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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. IV


338 OLD AND NEW EDINBURGH. [Roxburgh Place. sion, belonging to the Lords Ross and to the age of stately ceremony and stately manners, occupied till the middle of the eighteenth century the site occupied the same apartment as that in which resided, till the year before his death, in 1785, Alexander Kunciman, one of the most eminent Scottish artists of his day, and where, no doubt, he must have entertained the poet Robert Fergusson, ?? while with ominous fitness he sat as his model for the Prodigal Son.? Nicolson Street church, erected in 1819-20, at a cwt of x6,000, has a handsome Gothic front, with two turreted pinnacles ninety feet in height. It is built upon the site of the old Antiburgher Meeting-house, and is notable for the ministry of Dr. John Jamieson, author of several theological works, and of the well-known ? Etymological Dictionary of the Scottish Language.? It was among the first efforts at an improved style of church architecture in Edinburgh, where, as elsewhere in Scotland after the Keformation, the accommodation of the different congregations in the homeliest manner was all that was deemed necessary. The pond sam parish called Lady Glenorchy?s lies eastward of Nicolson Street, and therein quite a cluster of little churches has been erected. The parish church was built as a relief chapel in 1809, by the Rev. Mr. Johnstone, and altered in 1814, when it was seated for 990 persons. The Independent congregation in Richmond Couk was established in 1833 ; but their place of worship till 1840 was built about 1795 by the Baptists. The Hebrew congregation was established in 1817, but has never exceeded IOO souls. The Episcopal congregation of St. Peter?s, Roxburgh Place, was established in 1791, and its place of worship consisted of the first and second flats of a five-storeyed tenement, and was originally built, at the sole expense of the clergyman, for about 420 persons. To Roxburgh Place came, in 1859, the congregation of Lady Glenorchy?s church, which had been demolished by the operations of the North British Railway. The Court of Session having found that city. In those days the mansion, which was a square block with wings, was approached by an avenue through a plantation upwards of sixty yards ROSS this body must be kept in full communion with the Established Church, authorised the purchase of Roxburgh Place chapel in lieu of the old place of worship, and trustees were appointed to conduct their affairs. The chapel handed over to them was that of the Relief Communion just mentioned. Externally it has no architectural pretensions ; but many may remember it as the meeting-place of the ?Convocation ? which preceded the ever-memorable secession in 1843, after which it remained closed and uncared for till it came into the hands of the Glenorchy trustees in 1859, in so dilapidated a condition that their first duty was to repair it before the congregation could use it. The remains of the pious Lady Glenorchy, which had been removed from the old church near the North Bridge, were placed, in 1844, in the vaults of St. John?s church ; but the trustees, wishing to comply as far as was in their power with the wishes of the foundress, that her remains should rest in her own church, had a suitable vault built in that at Roxburgh Place. It was paved and covered with stone, set in Roman cement, and formed on the right side of the pulpit. Therein her body was laid on the evening of Saturday, 31st December, 1859. The marble tablet, which was carefully removed from the old church, was placed over her grave, with an additional inscription explaining the circumstance which occasioned her new place of interment. The portion of St. Cuthbert?s garish which was disjoined and attached to Lady Glenorchy?s is bounded by Nicolson Street and the Pleasance on the west and east, by Drummond Street on the north, and Richmond Street on the south, with an average population of about 7,000 souls. Roxburgh Terrace is built on what was anciently called Thomson?s Park; and the place itself was named the Back Row in the city plan of 1787. CHAPTER XL. GEORGE SQUARE AND THE VICINITY How-The last Lord Ross-Earlier Residents in the Square-House of Walter Scott, W.S.-Sir Waltcr?s Boyhood-Bickas-Grcen Breeks-The Edinburgh Light Horse-The Scots Brigad+Admiral Duncan--Lord Advocate Dundas-The Grants of Kilgrastonhmn Dunda+Sedan Chak--Campbells of Snccoth-Music Class Room-The Eight Southern DistrictAhapel of Ease-Windmill Street-Euccleuch Place-Jeffrey?s First House there-The Burgh Loch-Society of Impraven-The Meadow.
