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Kay's Originals Vol. 1


430 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. The Guard-House, situated in the very centre of the main street, was unquestionably both an eye-sore and an inconvenience. For many years it had been regarded as a nuisance j and Fergusson merely expresses the general feeling when he says, in the name of the‘Causey :- ‘‘ Wad it not fret the hardest stane, Beneath the Luckenbooths to grane ? Though magistrates the Cross discard, It mak’sna when they leave the Guard- A lumbersome an’ stinkin’ Kggid- That rides the sairest on my riggin,”’ In 1785, it was resolved that the obnoxious building should cease to exist ; and, in consequence, the City-Guard took up their rendezvous in the New Assembly Room, in what is now called the Commercial Bank Close.’ The proprietors of that portion of the city, alarmed at the proximity of the ‘‘ Town Rats,” took a protest, and presented a bill of suspension on the subject. The following notice of this proceeding occurs in the Scots Magazine :- “On Saturday, Nov. 19 (1785), a bill of suspension was presented to the Court of Session, inname of the proprietors of houses in the New Assembly Close, Edinburgh, praying for an interdict against the Magistrates removing the City-Guard to the New Assembly Room, as it would prove an intolerable nuisance to the inhabitants of that close, as well as deteriorate the property of the proprietors. The Eon. Henry Erskine was heard on the part of the suspenders, and Mr. George Buchan Hepburn for the Magistrates. After some reasoning by the Court, their lordships, on account of the present situation of the nigh Street, and that the kssembly Room was only meant to be a temporary Guard- House, were pleased to refuse the bill. They at the same time were of opinion, that after taking a trial, if the inhabitants should consider it as great a nuisance ns they did at present, they should be at liberty to present another bill of suspension, when their lordships would euter more minutely into the merits of the cause. In the afternoon the workmen began to pull down the Guard-House.” Thus, in 1785, the City Guard-House was razed to the ground. The soldiers ofthe Guard continued only for a limited period to occupy the New Assembly Room, premises in the Luckenbooths having been finally appropriated for their use. 1 ‘ 4 Mutual Complaint of the Plainstaaes and Causey.” 2 It was termed the New Assembly Close until the Commercial Bank occupied the premises.
Volume 8 Page 599
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