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Kay's Originals Vol. 1


430 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. The Guard-House, situated in the very centre of the main street, was unquestionably both an eye-sore and an inconvenience. For many years it had been regarded as a nuisance j and Fergusson merely expresses the general feeling when he says, in the name of the‘Causey :- ‘‘ Wad it not fret the hardest stane, Beneath the Luckenbooths to grane ? Though magistrates the Cross discard, It mak’sna when they leave the Guard- A lumbersome an’ stinkin’ Kggid- That rides the sairest on my riggin,”’ In 1785, it was resolved that the obnoxious building should cease to exist ; and, in consequence, the City-Guard took up their rendezvous in the New Assembly Room, in what is now called the Commercial Bank Close.’ The proprietors of that portion of the city, alarmed at the proximity of the ‘‘ Town Rats,” took a protest, and presented a bill of suspension on the subject. The following notice of this proceeding occurs in the Scots Magazine :- “On Saturday, Nov. 19 (1785), a bill of suspension was presented to the Court of Session, inname of the proprietors of houses in the New Assembly Close, Edinburgh, praying for an interdict against the Magistrates removing the City-Guard to the New Assembly Room, as it would prove an intolerable nuisance to the inhabitants of that close, as well as deteriorate the property of the proprietors. The Eon. Henry Erskine was heard on the part of the suspenders, and Mr. George Buchan Hepburn for the Magistrates. After some reasoning by the Court, their lordships, on account of the present situation of the nigh Street, and that the kssembly Room was only meant to be a temporary Guard- House, were pleased to refuse the bill. They at the same time were of opinion, that after taking a trial, if the inhabitants should consider it as great a nuisance ns they did at present, they should be at liberty to present another bill of suspension, when their lordships would euter more minutely into the merits of the cause. In the afternoon the workmen began to pull down the Guard-House.” Thus, in 1785, the City Guard-House was razed to the ground. The soldiers ofthe Guard continued only for a limited period to occupy the New Assembly Room, premises in the Luckenbooths having been finally appropriated for their use. 1 ‘ 4 Mutual Complaint of the Plainstaaes and Causey.” 2 It was termed the New Assembly Close until the Commercial Bank occupied the premises.
Volume 8 Page 599
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NOTES TO VOL- I. BY PROFESSOR DANIEL WILSON, AUTEOR OF ‘MEMORIALS OF EDINBURGH IN THE OLDEN TIME,E’T C. ETC. Page 7, JAMIDEU FF. Strictly speaking, Widow Duffs lodging was in the College Wynd ; though, as it was at the foot of the wynd, its windows niay have looked into the Cowgate. Scott, whose birthplace was in the same wynd, has introduced Jamie Duff in “ Guy Mannering,” in attendance on the funeral of Mrs. Margaret Bertram of Singleside, to the family burial-place in the Greyfriars’ Churchyard. Page 18, ARNOT’RSE SIDENCE. Mr. Arnot, according to information communicated to me, resided for a time on the south side of the Canongate, immediately below St. Mary’sn Wynd. From thence he removed to the New Town, where he occupied a floor in South St. Andrew Street-the probable scene of the above occurrence. Page 20, LORD MONBODDO. An allusion will be found in Lord Cockburn’s dlemm‘als of his Time to the suppers of Lord Moiiboddo as the most Attic of his day. Burns enjoyed them while in Edinbur, qh, and was greatly charmed by the beauty of his daughter Eliza, of whom he makes special note in his “ Address to Edinburgh,” “ Thy daughters bright thy walks adorn,” etc. See the poem, and also Burns’s letter to Chalmers, in which he says-“ Fair Bis the heavenly Miss Burnet, daughter to Lord Monboddo, at whose house I have had the honour to be more than once,” etc. etc. See also the poet’s “ Elegy” on her premature death from consumption, Page 22, LORD GARDENSTONE. In The Court of Session Garland, by James Baswell, notices of this and others of the Judges will be found. It is reprinted by Robed Chambers in his Traditions, with notes of his own. Page 30, Dr. WEBSTER Dr. Webster was one of the rare exceptions to Dr. Samuel Johnson’s antipathy to a Scotsman. Brown’s Court, Castle Hill, where he entertained the lexicographer, bore in his day the name of Webster’s Close.-Vide Dr. Johnson’s letters to him, relative to his “Journey to the Western Islands.” Page 37, MARIONVILLE. Marionville is, or was, a handsome old-fashioned house near Restalrig, which originally bore the popular name of “Lappet Ha’,” owing to its having been built by a fashionable milliner of Auld Reekie with the proceeds of her professional services among the grandees of the old closes and wynds. Page 54, Dr. BLACJL Dr. Black’s earlier residence was in the College Wynd, not far from the house in which Sir Walter Scott was born, and in the immediate vicinity of the College.
Volume 8 Page 600
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