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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. VI


Leith.] CORNWALLIS?S REGIMENT. ?93 ?Are you uneasy about that fishing-party ? ? ?? No,? she replied, ?I had no thought of it.? After she had been asleep about an hour, she again exclaimed, in a dreadful fright : ?? I see the boat-it is going down ! ? Again the major awoke her, on which she said the second dream must have been suggested Chambers conceives that, unlike many anecdotes of this kind, Lady Clerk?s dream-story can be traced to an actual occurrence, which he quotes from the CaZcdoniaiz Mercury of I 734, and that the old lady had mistaken the precise year. In 1740-for the first time, probably, since the THE OLD TOLBOOTH, 1820. (&?er Slorcr.) by the first. But no rest n-as to be obtained by her, for again the dream returned, and she exclaimed, in extreme agony : ?They are gone !-the boat is sunk ! Then she added : ? Mr. Dacre must not go, for I feel that, should he go, I should be miserable till his return.? In short, on the strength of her treble dream, she induced their nephew to send a note of apology to his companions, who left Leith, but were caught in a storm, in which all perished. 121 days of Cromwell--we find regular troops quartered in Leith, when General Guest, commanding in Scotland, required the magistrates to find billets in North and South Leith for certain companies of Brigadier Cornwallis?s regiment, latterly the I I th Foot. Previous to 1745, the only place where troops could be accommodated in a body at Leith was in the old Tolbooth About that time, Robert Douglas,
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194 OLD AND NEW EDINBURGH. [Leith of Brockhouse, contracted with the corporation to provide accommodation for soldiers. His agreement was to quarter three companies of infantry ? in the back land in Leith, at Coatfield Gutter, and up the back vennel, where the lane leadeth to the Links,? for which he was to be paid by the town four shillings per week for every man, on finding sufficient bedding, coals, and candles ; but the speculation did not prove remunerative, and much litigation ensued, without consequences (Robertson). On the 8th of February, 1746, when Cumberland was on his march to the north from Perth, the armament of 5,000 Hessian troops, under his brother-inlaw the Prince of Hesse, arrived in Leith Roads to assist in the suppression of the Jacobite clans. He landed that night at the harbour, attended by the Earl of Crawford (so famous in the wars of George II.), by a son of the Duke of Wolfenbuttel, and other persons of distinction ; and was taken to Holyrood, under a salute from the Castle. On the 15th the Duke of Cumberland was to pax him a fornial visit, and they held a council of war in Milton House, after which the Duke set forth again, leaving the Prince of Hesse to follow. Many public persons flocked to welcome the latter, and the ministers of Edinburgh and Leith, we are told, poured forth torrents of vituperation on ? the Pretender and his desperate mob,? for which, to their astonishment, they were sharply rebuked by the Prince, ?with the sternest air he could assume ; ? and he told them that Prince Charles was no pretender, but the lawful grandson of James VII., as all men knew; and that it was ?very indecent and illmannered in a gentleman, and base and unworthy in a clergyman, to use reproachful and opprobrious names ? (Constable?s Miscel., vol. xvi.). At a supper a Whig gentleman made a remark derogatory of Prince Charles, ?to which his Serene Highness replied with great warmth: ?Sir, I know it to be false. I am personally acquainted with him; he has many great as well as good qualities, and is inferior tu few generals in Europe. We made two campaigns together, and he richly deserves the character the Duke of Berwick gave him from Gaeta to the Duke of Fitzjames.?? The Hessian amy won the esteem of the people of Edinburgh and Leith, and were the first to introduce the use of bl?ack rajjee into this country ; but it soon began the march northward, to uphold the House of Hanover in the Highlands. The utterly defenceless state in which the coast of Scotland was left after the Union caused alarms to be very easily created in time of war. Hence, in July, 1759, the appearance of two large ships in the Firth of Forth, standing off and on, with Dutch colours flying, brought the cavalry in the Canongate, and the infantry in the castle, under arms, with a train of cannon, for the security of Leith, where every man armed himself with whatever came to hand. Why these ships displayed Dutch colours we are not told, but they proved to be the Swaa and one of our own sloops of war, full of impressed men, going south from the Orkney Isles. Four years afterwards peace was proclaimed with France and Spain, by sound of trumpet by the heralds, escorted by Leighton?s Regiment (the 32nd Foot), which fired three volleys of musketry. The ceremony was performed in four places-at the gqtes of the castle and palace, the market cross, and the Shore of Leith. In 1771 Arnot mentions that the latter was very ill-supplied with water, and that, as the streets were neither properly cleaned nor lighted, an Act of Parliament was passed in that year, appointing certain persons from among the magistrates and irhabitants of Edinburgh, the Lords of Session, and Leith Corporation, commissioners of police, empowering theln to put this Act in execution by levying a sum not exceeding sixpence in the pound upon the valued rent of Leith. ?The great change upon the streets of Leith,? he adds, ?which has since taken place, shows that this act has been judiciously prepared and attentively executed.? Before the great consternation excited in Leith by the advent of Paul Jonesthe town was greatly disturbed by two mutinies among the Highland troops. In 1778, the West Highland Fencibles, who had recently brought with them to Edinburgh Castle sixty-five French prisoners, resented bitterly some innovations on their ancient Celtic garb-particularly the cartridge-box-which they oddly alleged ? no Highland regiment ever wore before ; ?? and, by a preconcerted plan, the whole battalion, when paraded on the Castle Hill, simultaneously tore them from their shoulders and flung them conteniptuously on the ground, refusing to wear them. A few days after this, the general commanding, having made his own arrangements, marched four companies of the corps to Leith, where they were surrounded by the 10th Light Dragoons-now Hussars- and compelled at the point of the sword to accept the pouches, which were piled up on the Links before them. By a drum-head court-martial held on the spot, several of the ringleaders were tried and flogged, after which the remainder were marched to Berwick. Meanwhile, a company which formed the guard in the Castle, on hearing of this, openly revolted, lowered the portcullis, drew up the bridge, loaded .
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