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Kay's Originals Vol. 1


B I0 GB A P HI GAL SKETCHES. 45 should return to the granter, his nearest heirs-male, and assignees whatsoever. The immediate heirs of Robert Hunter, after the alienation of the family estate, gradually sank into obscurity, so that when Thomas Hunter died it became difficult to discover any traces of them. However, two parties came forward, the one an old man called Adam Hunter, subsequently a well-known individual in the Scottish courts, and a persqn of the name of Taylor, who afterwards withdrew his claim. Legal proceedings were instituted, but, after nearly fifty years’ keen contest, the aged competitor was defeated, t&e Court of Session and House of Lords deciding that he had not established his pedigree. Hogg, in his Winter Evening Tales,‘ remarks, “You ask who is the owner of Polmood? This, it seems, is a hard question, since all the lawyers and judges in Scotland have not been able to determine it in the course of half a century. It is a positive and lamentable fact, that though it is as apparent to whom the estate of Polmood belongs, as it is to whom this hand belongs, it has been a subject of litigation, and depending in our Courts of Session these fifty years.-This is one remarkable circumstance connected with the place, which has rendered it unfamous of late years, and seems in part to justify an ancient prediction, that the Hunters of Polmood were never to prosper.” To the correctness of the first part of this statement it is impossible to assent ; for, however strong the moral evidence may have been in favour of Adam Hunter, the legal proof of his pedigree was unquestionably defective, Mr. Alexander Hunter died at Edinburgh, 22d January 1786, and was succeeded by his nephew Walter, whose daughter Elizabeth, Lady Forbes, is presently (1837) in possession of Polmood. The other figure is ROGER HOG, Esq. of Newliston, formerly a merchant in London. Beside his landed property, he died possessed of personal estate to a vast amount, the succession to which was contested, and gave rise’to the celebrated case of Lashley against Hog. It is said that Mr. Hog, amongst other economical habits, used to dispose of his poultry, and in order to superintend the trade himself, he usually brought them to market in his carriage. HG son and heir going one day to Newliston, to visit his father, met him on his way to town. The servants knowing that their master was short-sighted, drove the carriage close up, that they might converse together. The son, in popping his head in at the carriage window, was, to his infinite astonishment, immediately seized by the nose by an enraged turkey-cock which was being conveyed to the market. He was a great admirer of Dr. Grahram, and a constant attendant during his lectures. He was accustomed to preface anything he uttered with “I say,” a peculiarity noticed by Mr. Kay in this Print. Being very parsimonious, he amassed a large fortune. Mr. Hog was remarkably corpulent, and very careless in his dress. He died at Newliston, 19th March 1789. VoL ii. p. 3. Edinburgh, 1820.
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46 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. PTO. XVIII. FRANCIS GROSE, ESQ., F.A.S. OF LONDON AND PERTH. THIS Print of the celebrated antiquary, Captain Grose, A fine fat fodgel wig& of stature short, but genius bright, represents him in the act of copying an inscription upon an ancient ruin, and was done during his visit to Edinburgh in 1789. He was exceedingly corpulent, and used to rally himself with the greatest good humour on the singular rotundity of his figure. The following epigram, written in a moment of festivity by the celebrated Robert Eurns, the Ayrshire bard, was so much relished by Grose, that he made it serve as an excuse for prolonging the convivial occasion that gave it birth to a very late hour :- The Devil got notice that Grose waa adying, So whip ! at the 8ummona, old Satan came flying ; But when he approach’d where poor FrancLs lay moaning, And saw each bed-post with its burthen a-groaning, Astonished, confounded, cries Satan, ‘ -, I’d want him, ere take such a -lo ad.” It may be noticed that Grose acknowledges his obligations to the poet in the following terms, in his Anfiquitks of Scotland:-“To my ingenious friend, Mr, Robert Burns, I have been variously obligated : he not only was at the pains of making out what was most worthy of notice in Ayrshire, the county honoured by his birth, but he also wrote, expressly for this work, the pretty tale annexed to Alloway Church.” This “pretty tale ” is Burns’s inimitable ‘‘ Tam 0’ Shanter.” Captain Grose was born in the year 1731, and was the son of Mr, Francis Grose of Richmond, jeweller, who fitted up the coronation crown of George the Second, and died in 1769. By his father he was left an independent fortune. In early life he entered the Surrey militia, of which he became Adjutant and Paymaster; but so careless was he that he kept no vouchers either of his receipts or expenditure. He used himself to say he had only two books of accounts, viz. the right and left hand pockets. The results may easily be anticipated, and his fortune suffered severely for his folly. His losses on this occasion roused his latent talents ;-with a good classical education, a fine taste for drawing, encouraged by his friends, and impelled by his situation, he commenced the Antiquities of England and Wah, the first number of which was published in 1773, and the fourth volume completed in 1776. In 1777 he resumed his pencil, and added two lpore volumes to his English Views, in which he included the islands of Guernsey and Jersey, in 237 views, with
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