Edinburgh Bookshelf

Kay's Originals Vol. 2


Volume 9 Page 198
  Enlarge Enlarge     Pictures Pictures
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 149 of fashion and etiquette were very widely at variance ; and at no time was her lord and husband more fretful than when the annual accounts for dress came to be presented. It is said that Dr. Gloag, one of the ministers of Edinburgh, was on one occasion invited to the house of Mr. Rigg to dinner. He wi~le ntertained in a plain but very substantial manner. On taking leave, he was pressed by the lady to repeat his visit a few days afterwards. “This,” said she, “is one of Mr. Hume’s quiet affairs; the next will be mine!” Dr. Gloag kept his appointment ; and was astonished to find himself one of a large party, for whom a sumptuous dinner had been prepared, in a style of splendour, and with an array of waiting-men, for which he was little prepared.’ Mr. R i g had no children to inherit his wealth-a circumstance which g-ieved him deeply ; and, by a will, supposed to have been made in one of his fretful moods, a short time before his demise, he left only a small jointure to his widow. He died at his house, in Gosford‘s Close* (now removed to make way for George the Fourth Bridge), on the 23d January 1788-a month which had been fatal to his grandfather, father, and elder brother. Patrick Rim, Esq., of Dounfield and Tarvit, succeeded to the whole of his property. The personage with whom Mr. Hume Rigg is represented as in conversation, is ISAAC GRANT of Hilton, W.S. He was a stout, corpulent man, and pretty far advanced in years at the time when the etching was taken. Professionally, he maintained an honourable character ; had extensive employment, and was long Clerk to the Commissioners of Teinds. He was wealthy; and, it is said, liberal. He participated with freedom in the social spirit of the times ; and, over a bottle, was one of the most jolly men imaginable. Mr. Grant lived and died a bachelor.’ He always “ Could stan’ stieve in his shoon ;” Mrs. Rigg was altogether a lady of uncomnion vivacity and gaiety of spirit ; and her youthful fancies were not easily sobered down to the quiet, cool, domestic enjoymentq of mature ago. Skilled in all the feminine accomplishments, her lively temper embraced others of a more masculine character. She was one of the most agile and graceful dancers of the age, and an excellent violin player ; and has been known frequently to accompany her movements on “ the light fantastic toe ” by the inspiring strains of her own cremona. a A description of Mr. Rigg’s house, which was situated at the bottom of the close, may furnish an idea of the taste and fashion of the “ olden time.” The dining and drawingrooms were Rpacious and lofty ; indeed, more so than those of any private modern house we have ever seen. The bedrooms were proportionally large and elegant. The lobbies were all variegated marble, and a splendid mahogany staircase led to the upper storey. There was a large garden behind, with a statue in the middle, and at the bottom was a summer-house ; but such v’as the confined entry to this elegant mansion, that it was impossible even to get a sedan chair near to the door. A sister of Yr. Hume Rigg-Miss Mally-who resided in a house adjacent to her brother, was killed by the falling in of a chimney during the violent hurricane 20th January 1773. The storm, which began early in the morning, was described in the journals of the day as the severest that had occurred since the wiudy January 1739. “ About half an hour after four, a atack of chirnnies on an old house at the foot of Gosford’s Close, Lawnmarket, possessed by Nr. Hugh Mossman, writer, was blown down ; and, breaking through the roof in that part of the house where he and his spouse lay, they both perished in the ruins, but their children wera providentially saved. In the storey below, Niss Mally Rigg, sister to Mr. Rigg of Morton, also perished.” He left several children, who inherited his wealth.
Volume 9 Page 199
  Enlarge Enlarge