Edinburgh Bookshelf

Kay's Originals Vol. 1


41 4 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. time on the Continent. He then returned to Edinburgh, where he afterwards continued to reside, and was well known for his taste in the fine arts. He was a member of the CATCH-CLUB-one of the oldest and most celebrated associations of musical amateurs in Edinburgh-and was a constant attendant of the concerts in St. Cecilia's Hall in the Cowgate, which were then extensively patronised by all the " beauty and fashion" of the Scottish metropolis. Mr. Kerr was an excellent flute-player; and he frequently performed on that instrument at the entertainments given by the Club. Shortly after his return from the Continent, he exerted himself greatly in forming the Leith Bank, of which, on its institution in 1801, he was appointed Manager. It was pretty generally surmised that, from his previous habits, the burden of superintendence would devolve on some person under him. In this, however, the public were greatly mistaken. fib. Kerr devoted his time and attention exclusively to the business of the establishment ; and, by his prudence and sagacity, managed its affairs to the greatest advantage.' This rather surprising change in Mr. Kerr, who had formerly been as iridifferent about money matters as he now appeared cautious and even economical, was explained at the time in the following way :-Among other fashionable amusements, he had sometimes indulged in cards ; and, on one occasion, found himself so deeply involved, by a series of ill-luck, that he may be said to have been reduced to his last shilling. In this plight he resolved to make one desperate attempt to regain his fortune. He accordingly continued to play as if nothing had befallen him, and was so fortunate, by a single game, as to avert the entire ruin which inevitably appeared to await him. Deeply impressed with the hazard he had run, it is said he rose up, and, throwing the cards on the table, declared he would never again take one of them in his hand ; and it is believed, he kept his word. Mr. Kerr resided at one period in Shoemaker's Close, Canongate, and latterly in No. 8 Queen Street. The two remaning fi,mes in the group of Connoisseurs are imaginary. He died at Bath on the 9th December 1820. No. CLXIII. REV, WILLIAM PAUL, OXE OF THE MINISTERS OF THE WEST CHURCH. THE REV. WILLIAM PAUL was born in Glasgow in 1754, and received his education at the University of that city. After the ordinary course of literary and philosophic study, he took the degree of Master of Arts; and, having The sensation caused by one of Mr. Kerr's son8 having on the 22d April 1842 advertised that he had ceased (in 1831) to be a partner in the bank, led to a run on the bank, which suspended payment on the 25th of the same month.
Volume 8 Page 575
  Enlarge Enlarge  
Volume 8 Page 576
  Enlarge Enlarge     Pictures Pictures