Edinburgh Bookshelf

Kay's Originals Vol. 1


Volume 8 Page 593
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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 427 and children, they would still be provided for ; and He who feeds the ravens would feed the young Mealmakers.” Mealmaker was the author of the ‘( Address,” for which Mr. Thomas Fyshe Palmer was transported in 1793 ; and appeared as a witness, although an involuntary one, at the trial. In a parody on the well-known Scots song of ‘‘ Fy, let us a’ to the weddin’ ” (written it is said, by Dr. Drennan), the author of the “ Catechism of Man,” as well as several of his contemporaries, are alluded to in a strain of tolerable humour. He died in exile. We only remember the following verses :- “ Fy, let u9 a’ to the meetin’, For mony braw lads will be there, Explaining the wrangs 0’ Great Britain, And pointing them out to a hair. “ An’ there will be grievances shown, That ne’er was kent aught thing about ; An’ there’ll be things set a-going, That’ll end in the devil, I doubt. The Reverend Neil Douglas I trow, Wha rowed frae Dundee in a pinnace, An’ left the Seceders to rue. “ An’ there will be Geordie Mealmaker, An’ twa three lads mair fi-ae the north ; An’ there will be Hastie, the baker, An’ Callander’s son 0’ Craigforth.’ ‘‘ An’ there will be Roqa cudgel teacher- A fit man for fechtin’ is he ! An’ there’ll be Donaldsoa the preacher, A noble Berean frae Dundee.” “ An’ there will be Laing and George Innes, A person of considerable notoriety iu his day, and son of the antiquary. He left Scotland when young, and remained upwards of twenty years abroad. Upon his succession to the Ardkinglaa estate, he dropped the name of Callander, and styled himself Sir James Campbell, Bart., although he had no right whatsoever to the title. While abroad he formed an acquaintance with a Madame Sassen, whom, in a power of attorney, he recognised as his wife ; and subsequently legal proceedings were adopted by her to establish a marriage, but without success. The lady, however, was found entitled to a considerable annuity in the Scotch Courts ; but her reputed husband having appealed to the House of Lords, the judgments in her favour were reversed. Nothing daunted by this discomfiture, Madame Sassen brought various other actions against Sir James, which were only terminated by the death of the partiea, which, remarkably enough, occurred within a fortnight of each other. Latterly the lady became as well known in the Parliament House, by her personal superintendence of her cases, as Andrew Nicol, or the famed Peter Peebles. Sir James published memoirs of his own life-a work not remarkable for the accnracy of its facts. He and a black man, named Rogerson, another teacher of the art of self-defence, fought in a large room in Blackfriars’ Wpd, on the 6th August 1791. after pummeling oue another for nu hour and a half, Ross gave in, at the same time claiming the battle, in consequence of foul blows. The tickets of admission were three shillings each ; and n large aum was collected. The parties were subsequently fined by the Magistrates, and bound over to keep the peace. A correspondent has favoured u9 with the following particulars relating to these two doughty heroes :- , “ George Ross waa originally bred s cloth merchant with the late Thomas Campbell, whose shop was in front of the Royal Exchange. We began to learn cudgelling with the yard-measures belonging to the shop. Ross was a pugilist. I had the honour of being s pupil of Ross.
Volume 8 Page 594
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