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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. VI


tioiis to Mr. Clerk as the author of the system, yet the family of that distinguished admiral, in his ? Memoirs,? maintain that no communication of Mr. Clerk?s plan was ever made to their relative. Sir Howard Douglas, too, has come forward in various publications to claim the merit of the maneuvre for his father, the late Admiral Sir Charles Douglas. The origin of the suggestion, however, appears to rest indisputably with Mr. Clerk, who died May 10, 1812, at an advanced age.? He was the father of John Clerk, Lord Eldin, already referred to in earlier portions of this work. Paper has long been extensively manufactured at Lasswade. Springfield, a mile and a half north of the Esk, is a hamlet, with a population of some hundreds, who are almost entirely paper-makers. It is situated in a sylvan dell remarkable for its picturesque beauty. In 1763 there were only three paper-mills in the neighbourhood of Edinburgh, and the quantity of paper made amounted to only 6,400 reams. There are now more than twenty mills in the county of Edinburgh, nine of which are on the North Esk, and nine on the Water of Leith. The first papermill was built at Lasswade about I 750 ; and by 1794 the labourers at it received and circulated in the village L3,ooo per annum. ? Mr. Simpson, the proprietor of two mills in this parish,? says the ? Statistical Account ? for the latter year, ? has the merit of being the first manufacturer in this country who has applied the liquor recommended by Berthollet in his new method of bleaching for the purpose of whitening rags.? He erected an apparatus for the preparation of it, and thus added greatly to the beauty and quality of the paper he produced.
Volume 6 Page 360
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