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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. IV


OLD AND NEW EDINBUKGH. [Heriot?s Hospital. 366 with the idea of founding an institution in his native city, somewhat like Christ?s Hospital, and in the arrangements for this he was assisted by his cousin Adam Lautie, a notary in Edinburgh. Having thus set his house in order, he died peacefully in London on the 12th of February, 1Gz3, a year before his royal master James VI., and was buried at St. Martins-in-the-Fields, The whole of his large property, the legacies excepted, was by him bequeathed to the civic authorities and clergy of Edinburgh, for the eiection and maintenance of a hospital ?for the education, nursing, and upbringing of youth, being puir orphans and fatherless children of decayet burgesses and freemen of the said burgh, destitute, and left without means.? Of what wealth Heriot died possessed is uncertain, says Arnot ; but probably it was not under ~50,000. The town council and clergy employed Sir John Hay of Barns, afterwards Lord Clerk Register, to settle accounts with Heriot?s English debtors. Among these we find the famous Robin Carr, Earl of Somerset, the dispute being about a jewelled sword, valued at between g400 and As00 by the Earl, but at A890 by the executors. Heriot had furnished jewels to Charles I. when the latter went to Spain in 1623, and whenhe ascended the throne, his debt for these, due to Heriot, was paid to the trustees in part of the purchasemoney of the Barony of Broughton, the crown lands in the vicinity of the city. The account settled between Sir John Hay and the Governm of the Hospital, 12th of May, 1647, and afterwards approved by a decree of the Court of Session, after deducting legacies, bad debts, and compositions for debts resting by the Crown, amounted to A23,625 10s. 34d. sterling (Amot), and on the 1st July, 1628, the governors began to rear the magnificent hospital on the then open ridge of the High Riggs; but the progress of the work was interrupted by the troubles of subsequent years. Who designed Heriot?s Hospital has been more than once a vexed question, and though the edifice is of a date so recent, this is one of the many architectural mysteries of Europe. Among other fallacies, a popular one is that the architect was Inigo Jones, but for this assertion there is not the faintest shadow of proof, as his name does not appear in any single document or record connected with Heriot?s Hospital, though the names of several ?? Master Masoq? are commemorated in connection with the progess of the work, and the house contains a portrait of William Aytoun, master mason, engraved in Constable?s memoir of Heriot, published in 1822, 8 a cadet of the house of Inchdairnie in Fifes! iire. When the edifice was first founded the master cf works was William Wallace, who had under him an overseer. 0; foreman named Andrew Donaldson, who, says Billings, seems to have been in reality the master mason, while William Wallace was the architect. On his death the Governors recorded their high sense of ?his extraordinay panes and grait a i r he had in that wark baith by his advyce, and in the building of the same.? , l h e contract made in the year 1632, with William Aytoun, his successor, has been preserved ; and it appears to bc just the sort of agreement that would be made with an architect in the present day, whose duty it was to follow up, wholly or in part, the plans of his predecessar. ?lhs, Aytoun became bound (? to devyse, plott, and sett down what he sal1 think meittest for the decornient of the said wark ?and pattern thereof alreddie begun, when any defect is found; and to make with his awin handis the haill mowlds, alsweil of tymber, as of stane, belanging generally to the said wark, and generally the said William Aytoun binds and obliges him to do all and quhatsumevir umquihle William Wallace, last Maister Maissone at the said wark, aither did or intended to be done at the same.? The arrangements for the erection of the building were onginally conducted by a Dr. Balcanquall, a native of the city, one of the executors under Heriot?s last will, and who drew up the statutes. He had been a chaplain to James VI., and Master of the Savoy in the Strand. The edifice progressed till 1639, when there was a stoppage from want uf funds ; the tenants of the lands in which the property of the institution was vested being unable to pay their rents amid the tumult of the civil war. In the records, however, of the payments made about this period, we find the following extraordinary items :- aut Murch.-?I?o ye 6wemen yt drew ye cairt xxviijs wit ye chainyeis to zame vii lib. ijs. iiij lib iiijs. ond yair handis in ye cairt xijs. For 6 shakellis to ye wemeinis hands, Mair for 14 lokis for yair waists For ane qwhip for ye gentlwemen What species of ?gentlwemen? they were who were thus shackled, chained, whipped, and harnessed to a cart, it is difficult to conceive. In 1642 the work was recommenced in March, and there is an instruction that the two front towers be plat-formed, with ane bartisane about ilk ane .of them.? -4nd in July, 1649, ? George
