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Kay's Originals Vol. 1


44 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. german of Dr. Willizim Lothian, senior minister of Canongate, author of the “ History of tho United Provinces of the Netherlands.” Dr. Lothian died in January 1783, and was buried in the Canongate churchyard, where a monument to his memory is erected, upon which is an elegant Latin inscription, by his friend Logan the poet, in the composition of which he was assisted by the late Professor Dalzell. Bailie Lothian, though a very excellent person, was not remarkable for his literary acquirements. The late Mr. Smellie, printer, invited him to attend the funeral of Mr.. Greenlaw, teacher and preacher of the gospel, Edinburgh ; the funeral letters were, at the dying request of that gentleman, written in Latin ; the receipt of this circular puzzled the worthy magistrate exceedingly-for hours he turned it over and over again, without being able to make anything of it. He remembered that Mr. Smellie had published some animadversions upon the conduct of the magistrates, and he sagely concluded this to be a fresh libel, not only upon the whole civic authorities, but upon himself in particular. Impressed with this idea, he determined to lay the matter before his brethren ; and, accordingly, at the first meeting of Council, he threw the mysterious paper, with great indignation, on the table, observing, that this was another “ skit ” by that fellow Smellie on the magistracy ! His astonishment may be well conceived, when those present, so far from sympathising with him, received his extraordinary communication with reiterated bursts of laughter. It is printed in Dr. Duncan’s collection of epitaphs. On a sudden a new light came upon him. No, XVII. ALEXANDER HUNTER, ESQ. OF POLNOOD, AND ROGER HOG, ESQ. OF NEWLISTON. THEf igure on the left represents MR. ALEXANDEHRU NTERa,n opulent merchant in Edinburgh. His fortunes were increased by the death of a son, who left his father considerable property. He also succeeded to the estate of Polmood in tha county of Peebles, under a disposition and deed of entail executed by Thomas Hunter {who was no relation), dated 28th January 1765. This person having died on the 20th of March following, the conveyance was liable to reduction, as executed on death-bed, provided an heir could be found, which was not a very easy matter, from the circumstance that the last possessor was descended from a natural son of Robert Hunter of Polmood, who died in the year 1689. The estate had been destined to the bastard and the heirs of his body, with a special declaration, that, in the event of failure, the estate
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