Edinburgh Bookshelf

Kay's Originals Vol. 2


Volume 9 Page 24
  Enlarge Enlarge     Pictures Pictures
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 19 While Mackay was a subaltern, he travelled through France and Italy, and other parts of Europe, for the purpose principally of acquiring a knowledge of modern languages. While the members of the Royal Family of France resided at Holyrood House, where the Adjutant- General’s office was then kept, he often had occasion to meet them, and sometimes to act as an interpreter, particularly at dinner parties, to which he was frequently invited. At the commencement of the second French war, in 1803, he became a Major-General ; and at different periods subsequently the Chief Command of the Forces in Scotland devolved upon him. The Print affords an excellent portraiture of the Adjutant-General.’ He obtained the soubriquet of ‘‘ Buckram,” from the stiffness of his appearance. In military phrase, he walked as if he had swallowed a halbert; and his long queue, powdered hair, and cocked hat, were characteristic of a thorough-bred soldier of the olden time. He was much esteemed by all with whom he was connected. He was rather abstemious in diet, and singularly correct and methodical in all his habits of life. He lived a bachelor, and died after a short illness, at his house, South St. Andrew Street, on the 26th April 1809, in the sixty-eighth year of his age. He had thus been on the Staff in Scotland during a period of not less than thirty years ; and, in discharging the important duties of his various appointments, his conduct was characterised by the strictest fidelity and honour. A handsome tribute was paid to his memory by Lord Cathcart, wllo was then Commander of the Forces in Scotland. He spoke French fluently. No. CLXXVII. ALLAN DIACONOCHIE, LORD MEADOTVBANK. THE late LORDM EADOWBANKso, n of Alexander hfaconochie, writer in Edinburgh, was born on the 26th January 1748. He was in early age placed under the tuition of Dr. Alexander Adam, afterwards Rector of the High School of Edinburgh, who acted as his private teacher, and from whom he acquired that taste for classical studies which he retained throughout life. He subsequently entered the University of Edinburgh ; and being destinqd for the bar, attended the usual classes. In 1764 he and other five students: with the view of 1 Wet and dry the old General was daily to be seen with the umbrella under hi8 arm. These were, William Creech (bookseller) ; John Bonar (afterwards Solicitor of the Excise) ; John Brace (Professor of Logic) ; Henry Mackenzie (author of “The Man of Feeling ”) ; and Mr. Belches. Eilr. Charles Stuart was admitted a member at their firat meeting.
Volume 9 Page 25
  Enlarge Enlarge