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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. VI


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
Volume 6 Page 308
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