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Kay's Originals Vol. 1


Volume 8 Page 215
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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 153 having assumed the surname of his mother, in consequence of the Proscriptive Act against the Macgregors; but, on the repeal of that statute in 1784,’ he resumed the appellation of his forefathers. Under the active pastoral management of Macgregor, the Gaelic portion of the inhabitants of Edinburgh became as remarkable for morality and steadiness as they had been previously distinguished for conduct the reverse. “ The present pastor,” says a publication of 1787, “is at uncommon pains with his hearers. He has stated diets of catechising immediately after the dismission of the congregation every .Sabbath afternoon, from May till October, in the chapel. On this occasion, the younger part of the hearers are instructed in the principles of the Christian religion in the English language, and these subjects are enlarged on in the Gaelic, for the benefit of adults.” About the same period, the congregation had increased so much that it was in contemplation to build a larger house, calculated to contain seventeen or eighteen hundred hearers. This rapid influx from the Highlands was, no doubt, owing principally to the system of expatriation adopted by some of the proprietors ; and in a secondary degree, to the extensive buildings and improvements then going on in Edinburgh, which presented a ready field of employment to a wandering population. This proposal, however, was not carried into effect till 1815, when the new chapel at the head of the Horse Wynd was erected, the front of which bears the following inscription :- “ GAELICC HAPEL1, 7 6 9. THE LORD WILL PROVIDE. Removed from the Castle-hill to this place, 1815.” This record must not, of course, be understood in the literal sense of the terms employed. The removal of the chapel was not after the fashion in America, where houses, and sometimes streets, are not necessarily stationary. The Rev. Mr. Macgregor’s residence was in Mound Place, third door up stairs, a little to the west of the present Auditor’s Chambers, etc. He died on the 12th December 1801, leaving a son and daughter. The son entered the army, and attained the rank of Colonel ;-he died only a few years ago. The daughter married a Captain Maclaren, and was long a widow. Mr. Macgregor appears, at an early period, to have done credit to the ministerial office, and was niuch respected. Being of a free, social humour, he was, perhaps, more frequently called upon than any other minister in the city to officiate at marriage and baptismal ceremonies j but unfortunately the sociality of his disposition paved the way to habits of dissipation, which, in his latter years, not unfrequently led to the solemnisation of marriages, in many instances, without proper investigation.’ So proud was Macgregor of this concession to his clansmen, that on the day the Proscriptive Act expired he dressed himself in the Highland costume peculiar to his clan, and walked conspicuously through a great portion of the city. In his bacchanalian irregularities, of which several gossiping anecdotes have been told, bIacgregor X
Volume 8 Page 216
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