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Heriot?s Hospital.1 WALTER BALCANQU.-II,L. 367 Waucllop Thesauer,? is ordained ? to take down the stonewark of the south-west tower, and to make (it) the same as the north-west and north-east towers ar, and this to be done with all diligence.? In Rothiemay?s view of the Hospital, published in 1647, he shows it enclosed by the crenelated ramparts of the city from the present tower in the Vennel, and including the other three on the west and south. A high wall, with a handsome gateway, bounds it above the Grassmarket, and on the west a long wall separates it from the Greyfriars churchyard, and the entire side of the present Forrest Road. Gordon?s view is still more remarkable for showing a lofty spire above the doorway, and the two southern towers surmounted by cupolas, which they certainly A somewhat similar view (which has been reproduced here,* on p. 368) will be found in Slezer?s ?? Theatrum Scotiz,? under the title of Boghengieght. How this name (which is the name of one of the Duke of Gordon?s seats) came to be applied by the engraver to Heriot?s Hospital is not known. The hospital was filled with the wounded of the English army, brought thither from the battle-field of Dunbar by CromwelL And it was used for sick and wounded soldiers by General Monk, till about 1658, when the governors prevailed upon him to remove them, accommodation being provided for them elsewhere, During this period the governors granted an annual pension of A55 to a near relation of Heriot, but not until they had received two urgent notes from Cromwell. This pension was afterwards resigned. Many improvements and additions were made, and the total expenses amounted then to upwards of ~30,000, when in 1659 it was opened for the reception of boys on the 11th April, when 30 were admitted. In August they numbered forty, In 1660 the number was 52; in 1693 it was 130; and in 1793 140. Fifteen years before the opening of the hospital, the life of Dr. Walter Balcanquall, the trustee whom Maitland curiously calls its architect, had come to a grievous end. The son of the Rev. Walter Balcanquall, a minister of Edinburgh for forty-three years, he had graduated at Oxford as Bachelor of Divinity, and was admitted a Fellow on the 8th September, 1611; in 1618 he represented- whiIe royal chaplain-the Scottish Church at the Synod of Dort, and his letters concerning that convocation, addressed to Sir Dudley Carleton, ? had till about 1692. The Editor is indebted to Mr. D. F. Lowe, M.A.. House-Governor of Heriot?s Hospital, fer assistance very kindly rendered in the matter cfiUu&ations. are preserved in Hale?s ?Golden Remains.? 1: was after he had been successively Dean of Rochester 2nd of Durham that he was one of Heriot?s three trustees. In 1638 he accompanied the Marquis of Hamilton, Royal Commissioner, as chaplain ; and some doubts of his dealings on this ahd subsequent occasions rendered him obnoxious to the Presbyterians of Scotland and the Puritans of England; and in July, 1641, he and five others having been denounced as incendiaries by the Scottish Parliament, after being persecuted, pillaged, and sequestrated by the Puritans, he shared the falling fortunes of Cliarles I. He was thrown into Chirk Castle, Denbighshire, where he died on Christmas Day, 1645, just after the battle of Naseby, and a splendid nionunient to his memory was subsequently erected in the parish churcli of Chirk: by Sir Thomas Myddleton. In the hospital records for 1675 is the following, under date May 3rd :-?There is a necessity that the steeple of the hospital be finished, and a top put thereon. Ro. Miln, Master Mason, to think on a drawing thereof against the next council meeting.,? But nothing appears to have been done by the king?s master mason, for on the Ioth?July, Deacon Sandilands was ordered to put a roof and top on the said steeple in accordance with a design furnished by Sir IVilliam Bruce, the architect of Holyrood Palace. In 1680, about the time that the obnoxious test was made the subject of so much mockery, Fountainhall mentions that ?( the children of Heriot?s Hospitall, finding that the dog which keiped the yards of that hospital1 had a public charge and office, ordained him to take the test, and offered him the paper ; but he, loving a bone rather than it, absolutely refused it. Then they rubbed it over with butter (which they called an Explication of the Test in imitation of Argile), and he licked off the butter and did spit out the paper, for which they held a jurie on him, and in derision of the sentence against Argile, they found the dog guilty of treason, and actually hanged him.? In 1692 the Council Records refer to the abolition of the cupolas, the appearance of which in old views of the hospital have caused some discussion among antiquaries. ?The council having visited the fabric of the hospital, and found that the south-east quarter thereof is not yet finished and completed, and that the south-west quarter is finished and completed by a pavilion turret of lead, an& that the north-east and north-west corners of the said fibnc are covered with a pavilion roof of lead; therefore, and for making the whole fabric of the said
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