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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. III


with little change of system, save that in 1809 their number was increased from twenty-one to twenty-eight, and out of that number the Crown was empowered to appoint seven to be Commissioners for the Herring Fishery j and from that time the Fishery Board and the Board of Manufactures have virtually been separate bodies. Regarding the Royal Institution, in which it now has chambers, Lord Cockburn says :-? Strictly, it ought to have been named after the old historical THE ROYAL INSTITUTION AS IT WAS IN 1829. (From a Drawkg ay S h @ M ) mental art, and also in taste and design -in manufacture. In the same year Sir John Shaw Lefevre was sent down by Government to report on the constitutionand management of the Board and the erection of the Galleries of Art in Edinburgh. Since the Board began to give premiums for the encouragement of the .linen trade, that branch of business has made giant strides in Scotland. ?It takes about six months,? says David Bremner, ?? from the purchase cif the raw material before the board of trustees, because it was by their money and for their accommodation chiefly it was made, and ?the Trustees? Hall? had been the title ever since the Union, of the place in the old town where they had met.? In 1828 new letters patent were issued, giving to the trustees a wider discretion; and empowering them to apply their funds to the encouragement not only of manufactures, but also of such other undertakings in Scotland as should most conduce to the general welfare of the United Kingdom. In 1847 an Act was passed by which the Treasury was enabled to direct the appropriation of their funds towards the purposes of education in the fine arts generaliy, in decorative and ornagoods can be manufactured and the proceeds drawn, so that the stock-in-trade of manufacturers and merchants will amount to ~t;5,ooo,ooo. It would thus appear that a capital of ~ ~ z , o o o , o o o is required for carrying on the linen trade of Scotland.? It was under this Board of Manufactures that the quality of Scottish linen was improved. One of their earliest acts was to propose to Nicholas d?Assaville, a cambric weaver of St. Quintin, in France, to bring over ten experienced weavers in cambric, with their families, to settle in Scotland and teach their art to others. The proposal was accepted, and the trustees purchased from the governors of Heriot?s Hospital five acres of ground eastward of Broughton Loan, whereon were built -
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The Mound.] THE EQUIVALENT MONEY. 85 houses for the French weavers, who, in memory of their native land, named the colony Little Picardy, .and thereon now stands Picardy Place. This was in 1729. The men taught weaving, their wives and daughters the art of spinning cambric yarn ; and by the trustees a man well skilled in all the branches of the linen trade was at the same time brought from Ireland, and appointed to travel the country and instruct the weavers and others in the best modes of making cloth. '' Secondly, to indemnify for any losses they might sustain by reducing the coin of Scotland to the standard and value of England ; and thirdly, in bribing a majority of the Scottish Parliament when matters came to the Zasf push. " Of the whole equivalent, therefore, ono ~40,000 was left for national purposes ; and so lost to public spirit and to all sense of honour were the representatives of Scotland, three gr four noblemen alone excepted, that this balance was supposed to THE ROYAL INSTITUTION. Before proceeding further, we shall here quote the comprehensive statement concerning the Board ot Trustees which appears in Knox's "View of the British Empire," London, 17Sg :- " By the Treaty of Union it was stipulated that ;6398,085 should be paid to the Scots as an equivalent for the customs, taxes, and excises to be levied upon that kingdom in consequence of the English debt, jC~o,ooo,ooo, though estimated at ~17,000,000. This equivalent, if it may be so called, was applied in the following manner :- "Firstly, to pay off the capital of the Scottish India Company, which was to be abolished in favour of the English Company trading to the East Indies. be useless in the English Treasury till the year 1727, when the royal burghs began to wake from their stupor, and to apply the interest of the ~40,000 towards raising a little fund for improving the manufactures and fisheries of the country." '' An Act of Parliament " (the Act quoted before) '' now directed the application of the funds to the several purposes for which they were designed, and appointed twenty-one commissioners, who were entrusted with the management of the same and other matters relative thereto." In Lefevre's Report of July zoth, 1850, it is stated that "having regard to the origin of this Board as connected with the existence of Scotland as a separate kingdom, and to the unbroken series of
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