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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. VI


222 OLD AND NEW EDINBURGH. rLeith He adds that the most striking feature is the curiously decorated doorway, an ogee arch, filled in with rich Gothic tracery, surmounting a square lintel, finished with the head of a lion, which seems to hold the arch suspended in its mouth. ?On either side is a sculptured shield, on one of which a monogram is cut, characterised by the usual inexplicable ingenuity of these riddles, with the date 1631.? The other shield bears, 1st and 4th the lion rampant, 2nd and 3rd a ship, a smaller shield with a chevron, and a motto round the whole, Sic Pvit est Et erit. The monogram is distinctly the four initial fetters of John Stewart, Earl of Carrick. The arms, says Wilson, are neither those of Lord Balmerino, ?? nor of his ancestor, James Elphinstone (Lord Coupar), to whom the coroneted ?C? might be supposed to refer. The Earls of Crawford are also known to have had a house in Leith, but the arms in no degree correspond with those borne by any of these families.? On the 13th September, ~643, John, Earl of Carrick, sold the house and grounds to John, Lord Balmerino, whose family retained it as a residence till the attainder of the last peer in 1746. In 1650, during the defence of the city against Cromwell, Charles II., after being feasted in the Parliament House on the 29th of July, ?thairafter went down to Leith,? says Nicoll, in his ?Diary,? ? t o &e ludging belonging to the Lord Balmerinoch, appointit for his resait during his abyding in Leith.? Balfour records in his ?Annals ? that Anna Kerr, hdow of John, Lord Balmenno, second sister of Robert, Earl of Somerset, Viscount Rochester, ? deprted this lyffe at Leith,? on the 15th February, 1650, and was solemnly interred at Restalrig. The part borne in history by Arthur, sixth and last lord of this family, is inseparably connected with the adventures of Prince Charles Edward. He .was born in the year of the Revolution, and held a captain?s commission under Queen Anne in Vis- -count Shannon?s Foot, the 25th, or Regiment of Edinburgh, This he resigned to take up arms under the Earl of Mar, and fought at Sheriffmuir, after which he, entered the French service, wherein he remained till the death of his brother Alexander, who, as the Gentfernan?s Magazine records, expired at Leith in October, 1733. His father, anxious for his retum home, sent him a free pardon from Government when he was residing at Berne, in Switzerland, but he would not accept it until ? he had obtained the permission of James VIII. to do so ; ?? after which, the twenty years? exile returned, and was joyfiully received by his aged father. When Prince Charles landed in the memorable year, 1745, Arthur Elphinstone was among the first to join him, and was appointed colonel and captain of thc second troop of Life Guards, under Lord Elcho, attending his person. He was at the capture of Carlisle, the advance to and retreat from Derby, and was present with the Corps de Reserve at the victory of Falkirk. He succeeded his brother as Lord Balmerino on the 5th January, 1746, and was taken prisoner at Culloden, committed to the Tower, and executed with the Earl of Kilmarnock in the August of the same year. His conduct at his death was marked by the most glorious firmness and intrepidity. By his wife, Margaret (whom we have referred to elsewhere), daughter of Captain Chalmers of Leith, he left no issue, so the male line of this branch of the house of Elphinstone became extinct. His estates werC confiscated, and the patronage of the first &arge of South Leith reverted to fhe Crown. In 1746, ?? Elizabeth, dowager of Balmerino? (widow of James, fifth lord), applied by petition to ?? My Lords Commissioners of Edinburgh? for the sum of A97 ss., on the plea U that your petitioner?s said deceast lord having died on the 6th day of January, I 746, the petitioner did aliment his ?family from that time till the Whitsunday thereafter.? And the widow, baroness of Arthur-decdatus-was reduced to an aliment of forty pounds a year, ?graciously granted by the House of Hanover,? adds Robertson, who, in a footnote, gives us a touching little letter of hers, written in London on the day after her husband?s execution, addressed to her sister, ME. Borthwick. In 1755 the house and lands of Balmerino were purchased by James, Earl of Moray, K.T., from the Scottish Barons of Exchequer, and six months afterwards the noble earl sold them to Lady Baird of Newbyth. She, in r762, was succeeded by her brother, General St. Clair ot St. Clair ; and after being in possession of Lieutenant-General Robert Horne EIphinstone of Logie-Elphinstone, the Leith property was acquired by William Sibbald, merchant there, for ?LI1475. The once stately mansion was now subdivided, and occupied by tenants of the humblest class, until it was acquired by the Catholic Bishop of Edinburgh in 1848, for the purpose of erecting a chapel an4 schools, for the sum of ;61,8oo. On thewest sideof the Kirkgate, the first old edifice of note was the Block House of St. Anthony, built in 1559, adjoining St. Anthony?s Port, and in the immediate vicinity of St. Anthony?s Street and Lane. This is the edifice which Lindsay, in his When Chronicles,? confounds with the ?? Kirk.?
Volume 6 Page 221
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