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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. IV


302 OLD AND NEW EDINBURGH. ? [Surgeon Square. We may close our notice of the Old Royal Infirmary by a reference to the Keith Fund, established by the late ME.. Janet Murray Keith and her sister Ann for the relief of incurable patients who have been in the house. These generous ladies by trust-deed left a sum of money, the interest of which was to be applied for the behoof of all who were discharged therefrom as incurable by the loss of their limbs, or so forth. The fund, which consists of Bank of Scotiand stock, is held for this purpose by trustees, who are annually appointed by the managers of the Royal Infirmary, the annual dividend to which amounts to Lz50. In 1877 there were on the list of recipients IOI patients receiving allowances varying from AI to A4; and in their deed of settlement the donors express a hope that the small beginning thus made for the relief of such sufferers, if well managed, may encourage richer persons to follow theiI example. Although this trust is appointed to be kept separate for ever from the affairs of the Royal Infirmary, the trustees are directed to publish annually, with the report of the managers, an abstract of the fund, with such other information % they may deem desirable. In the account of the west side of the Pleasance we have briefly adverted to the ancient hall of the Royal College of Surgeons,* which, bounded by the eastern flank of the city wall, was built by that body when they abandoned their previous place ol meeting, which they rented in Dickson?s Close foi L40 yearly, and acquired Cumehill House and grounds, the spot within the angle of the wall referred to. This had anciently belonged to the Black Friars, but was secularised, and passed suc. cessively into the hands of Sir John and Sir Jamer Skene, judges of the Court of Session, both undei the title of Lord Cumehill. Sir James Skene ?l succeeded Thomas, Earl of Melrose, as Presidenl on the 14th Feb., 1626, in which office he con. tinued till his death, which took place on the 15tk October, 1633, in his own lodging beside thc Grammar School of Edinburgh.? After them it became the property of Samue Johnstoun of the Sciennes ; and after him of thr patrons of the university, who made it the housc I of their professor of divinity, and he sold it to thc surgeons for 3,000 merks Scots in 1656. This house, which should have been described ir its place, is shown by Rothiemay?s plan (see p. 241: in 1647 to have been a large half-quadrangular four storeyed house, with dormer windows, a circulai turnpike stair with a conical roof on its north front Vol. I., pp. 381-3. md surrounded by a spacious garden, enclosed on he south and east by the battlemented wall of he city, and having a doorway in the boundary wall of the High School yard on the north. On he site of this edifice there was raised the future Royal College of Surgeons, giving still its name to he adjacent Square. On the west side of that square stood the hall of .he Royal Medical Society, which, Amot says, was :oeval with the institution of a regular school of iiedicine in the University ?by the establishment if professors in the different branches of that science. Dr. Cullen, Dr. Fothergill, and others if the most eminent physicians in Britain, were imong the first of its members. None of its records, however, of an earlier date than A.D. 1737, have been preserved.? Since that year the greater number of the students of medicine at the University, who have been distinguished in after years by their eminence, diligence, and skill, have been members of this Society, to which none are admitted until they have made some progress in the study of physic. In May, 1775, the foundation stone of their new hall in Surgeon Square was laid by Dr. Cullen in the presence of the other medical professors, the presidents of the learned societies, and a large audience. This Society was erected into a body corporate by 5 royal charter grantedon the 14th of December, 1778, and lC is intended,? says Amot, writing of it in his own time, ? l as a branch of medical education, and a source of further discoveries and improvements in that science, and those branches of philosophy intimately connected with it. The members at their weekly meetings read in rotation discourses on medical subjects, which, at least Six months previous to their delivery, had been assigned to them by the Society, either at their own request or by lot. And before any discourse be publicly read it is communicated in writing to every member, three of whom are particularly appointed to impugn, if necessary, its doctrines. From these circumstances the author of every discourse is induced to bestow the utmost pains in rendering it as complete as possible ; and the other members have an opportunity of coming prepared to point out every other view in which the subject can be rendered. Thus, emulation and industry are excited, genius is called forth, and the judgment exercised and improved. By these means much information is obtained respecting facts and doctrines already published ; new opinions are often suggested, and further inquiries pointed out. -4nd it is acknowledged by all who are acquainted with the Univer
