Edinburgh Bookshelf

Old and New Edinburgh Vol. IV


208 OLD AND NEW EDINBURGH. [Great Stuart Street. shire, and of Amelia, daughter of Alexander Graham, of Duntrune, who died in 1804 and was thus the last lineal representative of Claverhouse. In addition to her accomplishments, she possessed wit and invention in a high degree, and was always lively, kind, and hospitable. She had a keen perception of the humorous, and was well known in Edinburgh society in the palmy days of Jeffrey. Gifted with great powers of mimicry, her personifications at private parties were so unique, that even those who knew her best were deceived. One of the most amusing of these took place in 18z1, at the house of Jeffrey. He asked her to give a personation of an old lady, to which she consented, but, in order to have a little amusement at his expense, she called upon him in the character of a ? Lady Pitlyal,? to ask his professional opinion upon an imaginary law plea, which she alleged her agent was misconducting. On this occasion she drove up to his house in? the carriage of Lord Gillies, accompagood humour. Her conversation, so far as I have had the advantage of hearing it, is shrewd and sensible, but noways brilliant. She dined with us, went off as to the play, and returned in the character of an old Scottish lady. Her dress and behaviour were admirable, and her conversation unique. I was in the secret of course, and did my best to keep up the ball, but she cut me out of all feather. The prosing account she gave of her WILLIAM EDMONSTOUNE AYTOUN. (F7m a Ph&-ra#h ay MCSSYX. Ross and Tbmsa.) nied by a young lady as her daughter, and so complete was the personification, that the acute Jeffrey did not discover till next day that he had been duped ! This episode created so much amusement in Edinburgh that it fdund its way into the pages of Blachood. Sir Walter Scott, who was a spectator of Miss Graham?s power of personation, wrote thus regarding it :- Went to my Lord Gillies to dinner, and witnessed a singular exhibition of personification. Miss Stirling Graham, a lady of the family from which Claverhouse was descended, looks like thuty years old, and has a face of the Scottish cast, with good expression, in point of good sense and ? March 7. son, the antiquary, who found an old ring in a slate quarry, was extremely ludicrous, and she puzzled the professor of agriculture with a merci!ess account of the succession of crops in the parks around her old mansion house. No person to whom the secret was not entrusted had the least guess of an impostor, except the shrewd young lady present, who.observed the hand narrowly, and saw that it was plumper than the age of the lady seemed to warrant. This lady and Miss Bell, of Coldstream, have this gift of personation to a much greater degree than any person I ever saw.? Miss Graham published in 1S29 the ?Bee Preserver,? translated from the work of M. de Gelieu, for which she received the medal of the Highland Society. She possessed a large circle of friends, and never had an enemy. Her friend William Edmondstoune Aytoun died on the 4th August, 1865, sincerely regretted by all who knew him, and now lies under a white marble monument in the beautiful cemetery at the Dean. Charles Baillie, Lord Jerviswoode, who may well be deemed by association one of the last of the historical Lords of Session, for years was the occupant of No. 14, Randolph Crescent, and his name is one which awakens many sad and gentle
Volume 4 Page 208
  Enlarge Enlarge     Pictures Pictures
Great Stuart Street.] LORD JERVISWOODE. 