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Kay's Originals Vol. 1


BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 403 of Edinburgh, their chaplain, in a most impressive prayer. The battalion was immediately after inspected by Brigadier-General Graham and Colonel Callander, who expressed themselves highly pleased with the appearance and discipline of the corps. To those pieces of ceremony succeeded the presentation of an elegant silver cup to Colonel Bennet, from the non-commissioned officers and privates of the regiment, delivered by Field-Serjeant Thomas Sommers, who, upon the occasion, addressed the Colonel in a most impressive manner. This being over, the battalion marched upon a visit to the Commander-in-Chief (the Earl of Moira), at Duddingston House, when his lordship took a view of the regiment in line ; and, when formed into a hollow square, addressed them in a manner truly complimentary and striking. They immediately after returned to town, when, upon depositing the colours in the Colonel’s house, they were regaled by him in a very liberal and handsome style of hospitality.” About the same period, Mr. Bennet received another testimony of respect, by having the freedom of the city of Londonderry conferred upon him. It was transmitted in a silver box by William Leckie, Esq., senior magistrate, to Mr. Bennet for his kindness and attention to his son-a student at the Universitywho fell in a duel near Duddingston. The following short account was all that was given of this fatal affair at the time :- “Wednesday morning, July 3 (1805), a duel was fought, in the neighbourhood of Duddingston, between Mr. Romney and Mr. Leckie, students attending the medical classes in the University, when the latter received a wound in the groin, in consequence of which he died next Saturday morning, Four shots were, we understand, exchanged. Mr. Leckie received his wound by the first 6re, but did not discover it. After shaking hands with his antagonist, he declared he was mortally wounded, and desired Mr. Romney, the seconds, and the surgeon who attended, to make their escape, which they accordingly did. ” The personal appearance of Mr. Bennet is’ accurately delineated in the foregoing etching ; even so minute a peculiarity as the mole on his right cheek has not been overlooked by the artist. His form was exceedingly spare ; and his legs, in particular, were remarkable for their tenuity. Perfectly sensible how niggardly nature had been of her gifts in this respect, Mr. Bennet used to anticipate the observations of his friends by occasional humorous allusions to the subject. One day, having called on his tailor to give a fresh order, he facetiously inquired if he could measure him for a suit of small clothes. “ 0 yes,” rejoined his friend of the iron ; “hold up your stick, it will serve the purpose well enough.”’ Among other amusements, Mr. Bennet was particularly partial to the sports of the field ; and “ When westlin winds and slaughtering guns Brought Autumn’s pleasant weather,” he annually repaired to the moors with his dog and gun. On the morning of the 10th of October 1805, he left Edinburgh, attired in his “shooting Faith,” with the view of enjoying a day’s excursion in the kingdom of Fife. A gentleman, who crossed over with him in the morning at Queensfemy, mentions that he had seldom seen him in higher spirits. After passing the ferry, Mr. Bennet proceeded in the direction of Kinghorn, where he had been invited to dine with There are two portraits of Nr. Bennet painted by Sir Henry Raeburn-one is preserved by his family, and the other is in the possession of his old friend and associate Lord Panmum.
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404 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. a friend in the evening. Before the hour of dinner arrived, however, he was discovered in a lifeless state in a field near the gentleman’s house, with his dog and the fatal instrument of death beside him, The cause of this melancholy accident has never been ascertained. The residence of Mr. Bennet was, for many years after he commenced business, in the Old Assembly Close. He subsequently removed to that house on a line with, and next to the York Hotel, in Nicolson Street. Mr. Bennet married Mrs. Scott, the widow of J. Scott, Esq. of Logie. This lady, whose maiden name was Auchterlony, had a daughter by her first husband, afterwards married to the late General Hope, brother of the Lord President. By Mr. Bennet she had three sons and one daughter, the eldest of whom obtained the rank of Captain in the navy, and married Miss Law,’ daughter of his father’s partner. The second son was in the army, and died in India. The third holds at present (1837) a situation in the War Office. The daughter was married to Mr. Law, W.S. No. CLX. THREE OFFICERS OF THE HOPETOUN FENCIBLES. LORD NAPIER, MAJOR PILMER, AND MAJOR CLARKSON. THE centre figure in the group is the RIGHT HONOURABLFREA NCIS SEVENTH LORD NAPIER, of Merchiston, whose lineal a.ncestor, John Napier of Merchiston, was the celebrated inventor of logarithms. The subject of our sketch was born at Ipswich in 1758, and succeeded his father in 1785. At sixteen years of age his lordship entered the army as an ensign in the 31st Regiment, and served in America during the War of Independence, under General Burgoyne. He was one of those who piled arms on the heights of Saratoga in 1777, and was detained a prisoner of mar upwards of six months. He was then allowed to return to Britain on parole not to serve in America This lady died in 1836. 2 The male representation of the family is vested in Sir William Napier Milliken of bfilliken, who enjoys the old Napier baronetcy.
Volume 8 Page 562
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