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Kay's Originals Vol. 1


BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 225 the next wm married to a Mr. Stoddart, who had realised a fortune abroad ; the third to James Marshall, Esq., Secretary to the Provincial Bank of Ireland in London; and the youngest to the late Reverend Dr. Robertson of South Leith. The rest mostly died when young. The only son who reached manhood was the late William Jamieson, W.S., who died in 1626. This gentleman attained a temporary celebrity by his attacks on the Judges of the Court of Session ; for which, however, he smarted pretty severely-perhaps more so than the case required. The third figure is MR. ARCHIBALD M'DOWALL, clothier, North Bridge, for many years a leading member of the Town Council. He is represented as holding in his hand a plan of the improvement proposed by the Magistrates. His father, James M'Dowall of Canonmills, was nearly related to the late Andrew M'Dowall, Lord Bankton. In the entail of the estate of Bankton, in East Lothian, and certain other property, executed in 1756, he is a nominatim mbstitute, and is therein stated to be his lordship's cousin.' Mrs. Gilmour of Craigmillar, the great-grandchild of this James M'Dowall, was consequently grand-niece of Mr. Archibald M'Dowall. Being the descendant of his eldest brother, she succeeded to the property of Canonmills, on the death of her father, while in minority. It may not be out of place to mention that Mr. Patrick M'Dowall, the father of James M'Dowall of Canonmills, was the first private banker who discounted bills in Edinburgh. He carried on business before the erection of the Bank of Scotland, under the Act of Parliament in 1695, and for a considerable time afterwards. Mr. M'Dowall was born in 1743, and married in early lie a near relation of the late Dr. John Macfarlan, minister of the Canongate Church (who married his sister), and father of John Macfarlan of Kirkton, Esq., advocate, and also of the present Dr. Patrick Macfarlan of Greenock. He commenced the first cloth manufactory in Scotland,' similar to those carried on so extensively at Leeds, and brought a number of workmen from England for that purpose. This establishment was at Paul's Work, at the south back of Canongate, now called M'Dowall Street, from which he afterwards removed to Brunstane Mill, Mr. M'Dowall was a cadet of the ancient family of M'Dowall of Logan, The Countess of Dalhousie, who happened to be the nearest heir of entail to the Logan and Bankton estates, was long engaged in a lawsuit with the possessor, so that, failing his brother, she might be enabled to enter into possession. ' In order to encourage Mr. M'Dowall's manufactory, the Earl of Buchan proposed that such gentlemen of the Antiquarian Society as intended to be present at the first anniversary meeting of the Society on the 30th November 1781, should be dressed entirely in "home-made" articles. Accordingly, they all appeared with clothes of M'Dowall's manufacture, worsted hose, etc. Lord Buchan, being the last to make his appearance, on looking round, immediately exclaimed, " Gentlemen, there is not one of you dressed according to agreement, myself excepted ; your buckles and buttons are entirely English, whereas mine are made from jasper taken from Arthur's Seat." And very beautiful they were. The bed of jasper is now exhausted. 2 6
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226 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. near Portobello. Being, however, unable to compete with the English manufacturers, the speculation proved unsuccessful. Mr. M'DowaIl entered the Town Council in 1775, and in politics took the same side as his friend Sir James Hunter Blair. He was several times in the magistracy ; and, before his retirement, was offered the Provost's chair, which he prudently declined, in consequence of the depressed state of his manufactory. He was a very public-spirited man, and devoted much of his time to the improvement of the city. The eldest, after being unsuccessful as a merchant, settled in Van Diemen's Land, where he obtained a grant of land, which he has denominated, after that of his ancestor, the estate of Logan. For two of his sons Mr. M'Dowall obtained appointments in the East India Company's Service. One of them (Colonel Robert) was nearly thirty years in India, during which time he distinguished himself at the siege of Seringapatam, and on various other occasions-particularly in the surprise and complete dispersion of above 3000 Pindaries-for which he received the thanks of the Governor-General in Council, and of the Court of Directors. He afterwards was at the capture of Tavoy and Mergui, of which he was appointed Governor ; but was unfortunately killed, in command of two brigades of native infantry, at the conclusion of the Burmese war. The other son who went to India (Mr. TNilliam), after being about twenty years in the Madras Medical Establishment, returned to Edinburgh, taking up his residence at Bellevue Crescent. Two other sons of Mr. M'Dowall entered the mercantile, and his youngest son (Charles) the legal profession as a Writer to the Signet. In the back-ground the Lord Provost (Sir James Hunter Hair) is represented as busily employed in digging and shovelling out the earth ; while Mr. Hay, Deacon of the Surgeons, and L most violent anti-leveller, is as eagerly engaged in shovelling it back again. Mr. Hay was a leader of the opposition in the Council. This civic squabble gave birth to various local effusions j and, among others, to a satirical poem in Latin doggerel, entitled "Streeturn Eclinense, carmen Macaronicum,'ll-in which Mr. Hay is made to sustain a prominent part. After alluding to the zeal displayed in the matter by Sir James Hunter Blair, and just at the moment that assent has been given to the measure by the Councillors present, the Deacon is represented as bursting into the Council Chamber, backed by a posse of anti-levellers, and in a harangue of most uncouth hexameters, declaims against the project, and dares his brethren to carry it into effect. Mr. M'Dowall died December 1816, leaving six sons. ' 1 This mock-heroic poem was the joint production of the late Mr. Smellie, printer, and of Mr. Little of Liberton. It will be found in " Kerr's Memoira of Smellie."
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