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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. II


1.86 OLD AND NEW EDINBURGH. [St. Gilea Street. Russel never failed to meet the requirements of the day ; and for three or four months scarcely a day passed on which he did not write one or more articles - seventy leading articles having been written by him, we believe, day after day.? In testimony of his literary ability and public services a magnificent presentation of silver plate was made to him in 1859, at the Waterloo Rooms. The Sofsman, which has always opposed and exposed Phansaism and inconsistency, yet the while giving ample place to the ecclesiastical element-a feature in Scottish everyday life quite incomprehensible to strangers-was in the full zenith and plenitude of its power when Alexander Russel died, in about the thirtieth year of his editorship and sixty-second of his age, leaving a blank in his own circle that may never be supplied, for he was the worthy successor of Maclaren in the task of making the Sofsman what it is-the sole representative of Scottish opinion in England and abroad; ?and that it represents it so that that opinion does not need to hang its head in the area of cosmopolitan discussion, is largely due to the independence of spirit, the tact, the discernment of character, and the unflagging energy by which Mr. Russel imparted a dignity to the work of editing a newspaper which it can hardly be said to have possessed in his own country before his time.? Among other institutions of New Edinburgh to be found in picturesque Cockburn Street, under the very shadow of the old city, such as the Ear and Eye Dispensary, instituted in 1822, and the rooms of the Choral Society, are the permanent Orderly Rooms of the Edinburgh Volunteer Artillery, and the Queen?s Edinburgh Rifle Volunteer Brigade, respectively at No. 27 and No. 35. Both these corps were embodied in the summer of 1859, when the volunteer movement was exciting that high enthusiasm which happily has never died, but has continued till the auxiliary army then, self-summoned into existence, though opposed by Government in all its stages, has now become one of the most important institutions in the kingdom. The City Artillery Volunteer Corps, commanded in 1878 by Sir William Baillie, Bart., of Polkemet, consisting of nine batteries, showed in 1880 a maximum establishment of 519 (57 of whom were non-efficients), 14 officers, and 36 sergeants.* Formed in two battalions (with a third corps 01 cadets), the Queen?s Edinburgh Rifle Brigade, oi In addition to this corps, there are the Midlothian Coast Volunteei Artillery, whose headquarters are at Edinburgh, and who showed in 1877 a maximum establishment of 640,442 of whom werc etlicients, with 11: oficers and 30 sergeants. (Volunteer Blue Book.) which the Lord Provost is honorary colonel, consists now of 25 companies, seven of which were called Highland, with a total strength on the 31st of October, 1880, of 2,252 efficients, 106 nonefficients, with 82 officers, 116 sergeants, extraproficients. Since its embodiment in 1859 there have enrolled in this corps more than I 1,537 men, of whom 9,584 have resigned, leaving the present strength, as stated, at 2,252. As a shooting corps, and for the excellence of its drill, it has always borne a high character, and its artisan battalion is ? second to none ? among the auxiliary forces. At the International Regimental Match shot for in May, 1877, the Queen?s Edinburgh Brigade were twice victorious, and in the preceding year no less than 78 officers and I 2 I sergeants received certificates of proficiency. Under the new system the brigade forms a portion of the 62nd, or Edinburgh Brigade DepGt, which includes the two battalions of the 1st RoyaL Scots Regiment, the Edinburgh or Queen?s Regiment of Light Infantry Militia, and the Administrative Volunteer Rifle Battalions of Berwick, Haddington, Linlithgow, and Midlothian. In St. Giles Street, which opens on the north side of the High Street (opposite to the square in which the County Hall stands) and turning west joins the head of the mound, at the foot of Bank Street, are the offices of the Daio and Weekly Rwim; The GZasgow NwaM and the Eirening limes share a handsome edifice, built like the rest of the street, in the picturesque old Scottish style, with crowstepped gables and pedirnented dormer windows, and having inscribed along its front in large letters : THE COURANT, ESTAB. 1705. To this office, which was specially designed for the purpose by the late David Bryce, R.S.A., the headquarters of the paper were removed from 188, High Street; and in noticing this venerable organ of the Conservative party, it is impossible to omit some reference to the rise of journalism in Edinburgh, where it has survived its old contemporaries, as the CaZedonian Memuy, a continued serial from 1720, is now incorporated with the Scofsman, and the Edinburgh Advt-rfiser, which started in January, 1764, ceased about 1860; hence the oldest existing paper in the city is the Xdinburgh Gazetfe, which appeared in 1699, the successor to a shortlived paper of the same name, started in 1680. The newspaper press of Scotland began during the civil wars of the 17th century. A party of Cromwell?s troops which garrisoned the citadel of Leith in 1652, brought with them a printer named Christopher Higgins, to reprint the London paper
Volume 2 Page 286
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Volume 2 Page 287
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