Edinburgh Bookshelf

Old and New Edinburgh Vol. VI


Stenhouse.1 KATHERINE OSWALD, WITCH. 339 The same Sir John seems to have possessed property in East Lothian. In 1413-4 Gulielmus de Edmonstone, scutger, was a bailie of Edinburgh, together with William Touris of Cramond, Andrew of Learmouth, and William of the Wood. (? Burgh Charters,? No. It was on Edmonstone Edge that the Scots pitched their camp before the battle qf Pinkie, and when the rout ensued, the tremendous and exulting shout raised by the victors and their Spanish, German, and Italian auxiliaries, when they mustered on the Edge, then covered by the Scottish tents, was distinctly heard in the streets of Edinburgh, five miles distant. In 1629 the ?Judicial Records? tell us of certain cases of witchcraft and sorcery as occurring in the little villages of Niddrie and Edmonstone. Among them was that of Katherine Oswald, a generally reputed witch, who acknowledged that, with others at the Pans, she used devilish charms to raise a great storm during the borrowing days of 1625, and owned to having, with other witches and warlocks, had meetings with the devil between Niddrie and Edmonstone for laying diseases both on men and cattle. She was also accused of ?bewitching John Nisbett?s cow, so that she gave blood instead ol milk. Also threatening those who disobliged her, after which some lost their cows by running mad, and others had their kilns burnt. Also her numerous cures, particularly one of a lad whom she cured of the trembling fever, by plucking up a nettle by the root, throwing it on the hie gate, and passing on the cross of it, and returning home, all which must be done before sun-rising ; to repeat this for three several mornings, which being done, he recovered. XXI.) ?? Convicted, worried at a stake, and burnt? A companion of this Katherine Oswald, Alexander Hamilton, who confessed to meeting the devil in Saltoun Wood, being batooned by him for failing to keep a certain appointment, and bewitching to death Lady Ormiston and her daughter, was alsa ? worried at a stake, and burnt?: (? Spottiswoode Miscellany.?) Regarding the surname of Edmonstone, 1632, Lord Durie reports a case, the Laird of Leyton against the Laird of Edmonstone, concerning the patronage of ? the Hospital of Ednemspittal, which pertained to the House of Edmonstone? The defender would seem to have been Andrew Edrnonstone of that ilk, son of ?uniquhile Sir John,? also of that ilk. The family disappeared about the beginning oj the seventeenth century, and their land passed into the possession of the second son of Sir John Wauchope of Niddrie, Marischal, who was raised to the bench as Lord Edmonstone, but was afterwards removed therefrom, ?in consequence of his opposition to the royal inclinations in one of his votes as a judge.? His daughter and heiress mamed Patrick, son of Sir Alexander Don of Newton Don and that ilk, when the family assumed the name of Wauchope, and resumed that of Don on the death of the late Sir William Don, Bart. The estate of Woolmet adjoins that of .Ednionstone on the eastward. According to the ?New Statistical Account,? it was granted to the abbey of Dunfermline by David I. It belonged in after years to a branch of the Edmonstone family, who also possessed house p,roperty in Leith, according to a case in Durie?s ? Decisions ? under date 1623. In 1655 the Laird of Woolmet was committed to ward in the Castle of Edinburgh, charged With ? dangerous designes and correspondence with Charles Stuart ; ? and in I 670 several cases in the Court of Session refer to disputes between Jean Douglas, Lady Woolmet, and others, as reported in Stair?s ? Decisions.? \ Wymet, now corrupted to Woolmet, was the ancient name of the parish now incorporated with that of Newton, and after the Reformation the lands thereof were included in Tames VI.?s grant to Lord Thirlstane. The little hamlet named the Stennis, or Stenhouse (a corruption of Stonehouse, or the Place of the Stones) lies in the wooded. hollow through which Burdiehouse Bum flows eastward. In the new church of St. Chad, at Shrewsbury, in Shropshire, there lies interred a forgotten native of this hamlet-atl architect-the epitaph on whose massive and handsome tombstone is quite a little memoir of him :- ? L J ~ ~ ~ SIMPSON, ?? Born at Stennis, in Midlothian, I 75 5 ; died in this parish, June rgth, 1815. As a man, he was moral, gentle, social, and friendly. In his professional capacity, diligence, accuracy, and irreproachable integrity ensured him esteem and confidence wherever he was employed, and lasting monuments of his skill and ability will be found in the building of this church (St. Chad?s), which he superintended, the bridges of Bewdley, Dunkeld, and Bonar, the aqueducts of Pontoysclite and Chirk, and the locks and basins of the Caledonian Canal. The strength and maturity of his Christian faith and hope were seen conspicuously in his last illness. To his exemplary cbnduct as a husband
Volume 6 Page 339
  Enlarge Enlarge  
3 40 OLD AND NEW EDINBURGH. [Moredun. and a father, his afflicted widow and daughters erect this memorial of affection and regret.? He designed and erected the column of Lord Hill, at Hawkstone, near Shrewsbury. Adjoining the Stenhouse is Moredun, the property of Misses Anderson, of old called Goodtrees, when it belonged to a family named Stewart. It is now remarkable for its holly hedges, which are of great height. tish, Roman, and English laws. He married Agnes, daughter of Trail of Blebo, by whom he had several children. He took an active part in the Revolution of 1688, and became Lord Advocate in 1689. He was made a baronet of Nova Scotia in 1695, according to Burke-in 1705, according to Beatson-and attained the reputation of being one of the most able and acute lawyers of his time, and of this his ?Answer to Dirleton?s Doubts ? is considered a proof. From his nephew, INCH HOUSE. In the middle of the seventeenth century Goodtrees belonged to a family named McCulloch, which ended in an only daughter and heiress, Marion, widow of Sir John Elliot, who married, in 1648, Sir James Stewart of Coltness (a son of Stewart of Allanton), who was twice Provost of Edinburgh, in 1649 ? and 1659, but was dismissed from office at the Restoration as a Covenanter, and was even committed to the Castle. By this marriage he acquired the estate of Goodtrees, and, dying in 1681, was succeeded in Coltness by his eldest son, Sir Thomas Stewart (a baronet of 1698), while Goodtrees passed by bequest to his fourth son, James. The latter was bred an advocate, and early distinguished himself by his knowledge of the Scot- Sir David Stewart, he purchased the estate of Coltness in 17 I 2, and, dying in the following year, was succeeded by his son, Sir James Stewart, Bart., of Goodtrees and Coltness. The latter, who was born in 1681, married, ic 1705, Anne, daughter of Sir Hew Dalrymple of North Berwick, Lord President of the Court ot Session. Like his father, he was a distinguished advocate. He became Solicitor-General for Scotland, and in 1713 was returned to Parliament as member for Midlothian. He died in 1727, and was succeeded by his only son, Sir James Stewart of Goodtrees, who was the most remarkable man of the family, and eminent as a writer on political economy- He was born on the loth of October (old style),
Volume 6 Page 340
  Enlarge Enlarge     Pictures Pictures