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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. VI


Newhaven] FISHER SUPERSTITIONS. 305 polis of an ancient kingdom, this people remain unlucky ; of hares, terrible ! Should a reference - in costume, and dialect in manners (?the man in the black coat ;?- .and Friday is an and mode of thinking. The cus- unlucky day for everything but getting married; toms, laws, and traditions of their forefathers I and?to talk of a certain man named Brounger appear as if they had been stereotyped for their use.? They believe in many of the whimsical and ideal terrors of past generations, and have many superstitions that are not, perhaps, entirely their own. While at sea, if the idea of a cat or a pig float across the mind, their names must not be uttered, -* e 135 - is-according to the writer quoted-sure to produce consternation. John Brounger was an old fisherman of Newhaven, who, when too feeble to go to sea, used to ask for some oysters or fish from his neighbours on their return, and if not amply supplied, he cursed them, and wished them-on their next trip-?? ill
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306 OLD AND NEW EDINBURGH. [Wardie. In this district evidences have been found of the luck,? and it sometimes came ; to propitiate him, his moderate demands became, ere he died, an established claim. Hence it would seem that now to say to a crew at sea, ?(John Brounger ?s in your head-sheets,? or ?? OR board of you,? is sufficient to cause her crew to haul in the dredge, ship their oars, and pull the boat thrice round in a circle, to break the evil spell, and enough sometimes to make the crew abandon work. But apart from such fancies, the industrious fishermen of Newhaven still possess the noble qualities. ascribed to them by the historian of Leith, in the days when old Dr. Johnston was their pastor : ?It was no sight of ordinary interest to see the stem and weather-beaten faces of these hardy seamen subdued by the influence of religious feeling into an expression of deep reverence and humility, before their God. Their devotion seemed . - I mansion, pleasantly situated on the sea-shore, about to have acquired an additional solemnity of character, from a consciousness of the peculiarly hazardous nature of their occupation, which, throwing tKem immediately and sensibly on the protection of their Creator every day of their lives, had im5ued them with a deep sense of gratitude to that Being, whose outstretched arm had conducted their little bark in safety through a hundred storms.? In the first years of the present century there was a Newhaven stage, advertised daily to start from William Bell?s coach-office, opposite the Tron church, at ten am., three and eight p-m. We need scarcely add, that Newhaven has long been celebrated for the excellence and variety of its fish dinne&, served up in more than one oldfashioned inn, the best known of which was, perhaps, near the foot of the slope called the Whale Brae. CHAPTER XXXVI. WARDIE, TRINITY, AND GRANTON. Wardie Muir-Human Remains Found-Banghalm Bower and Trinity Lodge-Christ Church, Trinity-Free Church, Granton Road-Piltoa -Royston--Camline Park-Grantan-The Piers and Harbours-Morton?s Patent Slip. WARDIE MUIR must once have been a wide, open, and desolate space, extending from Inverleith and Warriston to the shore of the Firth; and from North Inverleith Mains, of old called Blaw Wearie, on the west, to Bonnington on the east, traversed by the narrow streamlet known as Anchorfield Bum. Now it is intersected by streets and roads, studded with fine villas rich in gardens and teeming with fertility; but how waste and desolate the muiland must once have been, is evinced b i those entries in the accounts of the Lord High Treasurer of Scotland, with reference to firing ,Mons Meg, in the days when royal salutes were sometimes fired with shotted guns ! On the 3rd of July, 1558, when the Castle batteries saluted in honour of the Dauphin?s marriage with Queen Mary, Mons Meg was fired by the express desire of the Queen Regent; the pioneers were paid for ?I their jaboris in mounting Meg furth of her lair to be schote, and for finding and carrying her bullet from Wardie Muir to the Castell,? ten shillings Scots. Wardie is fully two miles north from the Castle, and near Granton. native tribes. Several fragments of human remains were discovered in 1846, along the coast of Wardie, in excavating the foundations for a bridge of the Granton Railway ; and during some earlier operations for the same railway, on the 27th September, 1844 a silver and a copper coin of Philip 11. of Spain were found among a quantity of huiiian bones, intermingled with sand and shells; and these at the time were supposed to be a memento of some great galleon of the Spanish Armada, cast away upon the rocky coast, In the beginning of the present century, and before the roads to Queensferry and Granton were constructed, the chief or only one in this quarter was that which, between hedgerows and trees, led to Trinity, and the principal mansions near it were Bangholm Bower, called in the Advertiser for 1789 ? the Farm of Bangholms,? adjoining the lands of Wamston, and which was offered for lease, with twelve acres of meadow, ?lying immediately westward of Canonmills Loch;?? Lixmount House, in 1810 the residence of Farquharson of that ilk and Invercauld; Trinity Lodge, and one or two others. The latter is described in the Advertiser for 1783 as a large
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