Edinburgh Bookshelf

Old and New Edinburgh Vol. V


The Water of Leith.] MAJOR-GENERAL MITCHELL. 79 1849. Horatio Macculloch, R.S.A., a most distinguished landscape painter, lived for many years in No. 7, Danube Street, where the best of his works were executed. With Sir Daniel Macnee, P.R.S.A., he first obtained employment from Lizars, the engraver, as colourists of Selby?s ?? Ornithology.? In 1829 he first exhibited; and from thence onwards, to his death in 1867, he contributed to the yearly exhibitions, and won himself much fame in Scotland. In No. 16, Carlton Street, adjoining, lived for many years his chief friend, Kenneth Macleay, R.S.A., who was born at Oban in 1802, and after being educated at the Trustees? School, was one of the thirteen founders of the Royal Scottish Academy, and at his death was the last survivor of them. He was chiefly famous for his beautiful miniatures on ivory, and latterly was well known for his occasional sketches and delineations of Highland life, many of which were painted at the express desire of Her Majesty. He died at No. 3, Malta Terrace, in 1878, in his seventy-sixth year. He was an enthusiastic Celt, and fond of wearing the Highland dress on Academy receptions, and on every possible occasion. Among others connected with art who made Stockbridge their residence was George Kemp, the luckless architect of Sir Walter Scott?s monument, who had a humble flat in No. 28, Bedford Street ; James Stewart, the well-known engraver of Sir Wlliam Allan?s finest works, who lived in No. 4 of that gloomy little street called Hermitage Place ; and Comely Bank, close by, was not without its famous people too, for there, for some years after his marriage, dwelt Thomas Carlyle, and, in No. I I, James Browne, LL.D., author of the ?History 01 the Highland Clans,? and editor of the CaZea?onian Mermv and of The Edinburgh Week& JournaZ, and Macvey Napier?s collaborateur in the ?? Encyclopzdia Britannica.? Some differences having arisen between him and Mr. Charles Maclaren, the editor of the Scotsman, regarding a fine-art criticism, the altercation ran so high that a hostile meeting took place at seven o?clock in the morning of the 12th of November, 1829, somewhere neaI Ravelston, but, fortunately, without any calamitous sequel. He took a great lead in Liberal politics, and in No. 11 entertained Daniel O?Connell more than once. He died at Woodbine Cottage, Trinity, an the 8th of April, 1841, aged fifty years. John Ewbank, R.S.A., the marine and landscape painter, livedat No. 5, Comely Bank; while No. 13 was thc residence of Mrs. Johnstone, who while there wrote many of her best novels-among them, ? Clan Albyn : a National Tale ?-and contributed man] able articles to johnstone?s Magazine, a now forgotten monthly. From a passage in a memoir of himself prefixed to ? The Mountain Bard,? we find that the Ettrick Shepherd, about 1813, was living in Deanhaugh Street while at work on the ?Queen?s Wake,? which he produced in that year; and that, in his lodgings there, he was wont to read passages of his poems to Mr. Gray, of the High School, whose criticisms would seem to have led to a quarrel between them. Sir James Young Simpson, Bart., in his boyhood and as a student lived with his brother, David Simpson, a respectable master baker, in the shop, No. I, Raeburn Place, at the corner of Dean Street. When he first began to practise as a physician, it was in a first flat of No. 2, Deanhaugh Street ; and as his fame began to spread, and he was elected Professor of Midwifery in the University in 1840, in succession to Dr. Hamilton, he was living in No. I, Dean Terrace. In St. Bernard?s Crescent, for many years while in the employment of the Messrs. Chambers, lived Leitch Ritchie, author of ?? Schinderhannes, the Robber of the Rhine,?? a famous romance in its day ; also of ?? Travelling Sketches on the Rhine, in Belgium, and Holland,? and many other works. He was born in 1801, and died on the 16th of January, 1865. His neighbour and friend here was Andrew Crichton, LL.D., author of a ?? History of Scandinavia I? and other works, and twenty-one years editor of the Edinburgh Advertiser. In the same quarter there spent many years of his life Major-General John Mitchell, a gallant old Peninsular officer, who was an able writer on military matters and biography. In 1803 he began life as an ensign in the 57th Foot, and served in all the campaigns in Spain and Portugal, France and Flanders. Under the nomdepZuume of ?Sabretache,? he wrote some very smart things, his earliest productions appearing in Fraser?s Magazine and the United Serzlice JournaZ. He was the author of a ? Life of Wallenstein? (London, 1837), which, like his ?Fall of Napoleon,? was well received by the public ; and Sir Robert Peel acknowledged the importance of the information he derived from the latter work, after the appearance of which, Augustus, King of Hanover, presented the author with a diamond brooch. He was the author of many other works, including ?Biographies of Eminent Soldiers.? He was a handsome man, with great buoyancy of spirit and conversational powers ; thus ? Old Sabretache,? as he was often called, was welcome everywhere. A
Volume 5 Page 79
  Enlarge Enlarge  
The Water of Leith.
Volume 5 Page 80
  Enlarge Enlarge     Pictures Pictures