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*lEe %we.] THE LORDS ROSS. 339 long, from where the north-east end of Teviot Row was latterly. There were the stable offices; in front of the house was a tree of great size, while its spacious garden was bordered by Bristo Street. When offered for sale, in March, 1761, it was described in a newspaper of the period as ?ROSS House, with the fields and gardens lying around it, consisting of about twenty-fou acres, divided as follows : About an acre and a half in a field and court about the house; seventeen acres in one field lying to the south-west, between it and Hope Park j the rest into kitchen-gardens, running along Bristo Street and the back of the wall. The house consists of dining, drawing, and dressing rooms, six bed-chambers, several closets and garrets; in the ground storey, kitchen, larder, pantry, milkhouse, laundry, cellars, and accommodation for servants, &c? This house, which was latterly used as a lying-in hospital, was occupied for some time prior to 1753 by George Lockhart of Carnwath, during whose time it was the scene of many a gay rout, ball, and ridotto ; but it was, when the family were in Edinburgh, the permanent residence of the Lords Ross of Halkhead, a family of great antiquity, dating back to the days of King Willmm the Lion, 1165. In this house died, in June, 2754, in the seventy third year of his age, George, twelfth Lord ROSS, Commissioner of the Customs, whose body wa taken for interment to Renfrew, the burial-place 01 the family. His chief seats were Halkhead and Melville Castle, He was succeeded by his son, the Master of Ross, who waa the last lord of that ilk, and who died in his thirty-fourth year, unmarried, at Mount Teviof the seat of his uncle, the Marquis of Lothian, in the following August, and was alsa taken to Renfrew for purposes of interment. His sister Elizabeth became Countess of Glas gow, and eventually his heiress, and through he1 the Earls of Glasgow are also Lords Ross of Halkhead, by creation in 1815. Another sister was one of the last persons in Scotland supposed to be possessed of an evil spirit-Mary, who died unmarried. A correspondent of Robert Chambers states as follows:- ??A person alive in 1824 told me that, when a child, he saw her clamber up to the top of an oldfashioned four-post bed. In her fits it was impossible to hold her.? At the time-Ross House was offered for sale the city was almost entirely confined within the Flodden Wall, the suburbs being of small extent- Nicolson Street and Square, Chapel Street, the southern portion of Bristo Street, Crichton Street, - . Buccleuch Street, and St. Patrick Square; though some mere projected, the sites were nearly alI fields and orchards. The old Statistical Account says that Ross Park was purchased for ;GI,ZOO, and that the ground-rents of the square yield now (i.e., in 1793) above LI,OOO sterling per annum to the proprietor. James Brown, architect, who built Brown Square, having feued from the city of Edinburgh the lands of Ross Park, built thereon most of the houses of the h?ew Square, which measures 220 yards by 150, and is said to have named it, not for the king, but Brown?s elder brother George, who was the Laud of Lindsaylands and Elliestown. It speedily became a more popular place of residence than Brown Square, being farther from town, and possessing houses that were greatly superior in style and accommodation. Among the early residents in the square in 1784, and prior to that year, were the Countesses of Glasgow and Sutherland, the Ladies Rae and Philiphaugh, Antliony, Earl of Kintore, eighth Lord Falconer of Halkertoun, Sir John Ross Lockhart, and the Lords Braxheld, Stonefield, and Kennet; and in 1788, Major-General Sir Ralph Abercrombie, who died of his wounds in Egypt It has been recorded as an instance of Lord Braxfield?g great nerve that during the great political trials in 1793-4, when men?s blood was almost at fever heat, after each day?s proceedings closed, usually about midnight, he always walked home, alone and unprotected, through the dark or illlighted streets, to his house in George Square, though he constantly commented openly upon the conduct of the Radicals, and more than once announced in public that ?? They wad a? be muckle the better 0? bein? hung ! Here, too, resided in 1784 the Hon. Henry Erskine (brother of the Earl of Buchan), the witty advocate, who, after being presented to Dr. Johnson by Mr. Boswell, and having made his bow in the Parliament House, slipped a shilling into Boswell?s hand, whispering that it was for the sight of his English bear. To those named, Lord Cockburn, in his ?Memorials,? adds the Duchess of Gordon, Robert Dundas of Amiston, Lord Chief Baron of Exchequer, the hero of Camperdown, Lord President Blair, Dr. John Jamieson, the Scottish lexicographer, and says, ?a host of other distinguished people all resided here. The old square, with its pleasant trim-kept gardens, has still an air of antiquated grandeur about it, and retains not a few traces of its former dignity and seclusion.? Aniong the documents exhibited at the Scott
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