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Kay's Originals Vol. 1


104 BI 0 GRAPHICAL SKETCHES. No. XLIX. BAILIE JAMES DICKSON AND BAILIE JAMES TORRY. THE first of these city dignitaries, MR. JAMES DICKSON, was for a long time a bookseller and stationer in Edinburgh. His shop was on the west side of the front of the Royal Exchange entry, and was much frequented by clerical gentlemen, Mr. Dickson himself having been a licentiate of the Presbytery of Edinburgh. In early life, like many others of our “ Scottish probationers,” he was glad to shelter himself under the wing of a patron, by undertaking to perform the duties of preceptor to the family of James Kerr, Esq. of Boughtrigg,’ jeweller, who represented the city of Edinburgh in Parliament from 1747 to 1754, with a very small salary; but having a counterbalancing equivalent in the promise of the first church vacancy that Mr. Kerr could procure for him, The death of this gentleman, however (in 1765), entirely destroyed the young probationer’s hopes. He therefore bethought himself of a lay profession, and commenced business as a bookseller, which he carried on with very considerable success. Mr. Dickson was elected a member of Town Council, as kirk treasurer, in 1774 j and from that period till 1786, we find his name repeatedly mentioned in the list of “ Magistrates and Town Council of Edinburgh,” as well as in the annals of the “ Chamber of Commerce.” Bailie Dickson was married to a sister of the famous Admiral Greig.* None of his 1 Mr. Kerr was married to a daughter of Lord Charles Kerr, consequently connected with the Lothian family. a Sir Samuel Greig was born at Inverkeithing, county of Fife, in 1735. He was a lieutenant in the British Navy at the time he was sent, among others, at the request of tbe Court of Russia, to improve the marine of that country, which was then in a despicable condition. He was soon made a Captain, and from his great services in the war which ensued against the Turks, under Count Orlow, owing principally to which their whole fleet was destroyed at the Island of Scio, he was appointed Commodore, then Admiral ; and not long afterwards the Empress rewarded his services by promoting him to be Admiral of all the Russias, and Governor of Cronstadt. Be had also conferred on him the different honours of the empire, viz. :-St. Andrew, St. Alexander Newsky, St. George, etc. He died at Revel of a fever, on the 26th October 1788, shortly after his engagement with the Swedish fleet in the Black Sea, and waa interred on the 5th December following, with all the pomp and splendour which the Empress or the empire could bestow. Sir Samuel visited his native country in 1777, on which occasion the Empress ordered a man-of-war to be fitted out for his conveyance. He arrived in Edinburgh on the 20th of August, where he waa received with every demon8tration of respect. “ On Thursday, October 2, the Empress of Russia’s birthday, the Russian frigate in Leith Roads fired a round of twenty-one guns, which was answered by the same number from the Castle of Edinburgh, and on that occasion the Admiral gave a grand entertainment in Fortune’s tavern, to the Prince
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