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Kay's Originals Vol. 2


150 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. and, even in his latter years, when retiring from a hard-fought field in Dunn’s Hotel, or any other convivial place of resort, he would allow no escort. His remains were interred in the Greyfriars’ Churchyard, where a stone records the following tribute to his memory :- Mr. Grant died at his house, in Erown’s Square, in 1784. SACRED, To the Memory of ISAAGCR ANT,E sq., of Hilton, Writer to His Majesty’s Signet, who died the 27th December 1794, aged seventy years ; universally esteemed and much regretted by all who knew him. In him the poor lost a friend, the rich a cheerful, facetious companion, and the world an honest man. This Stone was erected at the reqliest of his eldest aon, ISAAGCR ANT, Feb. 2, Anno Domini 1798. The third, or rather the first figure in the background, represents another old bachelor, ARCHIBALD MACARTHUR STEWART, Esq., of Ascog-a gentleman somewhat eccentric in several particulars. He generally wore white clothes, of the description exhibited in the Print, and had a peculiar manner of throwing his legs over each other in walking, which was owing probably to his great corpulency. Mr. Stewart was the only son of Mr. Macarthur of Milton, and succeeded to the estate of Ascog, under a deed of entail executed by John Murray of Blackbarony, of the lands of Ascog, and others, dated 28th May 1763. His relationship to the entailer is not mentioned in the deed; and he is called to the succession upon the failure of heirs of the entailer, and of his sister Mary and her heirs. Mr. Murray left a large personal estate, which was invested by his successor, Mr. Macarthur, in the purchase of land in Argyleshire. Not less wealthy than Mr. Grant, and, like him, a bachelor not of the most continent habits, he is said to have been exceedingly parsimonious in his domestic arrangements. Kay relates that, when he lived at the Castle Hill, he kept no housekeeper or servant, but generally employed some neighbour’s wife or daughter to perform the ordinary drudgery of the house. He had a great attachment to swine, and kept a litter of pigs in his bedroom. On removing to other premises, some time after the death of his mother, with whom he resided, it is told, as illustrative of his singular notions, that he would not allow the furniture to be disturbed, but locked up the house, under the impression that the old lady might occasionally come back and take up her abode there ! Mr. Stewart was proprietor of part of the lands of Coates, near Edinburgh, and lived for some years in the old turreted house at the west end of Melville Street, He latterly resided in Lord Wemyss’ house, Lauriston, where he died
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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 151 on the 28th March 1815, in the sixty-sixth year of his age. His estates were separated-the Ascog estate falling to Frederick Campbell Stewart, Esq., the next substitute of entail-and the Milton property returning to the heir of his father, John Macarthur. His unentailed and personal estate was left to a lady -a distant relation-who had for some years before his death taken charge of him. The figure next to Stewart is that of the HON. JOHN LESLIE, then a Captain, and afterwards a Lieut.-General in the army. He was t.he son of David sixth Earl of Leven, and born in 1759. He joined the army in 1778, as an ensign in the first Foot Guards, with which regiment he fought, against the French in Holland in 1794, where he was wounded.’ He was subsequently promoted. In 1808 he was made Lieut.-General, and served on the Continent during a considerable portion of the late war. He died about the year 1827. His widow, the Hon. Mrs. Leslie, was a daughter of the late Thomas Cumming, Esq., banker. The handsome figure to the right represents CAPTAIN (afterwards Major- General) WEMYSS of Wemyss Castle, then M.P. for the county of Fife. Being cousin to the Duchess of Sutherland, he was appointed Colonel of the regiment of Fencibles raised on her estate in 1779, and which was disbanded in 1783. When this corps was reimbodied in 1793, he was again invested with the command, and served with the regiment in Ireland during the Eebellion. In the meantime his rank in the army going on, he became Major-General ; and, in 1800, was commissioned to form a regiment of the line, which he did, chiefly composed of those who had previously served in the Sutherland Fencibles, reduced on the suppression of the Eebellion about two years before. This corps still exists as the 93d Highlanders. Major-General Wemyss married the eldest daughter of General Sir W. Erskine, Bart., by which connection the estate of Tor$ fell to the possession of his son, Captain James Erskine Wemyss, then M.P. for Fife. He died at Wemyss Castle, on the 5th February 1822. The ladies introduced in the Print are some of the fair friends in whose company the parties were occasionally to be seen on the fashionable promenades. Their costumes display the prevailing taste of the times. The head-dresses were those in vogue immediately prior to the introduction of the Lunardi bonnets. 1 Captain Leslie wan of so very spare a figwe, that his brother officers affected to be greatly snrprised at the possibility of his having received aflesh wound. Sir James Erskine of Tarry, brother-in-law of the late General Wemyss, was 8 devoted admirer of the fine arts, and formed a collection of paintings, marbles, and bronzes, said to have cost about f15,000, the whole of which he bequeathed to the College of Edinburgh, for the purpose of “laying a foundation for a Gallery for the encouragement of the fine arts.” Si James died in 1825. The title and estate descended to his brother John (a bachelor), on whose death in 1836, the will of the donor became available ; and the pictures are now deposited in the National Gallery until funds can be procured foi carrying the intentions of the testator more fully into effect. The wound was in the thigh.
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