Edinburgh Bookshelf

Kay's Originals Vol. 1


344 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. . shortly after, and recognising the shoes, brought one of them in his hand into the hawing-room, and presenting it to another of the guests, Mr. John Bachan, Writer to the Signet, who was of very diminutive stature, said to him-" Hae, Johnny, there's a cradle for you to sleep in." The personal history of Mr. Osborne affords few particulars either peculiar or interesting. His father, Alexander Osborne, Esq., Comptroller of Customs at Aberdeen, and who died there in 1785, was a gentleman of even greater dimensions than his son. After having filled an inferior appointment for some years at one of the outports, Mr. Osborne obtained the office of Inspector-General and Solicitor of Customs. He was subsequently appointed one of the Commissioners of the Board ; and, latterly, on the reduction made in that establishment, retired upon a superannuated allowance. Mr. Osborne was never married ; and, being of frugal habits, he amassed a considerable fortune, and made several landed purchases. Besides a pretty extensive tract of land in Orkney, he was proprietor of a small estate in Ayrshire. Gogar Bank, a few miles west of Edinburgh, belonged to him, where he had a summer house, and a very extensive and excellent garden. Here he often contemplated building a handsome villa, but the design was never carried into execution. Xlr. Osborne died about the year 1830, at the advanced age of seventy-four ; and it is understood the bulk of his property was bequeathed to a gentleman of the west country. He lived at one time in Richmond Street ; but latterly, and for a considerable number of years, in York Place. The small figure to the left represents the late MR. RONALDSON of the Post Office. He was one of the least men of the regiment, but a very zealous volunteer. He is placed in the same Print with Osborne, in order to record an anecdote of Sergeant Gould. In forming a double from a single rank, at a squad drill, Francis became Osborne's rear man. Poor Francis was never seen ; and Gould, addressing the next man, continued to call out-" Move to the right, sir ; why the devil don't you cover 1" Little Francis at length exclaimed, with great na;ivet&'' I can't cover-I do all I can !" Mr. Ronaldson was Surveyor of the General Post Office, which situation he held for upwards of forty years. He was a most active, spirited little personage, and remarkably correct in the management of his official department. He kept a regular journal of his surveys, which, on his demise, was found to have been brought up till within a few days of his death. In private life, Ronaldson was exceedingly joyous, full of wit and anecdote, and was withal a man of rare qualifications. He had also some claims to a literary character. He was a votary of the muses, and a great collector of fugitive pieces. He left upwards of two dozen volumes of Xcraps--culled principally from newspapers-consisting of whatever seemed to him valuable or curious. He was also deeply versed in divinity j and, strange as it may appear,
Volume 8 Page 481
  Enlarge Enlarge  
Volume 8 Page 482
  Enlarge Enlarge