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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. IV


296 OLD AND NEW EDINBURGH. [The Semnd High Schml, School, a gold medal of the same value (five guineas) as that annually presented to the Latin class.? ?Several circumstances, to which I shall briefly advert,? wrote an old pupil to Dr. Steven, seemed, in my time, to distinguish the High School, and could not fail to give a peculiar character to many of its scholars in after life. For instance, the variety of ranks : for I used to sit between a youth of a ducal family and the son of a poor cobbler. Humanity in the University, which he filled long and with the highest honour. He was succeeded as Rector by Aglionby-Ross Carson, M.A., LL.D., a native of Dumfries-shire, who in 1806 had obtained a mastership in the school, and laboured in it assiduously and successfully. Three months before his appointment as Rector he had declined the Greek chair in the University of St Andrews, to which, though not a candidnte, he had been elected. It was while he THE SECOND HIGH SCHOOL, 1820. (AferStonr.) Again, the variety of nations: for in our class under Mr. Pillans there were boys from Russia, Germany, Switzerland,the United States, Barbadoes, St. Vincent?s, Demarara, the East Indies, England, and Ireland. But what I conceive was the chief characteristic of our school, as compared at least with the great English schools, was its semidomestic, semi-public constitution, and especially our constant intercourse at home with our sisters and other folk of the other sex, these, too, being educated in Edinburgh j and the latitude we had cor making excursions in the neighbourhood.? In June, 1820, the connection ceased between (he school and Mr. Pillans, who, on the death of Professor Christison, was awarded the Chair of was in office that the third and last High Schoolthat magnificent building which has been described in our account of the Calton Hill-was erected ; and the closing examination in the old schoolhouse at the foot of Infirmary Street took place in the autumn of 1828, and that interesting locality, where the successive youth of Edinburgh for more than two hundred and seventy years had flocked for the acquisition of classical learning-a schoolboy scene enshrined in the memories of many generations of men, was abandoned for ever. In 1828 the disused school-house was sold to the managers of the Royal Infirmary for jE7,500, and was adapted to form part of the Surgical Hospital, externally, however, remaining unchanged.
Volume 4 Page 296
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297 1,,firwry Strert.1 1NFIRMARY SUGGESTED. CHAPTER XXXVI. THE OLD ROYAL INFIRMARY-SURGEON SQUARE. The Old Royal Infirmary-Projected in time of Gorge I.-The First Hospital Opened-The Royal Charter-Second Hospital Built- Opened 1741-Sizc and Constitution-Benefactors? Patients-Struck by Lightning-Chaplain?s Dutier--Cases in the Present Day-The Keith Fund-Notabilities of Surgeon Squan-The H o w of CumehiU-The Hall of the Royal and Medical Society-Its Foundation- Bell?s Surgical Theatre. THOUGH the ancient Scottish Church had been during long ages distinguished for its tenderness and charity towards the diseased poor, a dreary interval of nearly two centuries, says Chambers, intervened between the extinction of its lazar-houses and leper-houses, and the time when a merely civilised humanity suggested the establishment of a regulated means for succouring the sicknessstricken of the poor and homeless classes. 86 A pamphlet was issued in Edinburgh in 1721 suggesting the creation of such an institution, and there seems reason to suppose that the requirements of her rising medical schools demanded it; but the settled gloom of the ? dark age ? subsequent to the Union, usually stifled everything. and the matter went to sleep till 1725, when it was revived by a proposal to raise Az,ooo sterling to carry it out
Volume 4 Page 297
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