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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. VI


240 OLD AND NEW EDINBURGH. [Leith is in the Gothic style, with a tower 130 feet high, surmounted by an open crown. On the east side of this street, and near its northern end, stood the house in which John Home, the author of ?( Douglas ? and other tragedies, was born, on the 13th September, 1724. His father, Alexander Home, was Town Clerk of Leith, and his mother was Christian Hay, daughter of a writer in Edinburgh. He was educated at the Grammar School in the Kirkgate, and subsequently succeeded in carrying Thomas Barrow, who had dislocated his ankle in the descent, to Alloa, where they were received on board the YuZture, sloopofwar, commanded by Captain Falconer, who landed them in his barge at the Queen?s Ferry, from whence Home rFturned to his father?s house in Leith. Subsequently he became the associate and friend of Drs. Robertson and Blair, David Hume, Adam Fergusson, Adam Smith, and other eminent Ziterati ST. JAMES?S CHAPEL, 1820. (Aftcr Stow.) at the university of the capital. His father was a son of Home of Flass (says Henry Mackenzie, in his ? Memoirs ?1, a lineal descendant of Sir James Home of Cowdenknowes, ancestor of the Earls of Home. He was licensed by the Presbytery of Edinburgh on the 4th of April, in the memorable year 1745, and became a volunteer in the corps so futilely formed to assist in the defence of Edinburgh against Prince Charles Edward Serving as a volunteer in the Hanoverian interest, he was taken prisoner at thevictory of Falkirk, and committed to the castle of Doune in hlonteith, from whence, with some others, he effected an escape by forming ropes of the bedclothes-an adventure which he details in his own history of the civil strife. They of whom the Edinburgh of that day could boast ; and in 1746 he was inducted as minister at Athelstaneford, his immediate predecessor being Robert Blair, author of ? The Grab-e," and there he produced his first drama, founded on the death of Agis, King of Sparta, which Gamck declined when offered for representation in I 749. In 1755 Home set off on horseback to London from his house in East Lothian, with the tragedy of ?Ilouglas? in his pocket, says Henry Mackenzie. ?? His habitual carelessness was strongly shown by his having thought of no better conveyance for this MS.-by which he #vas to acquire all the fame and future success of which his friends were so confident-than the pocket of the great- .
Volume 6 Page 240
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