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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. III


I 16 OLD AND NEW EDINBURGH. p e w Town, himself and his lady. This lintel was removed by the late Sir Patrick Walker, who had succeeded to the estate, and was rebuilt by him into the present ancient house, which is destined long to survive as the deanery of St. Mary?s cathedral. Into the walls of the same house were built some fragments of sculpture from a mansion in the Cowgate, traditionally known as the residence of the French embassy in Mary?s time. They are now in the north wing. On the eastern side of the mansion of Coates are two ancient lintels, one dated 1600, with the initials C. C. I. and K. H. The other bears the same initials with the legend, I PRAYS YE LORD FOR ALL HIS BENEFErIS, 1601. Coates lay westward of Bearford?s Parks and the old Ferry Road. The form?er edifice, a picturesque old mansion, with turrets, dormer windows, and crowstepped gables, in the Scoto-French style, still remains unchanged among its changed surroundings as when it was built, probably about 1611, by Sir John Byres of Coates, whose, town residence was in Byres? Close, in the High Street, and over the door of which he inscribed the usual pious legend, ? Blksif be God ia aC his g$%$? with the initials of ? 1 On the west a dormer gable bears the date 1615, with the initials J. B. and M. B., and a stone built above the western door bears in large letters the word IEHOVA, with the city motto and the date 1614 According to the inscription on the tomb of ? the truly good and excellent citizen John Byres of Cokes,? in the Greyfriars churchyard, as given by Monteith, it would appear that he was two years city bailie, two years a suburban bailie, six THE MANYION OF EASTER COATLS. years Dean of Guild, and that he died on the 24th of November, 1629, iri his sixtieth year. Prior to the time of the Byres the property had belonged to the Lindsays, as in the ratification by Parliament to Lord Lindsay, in 1592, are mentioned ?the landis of Dene, but the mylnes and mure thereof, and their pertenents lyand within the Sherifdom of Edinburgh, the manes of Drym, the lands of Drymhill, the landis of Coittis and Coitakirs, &c? (Acta Parl., Jacobi VI.) The mansion of Wester Coates, advertised in the Edinburgh papers of 1783 as ? the House of Coates, or White House, belonging to the heirs of the deceased James Finlay of Walliford, and as lately possessed by Lord Covington, situated on the highway leading to Coltbridge,? was removed in
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New Town.] JAMES CRAIG. I I7 1869 to make way for Grosvenor Street, in excavating the foundation of which a number of ancient bronze Caledonian swords were found-the relics of some pre-historic strife. One was Specially remarkable for having the hilt and pommel of bronze cast in one piece with the blade-a form very rare, there being only one other Scottish example known -one from Tames, in Aberdeenshire, and now in the British Museum. The few houses enumerated alone occupied the lonely site of the New Town when Gabriel?s Road, of the poet Thomson, and who engraved thereon the following appropriate lines from his uncle?s poem :- SI August, around, what public works I see ! Lo, stately streets ! 10, squares that court the breeze! See long canals and Each part with each, and with the circling main, whole entwined nvea join The names given to the streets and squaresthe formal array of parallelograms drawn by Craig-were taken from the royal family chiefly, latterly a mean, narrow alley, was a delightful country path, ?? along which,? says Wilson, in I 847, ?some venerable citizens still remember to have wended their way between green hedges that skirted the pleasant meadows and cornfields of Wood?s Farm, and which was in days of yore a favourite trysting place for lovers, where they breathed out their teIpder tale of passion beneath the fragrant hawthorn.? It ran in an oblique direction through the ancient hamlet of Silvermills, and its course is yet indicated by the irregular slant of the garden walls that separate the little plots behind Duke Street from the East Queen Street Gardens at the lower end. The plan of the proposed new city was prepared by James Craig, an eminent architect, nephew ? and the tutelary saints of the island, The first thoroughfare, now-a magnificent terrace, was called St. Giles Street, after the. ancient patron of the city ; but on the plan being shown to George 111. for his approval, he exclaimed, ? Hey, hey !-what, what!-St. Giles Street !-never do, never do!? And so, to escape from a vulgar London association of ideas, it was named Princes Street, after the future George IV. and the Duke of York. Craig survived to see his plans only partially carried out, as he died in 1795, in his fifty-fifth year. He was the son of Robert Craig, merchant, and grandson of Robert Craig, who in the beginning of that century had been a magistrate of Edinburgh. His mother was Mary, youngest daughter of James Thomson, minister of Ednam, and sister of the author of ?The Seasons.?
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