episcopal chapel called Christ Church, which figured in a trial before the law courts of Scotland, that made much noise in its time-the Yelverton case. At Wardie, not far from it, there died, in only his thirty-eighth year, Edward Forbes, who, after being a Professor in King?s College, London, was appointed to the chair of Natural History in the University of Edinburgh in May, 1854. He was a man of distinguished talent and of an affectionate nature, his last words being ? My own wife 1 ? when she inquired, as he was dying, if he knew her. Soon after she contracted a marriage with the Hon. Major Yelverton, whose battefy of artillery had just returned from Sebastopol, and was quartered in Leith Fort. The marriage took place in the little church at Trinity, and was barely announced before the Major was arrested on a charge of bigamy by the late Miss Theresa Longworth, with whom he had contracted, it was averred, an irregular marriage in Edinburgh. Before this she had joined the Sisters of Chanty at T?arna, and lived a life of adventure. Not satisfied with the Scottish marriage, they went through another ceremony before a Catholic priest in Ireland, where the ceremony was declared legal, and she was accepted as Mrs. Yelverton. She then endeavoured to prove a Scottish marriage, by habit and repute, residence at Circus Place, and elsewhere, but judgment was given against her by the late Lord Ardmillan, and after twenty years of wandering all over the world, writing books of travel, she died at Natal in September, 1881, retaining to the last the title of Viscountess, acguired on old Lord Avonmore?s death. Horatio Macculloch, R.S.A., the well-known landscape painter, lived latterly in a villa adjoining Trinity Grove, and died there on the 15th June, 1867. In 1836 some plans were prepared by Messrs. Grainger and Miller, the eminent Edinburgh engineers, and boldly designed for the construction of a regular wet dock at Trinity, with a breakwater outer harbour of twenty acres in extent, westward of Newhaven pier and the sunken rock known as the West Bush ; but the proposal met with no support, and the whole scheme was abandoned. On the noble road leading westward to Queensfeny there was completed in April, 1880, near the head of the Granton thoroughfare, a Free Church for the congregation of Granton and Wardie, which, since its organisation in 1876, under the Rev. P. C. Purves, had occupied an iron building near Wardie Crescent. The edifice is an ornament to the swiftly-growing locality. The relative proportions of the nave, aisles, and transepts, are planned to form a ground area large enough tg accommodate the increasing congregation, and galleries can be added if required. This area is nearly all within the nave, and is lighted by the windows of the clerestory, which has flying buttresses. The style is Early English, the pulpit is of oak on a stone pedestal. This church has a tower seventy-five feet high, and arrests the eye, as it stands on a species of ridge between the city and the sea. Ashbrook, Wardieburn House, and other handsome mansions, have been erected westward, and ere long the old farmsteading of Windlestrawlee (opposite North Inverleith Mains) will, of course, disappear. It is called ?? Winliestraley ? in Kincaid?s ?? Local Gazetteer? for 1787, and is said to take its name from ?? windlestrae (the name given to crested dogstail grass- Cynosurus prisfatus), and applied in Scotland to bent and stalks of grass found OII moorish ground.? An old property long known as Cargilfield, lay to the north-east of it, and to the westward are Easter and Wester Pilton, an older property still, which has changed owners several times. On the 16th of May, 1610, Peter Rollock, of Pilton, had a seat on the bench as Lord Pilton. He had no predecessor. He had been removed, when Bishop of Dunkeld (in 1603), says Lord Hailes, that the number of extraordinary lards might be reduced to four, and he was restored by the king?s letter, with a special proviso that this should not be precedent of establishing a fifth extraordinary lord. The lands-or a portion thereof -afterwards became a part of the barony of Royston, formed in favour of Viscount Tarbet; but previous to that had been in possession of a family named Macculloch, as Monteith in his ? Theatre of Mortality,? inserts the epitaph upon the tomb on the east side of the Greyfriars Church, of Sir Hugh Macculloch, of Pilton, Knight, descended from the ancient family of Macculloch of CadbolI. He died in August, 1688, and the stone was erected by his son James. About I 780 Pilton became the property of Sir Philip Ainslie, whose eldest daughter Jean was married there, in 1801, to Lord Doune, eldest son of the Earl of Moray-a marriage that does not appear in the ?Peerages ? generally, but is recorded in the Edinburgh HeruZd for that year. She was his second wife, the first being a daughter of General Scott of Bellevue and Balcomie. Lord Doune then resided, and for a few years before, in the old Wrightshouse, or ?? Bruntsfield Castle,? as it is
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308 OLD AND NEW EDINBURGH. [Granton. called in the Herar?d for 1797-9 in its announcements of the purchase of the buildings for the erection of Gillespie?s Hospital. In one of the villas at Boswell Road, Wardie, immediately overlooking the sea, Alexander Smith the well-known poet and essayist, author of the ?? Life Drama,? which was held up to Continental admiration in the Reuue des Deux Mondes, ? City Poems,? ?? Dreamthorpe,? and other works, and whom we have already mentioned in the account in the western part of Royston and the adjacent lands of Wardie, both above and below the tide mark, and that when fuel was scarce, the poor even went to carry the coal away; also that a pit was sunk in Pilton wood in 1788, but was abandoned, owing to the inferiority of the coal. In the links of Royston there are vestiges of ancient pits. Bower mentions that a great ?carrick? of the Lombards was shattered on the rocks at Granton, MAP OF GRANTON AND NEIGHBOURHOOD. of Warriston Cemetery, resided for many years, and there he died on the 5th of January, 1867. The Duke of Buccleuch is proprietor of Caroline Park, and has at his own expense raised erections which will attract shipping to the incipient town and seaport of Granton, and lead to the speedy construction of another great sea-port for Edinburgh, to which it will soon be joined by a network of streets ; in many quarters near it these are rising fast already. But before describing its stately eastern and western piers, we shall glance at some of the past history of the locality. In the ?Old Statistical Account,? we find it stated, that there are appearances of coal on the sea-side, in October, 1425, where, curiously enough, some ancient Italian coins were found not long ago. The place at which the English army landed in 1544, and from there they began their march on Leith, was exactly where Granton pier is now. In an account of the late ? Expedition in Scotland, sente to the Ryght Honorable Lord Russell, Lorde Privie Seale, from the kings armye there by a friend of hys,? the landing is described thus (modernised), and is somewhat different from what is generally found in Scottish history. ?That night the whole fleet came to anchor under the island of Inchkeith, three niiles from the houses of Leith. The place where we anchored hath long been called the English R0a.d; the
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