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Arlhur?s Seat.] DR. JOHN BELL 303 sity of Edinburgh that the Medical Society has contributed much to the prosperity and reputation of this school of physic.? Such are still the objects of the Royal Medical Society, which has now, however, quitted its old hall and chambers for newer premises in 7 Melbourne Place. Its staff consists of four presidents, two honorary secretaries, curators of the library and museum, with a treasurer and sub-librarian. Many old citizens of good position had residences in and near the High School yards and Surgeon Square. Among these was Mr. George Sinclair of Ulbster, who married Janet daughter of Lord Strathmore, and who had a house of seven rooms in the yard, which was advertised in the Courant of 1761. His son was the eminent agriculturist, and first baronet of the family. In 1790 a theatre for dissections and an anatomical museum were erected in Surgeon Square by Dr. John Bell, the eminent anatomist, who was born in the city on the 12th May, 1763, and who most successfully applied the science of anatomy to practical surgery-a profession to which, curiously enough, he had from his birth been devoted by his father. The latter,about a month before the child?s birth, had-when in his 59th yea-undergone with successapainful surgicaloperation, and his gratitude led him tovowhe would rear his son John to the cause of medicine for the relief of mankind ; and after leaving the High School the boy was duly apprenticed to Mr. Alexander Wood, surgeon, and soon distinguished himself in chemistry, midwifery, and surgery, and then anatomy, which had been somewhat overlooked by Munro. In the third year after his anatomical theatre had been opened in the now obscure little square, he published his ? Anatomy of the Human Body,? consisting of a description of the action and play of the bones, muscles, and joints. In 1797 appeared the second volume, treating of the heart and arteries. During a brilliant career, he devoted himself with zeal to his profession, till in 1816 he was thrown from his horse, receiving a shock from which his constitution never recovered. CHAPTER XXXVII. AKTHUR?S SEAT AND ITS VICINITY. The Sanctuary-Geology of the Hill-Origin of its Name, and that of the Craigs-The Park Walls, 2554-A Banquet alfrrsc6The Pestilence -A Duel-?The Guttit Haddie?-Mutiny of the Old 78th Regiment-Proposed House on the Summit-bfuschat and his Cairn- Radical Road Formed-May Day-Skeletons found at the Wells 0? Wearic-Park Improvements-The Hunter?s Bog-Legend of the Hangman?s big-Duddingston-The Church-Rev. J. Thomson-Robert Monteith-The Loch-Its Sw-ans-Skatcrs--The Duddingston Thoro-The Argyle and Abercorn FamilisThe Earl of Mob-Lady Flon. HastingsCnuvin?s Hospica-Parson?s Grecn-St. Anlhonfs Chapel and Well-The Volunteer Renew before the Queen. TAKING up the history of the districts of the city in groups as we have done, we now come to Arthur?s Seat, which is already well-nigh surrounded, especially on the west and north, by streets and mansions. Towering to the height of 822 feet above the Forth, this hill, with the Craigs of Salisbury, occupies the greater portion of the ancient Sanctuary of Holyrood, which included the royal park (first enclosed and improved from a condition of natural forest by James V. and Queen Mary), St. Anne?s Yard and the Duke?s Walk (both now obliterated), the Hermitage of St. Anthony, the Hunter?s Bog, and the southern parks as far as Duddingston, a tract of five miles in circumference, in which persons were safe from their creditors for twenty-four hours, after which they must take out a Protectim, as it was called, issued by the bailie of the abbey ; the debtors were then at liberty to go where they pleased on Sundays, without molestation j but later legal alterations have rendered retirement to the Sanctuary to a certain extent unnecessary. The recent formation of the Queen?s Drive round the hill, and the introduction of the rifle ranges in the valley to the north of it, have destroyed the wonderful solitude which for ages reigned there, even in the vicinity of a busy and stormy capital. Prior to these changes, and in some parts even yet, the district bore the character which Arnot gave it when he wrote :-? Seldom are human beings to be met in this lonely vale, or any creature to be seen, but the sheep feeding on the mountains, or the hawks and ravens winging their flight among the rocks?: The aspect of the lionshaped mountain and the outline of the craig are known to every one. There is something certainly grand and awful in the front of mighty slope and broken rock and precipice, which the latter present to the city. Greenstone, which has been upheaved through strata surfaced with sandstone
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