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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. III


170 OLD AND NEW EDINBURGH. [St. Andrew Square. old Scottish school. His habits were active, anc he was fond of all invigorating sports. He wa skilled as an archer, golfer, skater, bowler, ant curler, and to several kindred associations of thosc sports he and ol$ Dr. Duncan acted as secretarie! for nearly half a century. For years old EbeI Wilson, the bell-ringer of the Tron Church, had thc reversion of his left-off cocked hats, which he wore together with enormous shoe-buckles, till his deatl in 1823. For years he and the Doctor had been thc only men who wore the old dress, which the latte retained till he too died, twelve years after. No. 24 was the house of the famous millionaire Gilbert Innes of Stowe. The Scottish Equitable Assurance Society occu pies No. 26. It was established in 1831, and war incorporated by royal charter in 1838 and 1846 It is conducted on the principle of mutual as surance, ranks a~ a first-class office, and has accumu lated funds amounting to upwards of ~ 2 , 2 5 0 , 0 0 0 with branch offices in London, Dublin, Glasgow and elsewhere. No. 29 was in 1802 the house of Sir Patrick Murray, Bart., of Ochtertyre, Baron of the Ex chequer Court, who died in 1837. It is now thc offices of the North British Investment Corn PanYNo. 33, now a shop, was in 1784 the house oi the Hon. Francis Charteris of Amisfield, afterwards fifth Earl of Wemyss. He was well known during his residence in Edinburgh as the particular patron of ?Old Geordie Syme,? the famous town-piper of Dalkeith, and a retainer of the house of Buccleuch, whose skill on the pipe caused him to be much noticed by the great folk of his time. 01 Geordie, in his long yellow coat lined with red, red plush breeches, white stockings, buckled shoes and blue bonnet, there is an excellent portrait in Kay. The earl died in 1808, and was succeeded by his grandson, who also inherited the earldom of March. Nos. 34 and 35 were long occupied as Douglas?s hotel, one of the most fashionable in the city, and one which has been largely patronised by the royal families of many countries, including the Empress EugCnie when she came to Edinburgh, to avail herself, we believe, of the professional skill of Sir James Simpson. On that occasion Colonel Ewart marched the 78th Regiment or Ross-shire Buffs, recently returned from the wars of India, before the hotel windows, with the band playing Padant pour Za Syrie, on which the Empress came to the balcony and repeatedly bowed and waved her handkerchief to the Highlanders. In this hotel Sir Walter Scott resided for a few days after his return from Italy, and just before his death at Abbotsford, in September, 1832. No. 35 is now the new head office of the Scottish Provident Institution, removed hither from No. 6. It was originally the residence of Mr. Andrew Crosbie, the advocate, a well-known character in his time, who built it. He was the original of Counsellor Pleydell in the novel of ? Guy Mannering.? In 1754 Sir Philip Ainslie was the occupant of No. 38. Born in 1728, he was the son of George Ainslie, a Scottish merchant of Bordeaux, who, having made a fortune, returned home in 1727, and purchased the estate of Pilton, near Edinburgh. Sir Philip?s youngest daughter, Louisa, became the wife of John Allan of Errol House, who resided in No. 8. Sir Philip?s mother was a daughter of William Morton of Gray. His house is now, with No. 39, a portion of the office of the British Linen Company?s Bank, the origin and pro?gress of which we have noticed in our description of the Old Town. It stands immediately south of the recess in front of the Royal Bank, and was mainly built in 1851-2, after designs by David Bryce, R.S.A., at a cost of about ~30,000. It has a three-storeyed front, above sixty feet in height,.with an entablature set back to the wall, and surmounted above the six-fluted and projecting Corinthian columns by six statues, each eight feet in height, representing Navigation, Commerce, Manufacture, Art, Science, and Agricu! ture; and it has a splendid cruciform tellingroom, seventy-four feet by sixty-nine, lighted by a most ornate cupola of stained glass, thirty feet in diameter and fifty high. With its magnificent columns of Peterhead granite, its busts of celebrated Scotsmen, and its Roman tile pavement, it is all in perfect keeping with the grandeur of the external facade. This bank has about 1,080 partners. Immediately adjoining, on the south, is the National Bank of Scotland, presenting a flank to West Register Street. It was enlarged backward ;n 1868, but is a plain almost unsightly building mid its present surroundings. It is a bank of :omparatively modem origin, having been estabished on the zIst March, 1825. In terms of a :ontract of co-partnership between and among the iartners, the capit31 and stock of the company were ixed at &,ooo,ooo, the paid-up portion of which s ~I,OOO,OOO. In the royal charter granted to he National Bank on the 5th August, 1831, a ipecific declaration is made, that ? nothing in these resents ? shall be construed to limit the responsiility and liability of the individual partners of the
