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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. III


104 OLD AND NEW EDINBURGH. [Cahoa Hill. on their return from the Army of Occupation in France, under Colonel Wallace. One of the last feasts of St. Crispin was held in the Calton Convening Rooms, in 1820, when six hundred of the ancient Corporation of Cordiners, bearing St. Crispin with regal pomp, marched from Holyrood. ?On reaching the Cross,?says the Week0 Journal for that year, ? it was found impossible to proceed farther, from the mass of people collected ; the procession therefore filed off into the Royal Exchange, until a guard of the 13th Foot arrived from the Castle ; then it proceeded along the mound to the New Town.? It is added that fortyfour years had elapsed since the last procession of the kind. The same paper, in 1828, records :hat a mighty ing of the Regent Bridge, the foundation stone of which was laid in 1815, forming a magnificent entrance to the New Town from the east. The arch is fifty feet wide, and about the same in height, having on the top of the side ledges, arches, and ornamental pillars, connected with the houses in Waterloo Place. The whole was finished in 1819, and formally opened on the visit of Prince Leopold, afterwards King of Belgium j but the bridge must have been open for traffic two years before, as it was crossed by the 88th Connaught Rangers, in 1817, 15,000 men, and about the date above mentioned, Earl Grey entered the city amid a vast concourse of admirers. He was presented with the freedom of the city in a gold box, and was afterwards entertained at a public banquet, in a pavilion erected for the occasion, 113 feet long by IDI broad. in the eastern compartment of the High School on the south side of the Calton Hill. Archibald, Earl of Rosebery, K.T., in absence of the Duke of Hamilton, occupied the chair. On the north-west shoulder of the hill is the old observatory, a rough, round-buttressed tower, three storeys in height. The scheme for the erection of a building of this kind was first projected in 1736, but the local commotions occasioned by the Porteous mob caused it to be relinquished mass of rock, fully fifty tons in weight, fell from under Nelson?s monument with a great crash from a height of twentyfive feet, and carrying all before it, rolled on the roadway below. On the 15th September, 1834, there occurred the only local event of interest since the visit of George 1V.-the Grey banquet. A great portion of the citizens had signalised themselves in their zeal for the Reform Bill, the passing of which, in August, 1832, they celebrated by a grand procession of the trades, amounting to more than NELSON?S MONUMENT, CALTON HILL, FROM PRINCES STREET. (Fwm a Dmwiwby A. Kaswytfi, pnbliskd in 18a6.)
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Calton HiX] SHORT?S 0 ESERVATORY. ?05 ?patriotic Earl of Morton gave a sun1 for the purpose; leaving the management thereof to Colin ?Maclaurin, Professor of Mathematics, and others of the Senatus Academicus. Maclaurin, with his characteristic liberality, added to the earl?s gift by the profits arising from a course of lectures on experimental philosophy ; but his death, in 1746, put a stop a second time to the execution of the disposal for the purpose of building an observatory, and to allow him to draw the whole emoluments arising from the use of his apparatus for a certain number of years ; ?but,? says Arnot, ?? on condition that the students should, in the meantime, have access to the observatory for a small gratuity, and that the building,withall the instruments, should . be vested in the Town Council for ever, as trustees THE CALTON HILL, CALTON GAOL, BURYING-GROUND, AND MONUMENTS. In 1776 there came to Edinburgh Mr. Short, brother and executor to Mr. James Short, F.R.S., formerly an optician in Leith, and who brought with him all his brother?s optical apparatus, particularly a large reflecting telescope that magnified 1,200 times, ?and is,? says the Week0 Magazine for that year, ? superior to any in Europe, but one in possession of the King of Spain.? Mr. Short intended to erect an observatory, which was to be his own private property, and from which he expected to draw considerable emoluments ; but Dr. Alexander Monro, Professor of Anatomy, one of Lord Morton?s trustees, showed that an observatory unconnected with the Council and University would conduce but little to the progress of science, 62 after a certain period. Mr. Short readily agreed, and the Council were applied to for their concurrence and patronage.? It appears from their Register that in the summer of 1776 the Council granted to Mr. Short, his sons and grandsons, a life-rent lease of half an acre on the Calton HilL A plan of the intended building was made by James Craig, architect, and the foundation-stone was laid by Provost James Stodart, in presence of the Senatus, 25th July, I 776 ; and upon the suggestion of Adam, the famous architect, in consequence of the high and abrupt nature of the site, the whole edifice was constructed to have the aspect of a fortification. 1 In the partial execution of this faulty design, thc
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