Edinburgh Bookshelf

Old and New Edinburgh Vol. III


124 OLD AND NEW EDINBURGH. princcs Street came into her possession, the pocket-knife, fork, and spoon which Prince Charles used in all his marches and subsequent wanderings. The case is a small one, covered with black shagreen ; for pottability, the knife, fork, and spoon are made to screw upon handles, so that the three articles form six pieces for close packing. They are all engraved with an ornament of thistle-leaves, and the fork and spoon have the prince?s initials, C. s : all have the Dutch plate stamp, showing that they were manufactured in Holland. It is supposed that this case, with its contents, came to Lady Mary Clerk through Miss Drelincourt, daughter of the Dean of Armagh, in Ireland, , While her mother was still confined to bed a Highland party, under a chieftain of the Macdonald clan, came to her house, but the commander, on learning the circumstances, not only chivalrously restrained his men from levying any contribution, but took from his bonnet his own white rose or cockade, and pinned it on the infant?s breast, ?that it might protect the household from any trouble by others. This rosette the lady kept to her dying day.? In after years she became the wife of Sir James Clerk of Pennicuick, Bart., and when he went off to the royal yacht to present him with the silver cross badge, the gift of ?the ladies of Scotland.? From the king, the case, with its contents, passed to the Marquis of Conyngham, and from him to his son -4lbert, first Lord Londesborough, and they are now preserved with great care amidst the valuable collection of ancient plate and b2jbuien2 at Grimston Park, Yorkshire. Sir Walter Scott was a frequent visitor at No. 100, Princes Street, as he was on intimate terms with Lady Clerk, who died several years after the king?s visit, having attained a green old age. Till past her eightieth year she retained an ( ? I Book of Days.?) who became wife of Hugh, third Viscount Pnmrose, in whose house in London the loyal Flora Macdonald found a shelter after liberation from the long confinement she underwent for her share in promoting the escape of the prince, who had given it to her as a souvenir at the end of his perilous wanderings. In the Edinburgh Obsmw of 1822 it is recorded that when George IV. contemplated his visit to Scotland, he expressed a wish to have some relic of the unfortunate prince, on which PRINCES STREET, LOOKING EAST FROM SCOTT?S MONUMENT.
Volume 3 Page 124
  Enlarge Enlarge     Pictures Pictures
erect and alert carriage, together with some oldfashioned peculiarities of costume, which made her one of the most noted street figures of her time. The editor of ?The Book of Days? says that he is enabled to recall a walk he had one day with Sir Walter, ending in Constable?s shop, No. 10, Princes Street, when Lady Clerk was purchasing some books at a side counter. Sir Walter, passing through to the stairs by which Mr. Constable?s room was reached, did not recognise her ladyship, %rho, catching sight of him as he was about to PRINCES STREET, LOOKING WEST. (From a Photogmjh ay G. NI. WiZsoti and Co.) The University Club, to. the westward, was erected in 1866-7, from designs by Peddie and Kinnear, in an ornate Italian style, with Grecian decoration, at the cost of ~14,000, and has ample accommodation for 650 members. The new Conservative Club, a nimor edifice, stands a little to the east of it. Nos. 129 and 130 are now extensive shop premises. In 1811 the former was the residence of Sir Alexander Charles Gibson-Maitland of Clifton Hall, in Lothian, the first baronet of the ascend, called out, ? Oh, Sir Walter ! are you really going to pass me?? He immediately turned to make his usual cordial Feetings, and apologised with demurely waggish reference to her odd dress : ?I?m sure, my lady, by this time I might know your back as well as your face.? ? No. 104 is now connected with the first attempt in arcades in Edinburgh. It forms a six-storey edifice, comprising an hotel, and is an elegant glassroofed bazaar hall, 105 feet long by 30 feet high. , It was completed in 1876. In 1830, No. 105 was the residence of the Honourable Baron Clerk Rattray, It is now a warehouse; and some fifteen years before that, No. XIO was the residence of Drummond of Blair Drummond. It is now Taylor?s Repository. Drummocd of Gairdrum occupied No. I I 7. name, who died in 1820; and in No. 136 dwelt Mr. Henry Siddons of the Theatre Royal. No. 146 was latterly the Osborne Hotel, which was nearly destroyed by fire in 1879. In the following year it was opened as the Scottish Liberal Club, inaugurated by the Right Hon. W. E. Gladstone, M.P. for Midlothian. At the extreme west end of the street, and at its junction with the Lothian Road, stands St. John?s Episcopal Chapel, erected in 1817, after a design, in the somewhat feeble modern Gothic of that day, by William Burn, though modelled from and partially detailed after St. George?s Chapel at Windsor. It is an oblong edifice, consisting of a nave and aisles, I 13 feet long by 62 feet wide, and has at its western extremity a square pinnacled tower, 120 feet high. The whole cost, at first, about ,f18,ooo.
Volume 3 Page 125
  Enlarge Enlarge     Pictures Pictures