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Memorials of Edinburgh in the Olden Time


332 MEMORIALS OF EDINBURGH. many a gentleman’s stable-yard, with the chief approach to it by a pend, or archway, from the head of the Candlemaker’s Row. Rank and fashion, however, alone resorted to the admired locality, while it was no less worthy of note as a haunt of the muses. Here was the residence of Dr Austin, already referred to, in a ‘house at the north-west corner; and a few doors from this, in the building on the west side through which the arched entry led into Candlemaker Row, dwelt for above twenty years Miss Jeanie Elliot, the author of the beautiful version of the Flowers 0’ the Forest,’’ beginning, “I ’ve heard them lilting at the ewe-milking.” She was the daughter of Sir Gilbert Elliot of Minto, and is described by a contemporary as “ a remarkably agreeable old maiden lady, with a prodigious fund of Scottish anecdote.” It is added, as worthy of record, that she was perhaps the only lady of her time in Edinburgh who had her own sedan chair, which was kept in the lobby of her house ! Henry Mackenzie first took up house for himfielf in the middle tenement, still standing on the south side, while the celebrated Lord Woodhouselee occupied one of those now demolished. The middle house on the north’ side, a large and commodious mansion, still retains abundant traces of former grandeur, and chiefly in the large drawing-room on the first floor, which is decorated with a series of landscapes, interspersed with floral groups and other fancy devices, evidently in imitation of the painted chamber at Milton House, though the work of a less skilful artist. This was the residence of Sir Thomas Miller, of Barskimming and Glenlee, Bart., Lord President of the Court of Session, who died there in 1789. He was succeeded in it by his son, Sir William, promoted to the bench under the title of Lord Glenlee, and who, when all other claimants to rank or gentility had long deserted every nook of the Old Town, resisted the fashionable tide of emigration, and retained this as his town mansion till his death in 1846. Indeed, such was the attachment of this venerable judge to his old dwelling, that he rejected a handsome offer for the reversion of it, because the proposing purchaser, who designed converting it into a printing office, refused to become bound to preserve the paintings on its walls. VI(tNETTE-aothic Niche, College Wynd.
Volume 10 Page 362
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