209 memories. He was the second son of George Baillie of Jerviswoode; and a descendant of that memorable Baillie of Jerviswoode, who, according to Hume, was a man of merit and learning, a cadet of the Lamington family, and called "The Scottish Sidney," but was executed as a traitor on the'scaffold at Edinburgh, in 1683, having identified himself with the interests of Monmouth and Argyle. * Lord Jerviswoode was possessed of more than average intellectual gifts, i and still more with charms of person and manners that were not confined to the female side of his house. One sister, the Marchioness of Breadalbane, and another, Lady Polwarth, were both celebrated for their beauty, wit, and accomplishments. On the death of their cousin, in the year 1859, his eldest brother became tenth. Earl of Haddington, and then Charles, by royal warrant, was raised to the rank of an earl's brother. ' ' Prior to this he had a long and brilliant course in law, and in spotless honour is said to have been '' second to none." He was called to the Bar in 1830, and after being Advocate Depute, Sheriff of Stirling, and Solicitor-General, was Lord Advocate in 1858, and M.P. for West Lothim in the following year, and a Lord of Session. In 1862 he became a Lord of Justiciary. He took a great interest in the fine arts, and was a trustee of the Scottish Board of Manufactures; but finding his health failing, he quitted the bench in July, 1874. * He died in his seventy-fifth year, on the 23rd of July, 1879, at his residence, Dryburgh House, in Roxburghshire, near the ruins of the beautiful abbey in which Scott and his race lie interred. For the last five years of his life little had been heard of him in the busy world, while his delicate health and shy nature denied him the power of taking part in public matters. CHAPTER XXVIII. THE WESTERN NEW TOWN-HAYMARKET-DALRY-FOUNTAINBRIDGE. Maitland Street and Shandwick Place--The Albert Institute-Last Residmn of Sir Wa!ter Scott in Edinburgh-Lieutenult-General Dun& -Melville Street-Patrick F. Tytler-Manor Plan-%. Mary's Cathedral-The Foundation Lid-Ita Sic and Aspcct-Opened for Service-The Copestone and Cross placed on the Spire-Haymarket Station-Wmter Garden-Donaldron's H o s p i t a l d t l c Terrpoh Its Chur&es-C&tle Barns-The U. P. Theological Hdl-Union Canal-First Boat Launched-Ddry-The Chieslics-The Caledonian Distille~-Fountainbridge-Earl Grey Street-Professor G. J. Bell-The . Slaughter-houses-Bain Whyt of Binfield-North British India. Rubber WorkScottish Vulcanite Company-Their Manufactures, &,.-Adam Ritchie. THE Western New Town comprises a grand series of crescents, streets, and squares, extending from the line of East and West Maitland Streets and Athole Crescent northward to the New Queensferry Road, displaying in its extent-and architecture, while including the singulax-ly ' picturesque ravine of the Water of Leith, a' brilliance' and beauty well entitling it to be deemed, par excellence, " Z?w West End," and was built respectively about 1822, 1850, and 1866. . Lynedoch Place, so named from the hero of Barossa, opposite Randolph Crescent, was erected in 1823, but prior to that a continuation of the line of Princes Street had been made westward towards the lands of Coates. This was finally effected by the erection of East and West Maitland Streets, Shandwick Place, and Coates and Athole Crescents. In the latter are some rows of stately old trees, which only vigorous and prolonged remonstrance prevented fiom being wantonly cut down, in accordance with the bad taste which at one time prevailed in Edinburgh, where a species of war was waged against all.groWing timber. 75 The Episcopal chapel of St Thomas is now compacted with the remaining houses at the east end of Rutland Street, but presents an ornamental front in 'the Norman style immediately east of Maitland Street, and shows there a richly-carved porch, with some minutely beautiful arcade work. Maitland Street and Shandwick Place, once a double line of frontdoor houses for people of good style, are almost entirely lines of shops or other new buildings. In the first years of the present century, Lockhart of Castlehill, Hepburn of Clerkington, Napier of Dunmore, Tait of Glencross, and Scott of Cauldhouse, had their residences in the former; and No. 23, now a shop, was the abode, about the year 1818, of J. Gibson Lockhaqt, the son-in-law and biographer of Sir Walter Scott He died at Abbotsford in 1854 . In Shandwick Place is now the Albert Institute of the Fine Arts; erected in 1876, when property to the value of £25,ooo was acquired for the purpose. The objects of this institute are the advancement of the cause of art generally, but more especially contemporary Scottish art; to
Volume 4 Page 209
  Enlarge Enlarge