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Kay's Originals Vol. 1


BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 37 No. XIIL JAMES MACRAE, ESQ. JAMESM ACRAE, Esq., of Holmains, had the misfortune to obtain a celebrity, by no means enviable, as a duellist. He was a capital shot, and, it was said, obtained his proficiency by firing at a barber's block, kept by him for that purpose. In April 1790, the event occurred which had the effect of exiling him from his native land. The following account of the affair is taken from the #cots Magazine :- " DUEL BETWIXT SIR GEORGE RAMSAY AND MR. MACRAE. " On Wednesday the 7th of April, Captain Macrae, thinking himself insulted by a footman of Lady Ramsay's at the theatre, beat him severely. Mr. Macrae the next day met Sir George Ramsay in the street, when he told him he was sorry to have been obliged to correct a servant of his last night at the playhouse. Sir G. answered, the servant had been a short time with him, was Lady Ramsay's footman, and that he did not consider himself to have any concern in the matter. Mr. Macrae then said he would go and make an apology to Lady Ramsay, which he did. On Monday the 12th, the footman commenced an action against Mr. Macrae. On Tuesday the 13th, Mr. Macrae sent the following letter to Sir G. Ramsay :- " ' Marionville, Tuesday, 2 o'clock. " ' SIR-I received last night a summons, at the instance of James Merry, your servant, whose insolent behaviour to me at the theatre on Wednesday last I was obliged to punish severely, which was the reason of my not insisting on your turning him off; but as he has chosen to prosecute me, I must now insist that he shall either drop the prosecution, or that you shall immediately turn him off. As to his being Lady Ramsay's servant, it is of no consequence to me ; I consider you as the master of your family, and expect what I have now demanded shall be complied with. I am, sir, your humble servant, " ' JAMESM ACRAE. " Addressed, ' Sir George Ramsay, St. Andrew Square.' " Sir George returned the following answer :- " ' SIR-~ am just now favoured with your letter. I was ignorant that my servant had commenced a prosecution until your letter informed me. He meets no encouragement from me ; and I hope, on considering the matter farther, you will not think it incumbent on me to interfere in any respect, especially as the man at present is far from being well. I am, sir, yours, etc. 6' 6 Tuesday, half past three. U 6 GEORGREA MSAY.'
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