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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. IV


260 I OLD AND NEW EDtNEURGH. [The Cowgate. Full of years and honours, Tam 0? the Cowgate died in 1637. At Tynninghame, his family seat, :here are two portraits of him preserved, and also his state dress, in the crimson velvet breeches of which there are no less than nine pockets. Among many of his papers, which remain at Tynninghame House, one contains a memorandum which throws a curious light upon the way in which political matters were then managed in Scotland. This paper details the heads of a petition in his own each way, and had a border of trees upon its east and south sides. Latterly it bore the name of Thomson?s Green, from the person to whom it was leased by the Commissioners of Excise. The Hammerman?s Close, Land, and Hall, adjoined the site of this edifice on the westward. The Land was in I 7 I I the abode of a man named Anthony Parsons, among the last of those who followed the ancient practice of vending quack medicines on a public stage in the streets. In the THE FRENCH AMBASSADOR'S CHAPEL. (From a Drawing by W. Geikie.) hand-writing to the Privy Council with a prayer to ?gar the Chancellor? do something else in his behalf The Excise Office was removed about 1730 from the Parliament Square to the houge so long occupied by the Earl of Haddington, which afforded excellent accommodation for so important a public institution. The principal room on the second floor, the windows of which opened to the Cowgate, was one of great magnificence, having a stucco ceiling divided into square compartments, each of which contained an elegant device, and there was also much fine paneling. At the back of the house, extending to where the back of Brown Square was built, and entered by a gate from the Candlemaker Row, it measured nearly zoo feet October of that year he advertised in the Scofs Postman-? It being reported that Anthony Parsons is gone from Edinburgh to mount public stages in the country, this is to give notice that he hath left off keeping stages, and still lives in the Hammerman?s Land, near the head of the Cowgate, where may be had the Orvicton, a famous antidote against infectious distempers, and helps barrenness,? &c Four years subsequently Parsons-an Englishman, of course-announced his design of bidding adieu to Edinburgh, and in that prospect offered his quack medicines at reduced rates, and likewise, by auction, ?a fine cabinet organ.? The last of these English quacks was Dr. Green, gauger, of Doncaster, who made his appearance in
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The Cowgate.] - THE MAGDALENE CHAPEL 261 Michael Macqueen (or Macquhen), .a wealthy citi- Zen, and afterwards by his widow, Janet Rhynd. 1725, accompanied by a servant, ?or tumbler,? who robbed him, and against whom he warned the people of certain country towns in the Courant of December, I 7 25. Arnot records that in early times there existed in the Cowgate an ancient Maisoson Dieu which had fallen into decay; but it was re-founded in the reign with ancient painted glass-the only fragments in all Scotland which have survived the Reformation, the latter was used as a hall for their meetings. The foundation was augmented in 1541 by two donations from Hugh Lord Somerville, who was taken prisoner by the English in the following year, and had to ransom himself for I,OCO merks. If the edifice suffered in the general sack of the city during the invasion of 1544 it must have been The hospital4esigned to accommodate a chap lain and seven poor men-and the chzpel, the little square spire of which (with its gargoyles formed like cannon, each with a ball stuck in its mouth) is nearly lost amid the towering modern edifices which surround it-were dedicated to St Mary Magda- 1 and contain the royal arms of Scotland, encircled by a wreath of thistles, and those of the Queen Regent Mary of Guise, within a wreath of laurel, with the shields of the founder and foundress within ornamental borders. These probably date from 1556, in which year we find that ?The baillies and
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