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St Andrew Square] ROYAL BANK bank. The other existing banks have all been constituted by contracts of co-partnery since the year 1825, and, with the exception of the Caledonian Banking Company, are all carrying on business under the Companies Act of 1862. With this office is incorporated No. 41, which, in 1830, was the shop of Messrs. Robert Cadell and Co., the eminent booksellers and publishers. The Royal Bank of Scotland occupies a pre minent position on the west side of the square, in a deep recess between the British Linen Company and the Scottish Provident Institution. It was originally the town house of Sir Lawrence Dundas, Bart., and was one of the first houses built in the square, on what we believe was intended as the place for st. Andrew?s church. The house was designed by Sir William Chambers, on the model of a much-admired villa near Rome, and executed by William Jamieson, mason. Though of an ancient family, Sir Lawrence was the architect of his own fortune, and amassed wealth as a conimissary- general with the army in Flanders, 1748 to 1759. He was the second son of Thomas Dundas, a bailie of Edinburgh, whose diffculties brought him to bankruptcy, and for a time Sir Lawrence served behind a counter, He was created a baronet in 1762, with remainder, in default of male issue, to his elder brother, Thomas Dundas, who had succeeded to the estate of Fingask. His son Thomas was raised to the peerage of Great Britain as Baron Dundas of Aske, in Yorkshire, in August, 1794 and became ancestor of the Earls of Zetland. About 1820 the Royal Bank, which had so long conducted its business in the Old Bank Close in the High Street, removed to the house of Sir Lawrence Dundas. We have thus shown that St. Andrew Square is now as great a mart for business as it was once a fashionable quarter, and some idea may be had of the magnitude of the interests here at stake when it is stated that the liabilities-that is, the total sums insured-of the six leading insurance houses alone exceed ~45,ooo,ooo, and that their annual income is upwards of ~1,8oo,ooo-a revenue greater than that of several States ! Melville?s monument, in the centre of the square, was erected in 1821, in memory of Henry Dundas, first Viscount Melville, who was Lord Advocate in 1775, and filled some high official situations in the Government of Britain during the administration of William Pitt He was raised to the peerage in OF SCOTLAND. 171 1802, and underwent much persecution in 1805 for alleged malversation in his office as treasurer to the navy; but after a trial by his peers was triumphantly judged not guilty. Designed by William Burn, this monument consists of pedestal, pillar, and statue, rising to the height of 150 feet, niodelled after the Trajan column at Rome, but fluted and not ornamented with sculpture; the statue is 14 feet in height. The cost was _f;8,ooo, defrayed-8s the inverse side of the plate in the foundation stone states -?by the voluntary contribbtions of the officers, petty-officers, seamen, and marines of these united kingdoms.? It was laid by Admirals Sir D a d Milne and Otway, naval commander-inchief in Scotland, after prayer by Principal Baird, on the anniversary of Lord Melville?s birthday. In the stone was deposited a great plate of pure gold, bearing the inscription. A plate of silver bearing the names of the committee was laid in the stone at the same time. The Hopetoun monument, within the recess in front of the Royal Bank, is in memory of Sir John Hope, fourth Earl of Hopetoun, G.C.H., Colonel of the gznd Gordon Highlanders, who died in 1823, a distinguished Peninsular officer, who assumed the command of the army at Corunna, on the fall of his countryman Sir John Moore. It was erected in 1835, and comprises a bronze statue, in Roman costume, leaning on a pawing charger. West Register Street, which immediately adjoins St. Andrew Square, is a compound of several short thoroughfares, and contains the site of ?( Ambrose?s Tavern,? the scene of Professor NIson?s famous ?Noctes Ambrosianze,? with a remnant of the once narrow old country pathway known as Gabriel?s Road. cG Ambrose?s Tavern,? a tall, three-storeyed edifice, like a country farmhouse, enjoyed much repute independent of the ?Noctes,? and was removed in 1864. Hogg, the Ettrick .Shepherd, who was fond of all athletic sports and manly exercises, was long made to figure conspicuously in these Noctes ? in BZack3 wmZs Magazine, which gave his name a celebrity beyond that acquired by his own writings. At one of the corners of West Register Street is the great palatial paper warehouse of the Messrs Cowan, one of the most elaborately ornate busiqess establishments in the city, which was erected in 1865, by the Messrs. Beattie, at a cost of about A7,000, and has two ornamental fronts with chaste and elegant details in the florid Italian styk
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