Edinburgh Bookshelf

Old and New Edinburgh Vol. III


Since on her dusky summit ranged, Within its steepy limits pent By bulwark, line, and battlement, And flanking towem and laky flood, Guarded and garrisoned, she stood, Denying entrance or resort, Save at each tall embattled port ; Above whose arch suspended hung Portcullis, spiked with iron prong, That long is gone ; but not so long, U tains above 24,000 volumes of standard works in every department of literature and science j and there is bne of reference, kept in a separate department, consisting of a valuable collection of encyclopzdias, geographical, biographical, and scientific dictionaries, atlases, statistical tables, &c., which are at all times available to the numerous members on application. THE MUSIC HALL, Since early closed, and opening late, Jealous revolved the studded gate, Whose task from eve to morning tide A wicket churlishly supplied. Stem then and steel-girt was thy brow, Dun-Edin ! Oh, how altered now ! When safe amid thy mountain court Thou sitt'st like empress at her sport, And liberal, unconfined, and free, Flinging #icy white m s #o the sm ! Near the east end of Queen Street is the Philosophical Institution, the late president of which was Thomas Carlyle. It was founded'in 1848. Here lectures are delivered on all manner of. scientific and literary subjects. The programme ef these for a session averages about thirty subjects. There are a library, reading-room, news-room, and ladies' I GEORGE STREET Classes for Latin, French, German, drawing of all kinds, mathematics, shorthand, writing, arithmetic, fencing, and gymnastics, are open on very moderate terms; and the members of the Edinburgh Chess Club, who must also be members of the Philosophical Institution, meet in one of the apartments, which is open for their use from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Adjoining this edifice were the offices of the United Presbyterian Church of Scotland. No. 8 Queen Street was built and occupied by Chief Baron Orde of the Scottish Exchequer, and in size considerably exceeds and excels the other houses in its vicinity. Baron Orde, whose daughter Elizabeth became the second wife of Lord Braxfield, died in I 777, and was succeeded in
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Queen Street.] SIR JAMES YOUNG SIMPSON. I53 office by Sir James Montgomery of Stanhope. Early in the next century the house was the residence of Sir William Cunningham, Bart, and in more recent years had as an occupant the gallant Sir Neil Douglas, Commander of the Forces in Scotland and Governor of Edinburgh Castle, who commanded the Cameron Highlanders in the war with France, and was contused by a ball at Quatre Bras. It is now occupied by tlic Edinburgh Institution for Education, the head of which is Dr. Fergusson, F.R.S.E. Nos. g and 10 were removed in 1844 to make way for the present hall of the Royal College of Physicians, on the demolition of the former one in George Street. The foundation stone was laid on the 8th of August, 1844, by the then president, Dr. Renton, in presence of the Fellows of the college and others. In it were deposited a copy of the first edition of the ? Edinburgn Pharmacopeia,? containing a list .of the Fellows of the college; a work concerning its private affairs, printed several years before ; an Edinburgh Almanac for the current year; several British coins, and a silver plate with a suitable Latin inscription. It was designed by Thomas Hamilton, and ?is adorned in front with an Attic Corinthian tetrastyle, sunqounted by a common Corinthian distyle, and is handsomely adorned by colossal statues of iBsculapius, Hippocrates, and Hygeia ; but it was barely completed when, ample though its accommodation appeared to be, the rapid additions to its library and the great increase in the number of Fellows, consequent on a reduction of the money entry, and other changes, seemed to .render an extension necessary. In No. 11 are the offices of the E&hurgh Gazette, the representative of the paper started by Captain Donaldson in 1699, and re-issued by the same person in March, I 707. Sir Henry Wellwood Moncriff, Bart., D.D., a distinguished divine, wha for half a century was one .of the brightest ornaments of the Scottish Church, resided in No. 13 during the first years of the present century. He died in August, 1827, and his second, son, James, a senator, under the title of Lord Moncrieff, succeeded to the baronetcy, which is one of the oldest in Scotland, having been conferred by Charles I. in 1626. It was afterwards occupied by the Scottish Heritable Security Company. -The next house westward was the residence, at the same time, of William Honeyman of Graemsay, who was elevated to the bench as Lord Armadale, and created a baronet in 1804. He had been pre. viously Sheriff of the county of Lanarkshire. ?He mar. 88 *ied a daughter of Lord Braxfield, and died in 1825, eaving ,behind him a reputation for considerable dent and sound judgment, both as a barrister and udge. He had two sons in the army-Patrick, who served in the old -28th Light Dragoons, and Robert, who died in Jamaica in 1809, Lieutenant- Clolonel of the 18th Royal Irish. His house is now occupied by the site of the Zaledonian United Service Club, erected in 1853. In 1811 No. 27 was the residence of General Sraham Stirling, an old and distinguished officer, whose family still occupy it. In the same year 4lexander Keith of Ravelston, Hereditary Knight Marshal of Scotland, occupied No. 43. Behind the louse line stands St. Luke?s Free Church, which has i fictitious street front in the Tudor style, with two -ichly crocketed finials. No. 38 was the house of George Paton, ?Advocate, md afterwards Lord Justice Clerk, whose suicide nade much sensation in Edinburgh a few years 1go. In No. 52 lived and died one of the most illus- :rious citizens of Edinburgh-Professor Sir James . Young Sirnpson, Bart., who came to Edinburgh a poor and nearly friendless student, yet in time ittained, as Professor of Midwifery in the University and as the discoverer of extended uses of chlorolorm, a colossal fame, not only in Europe, but wherever the English language is spoken. He obtained the chair of midwifery in r840, and seven years after made his great discovery. In 1849 he was elected President of the Edinburgh College of Physicians; in 1852 President of the Medico- Chirurgical Society ; and ?in the following year, under circumstances of the greatest klat, Foreign Associate of the French Academy of Medicine ? In 1856 the French Academy of Sciences awarded him the ? Monthyon Prize ? of 2,000 francs for the benefits he conferred on humanity by the introduction of anmthesia by chloroform into the practice of surgery and midwifery. A few weeks earlief, for the same noble cause, he won the royal order of St. Olaf, from Oscar, King of Sweden, and in 1866 was created a baronet of Great Britain. His ,professional writings are too numerous to be recorded here, suffice it to say that they have been translated into every European language. No man ever attracted so many visitors to Edinburgh as Sir James Simpson, for many Came to see him who were not invalids. His house in Queeu Street was the centre of attraction for men -of letters and science from all parts of the worldphysicians, naturalists, antiquarians, and literati of all kinds were daily to be met at his table. His
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