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Kay's Originals Vol. 1


226 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. near Portobello. Being, however, unable to compete with the English manufacturers, the speculation proved unsuccessful. Mr. M'DowaIl entered the Town Council in 1775, and in politics took the same side as his friend Sir James Hunter Blair. He was several times in the magistracy ; and, before his retirement, was offered the Provost's chair, which he prudently declined, in consequence of the depressed state of his manufactory. He was a very public-spirited man, and devoted much of his time to the improvement of the city. The eldest, after being unsuccessful as a merchant, settled in Van Diemen's Land, where he obtained a grant of land, which he has denominated, after that of his ancestor, the estate of Logan. For two of his sons Mr. M'Dowall obtained appointments in the East India Company's Service. One of them (Colonel Robert) was nearly thirty years in India, during which time he distinguished himself at the siege of Seringapatam, and on various other occasions-particularly in the surprise and complete dispersion of above 3000 Pindaries-for which he received the thanks of the Governor-General in Council, and of the Court of Directors. He afterwards was at the capture of Tavoy and Mergui, of which he was appointed Governor ; but was unfortunately killed, in command of two brigades of native infantry, at the conclusion of the Burmese war. The other son who went to India (Mr. TNilliam), after being about twenty years in the Madras Medical Establishment, returned to Edinburgh, taking up his residence at Bellevue Crescent. Two other sons of Mr. M'Dowall entered the mercantile, and his youngest son (Charles) the legal profession as a Writer to the Signet. In the back-ground the Lord Provost (Sir James Hunter Hair) is represented as busily employed in digging and shovelling out the earth ; while Mr. Hay, Deacon of the Surgeons, and L most violent anti-leveller, is as eagerly engaged in shovelling it back again. Mr. Hay was a leader of the opposition in the Council. This civic squabble gave birth to various local effusions j and, among others, to a satirical poem in Latin doggerel, entitled "Streeturn Eclinense, carmen Macaronicum,'ll-in which Mr. Hay is made to sustain a prominent part. After alluding to the zeal displayed in the matter by Sir James Hunter Blair, and just at the moment that assent has been given to the measure by the Councillors present, the Deacon is represented as bursting into the Council Chamber, backed by a posse of anti-levellers, and in a harangue of most uncouth hexameters, declaims against the project, and dares his brethren to carry it into effect. Mr. M'Dowall died December 1816, leaving six sons. ' 1 This mock-heroic poem was the joint production of the late Mr. Smellie, printer, and of Mr. Little of Liberton. It will be found in " Kerr's Memoira of Smellie."
Volume 8 Page 318
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