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Kay's Originals Vol. 2


BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 283 ever ; took out his license as a sportsman ; and, to the astonishment of every one, survived for ten years afterwards. Mr. Bell died at his house, north side of the Canongate, on the 6th of May 1807. The vintner’s boy was the late MR. CHARLES OMAN, the first tenant of the extensive premises called the Waterloo Hotel, for which he paid the enormous sum of S1500 per annum. Mr. Oman waa a native of Caithness, but came to Edinburgh in early life. On leaving the ‘‘ Star and Garter Tavern,” in Writers’ Court, he was appointed Keeper of the Archers’ Hall, and subsequently succeeded the well-known Buyle, as tenant of the coffee-house in Shakspeare Square. From thence Mr. Oman removed to more commodious premises in West Register Street. Here he remained till his entering on the lease of the Waterloo Hotel, which he held till May 1825, when he removed to Charlotte Square. The hotel was afterwards kept by his widow. He died there in the month of August following. MR. JOHN RAE, who figures as bottle-holder, and who had been one of the social party when the pedestrian match was entered into, possessed a spirit of joviality and good-humour that could well relish the amusement of such an enterprise. He was a younger son of Mr. James Rae, formerly described in this Work, and was brought up under his father’s tuition to the medical profession. He entered the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh in the year 1781, and was Deacon of the Incorporation, and their President during the years 1804-5. Mr. Rae was considered a good surgeon, but he more particularly confined himself to the dental branch, and was certainly the most scientific and extensively employed dentist in Edinburgh. He peculiarly excelled in extracting teeth ; insomuch that, witnessing his dexterity on one occasion, the Hon. Henry Erskine characterised the operation as suaviter in modo et fortiter in RE. He served at one time as fugleman to the First Regiment of the Royal Edinburgh Volunteers, and no one could have acquitted himself with greater ability in that capacity. Thoroughly acquainted with the manual exercise, his activity and expertness were such as forcibly to remind the onlookers of Jmtiee Shallow’s paragon of a soldier :-“ I remember at Milne-End Green there was a little quiver fellow, and--would manage you his piece thus ; and-a-would about, and about, and come you in, and come you in; rub, tuk, tuk, woulda- sing ; bounce would-a-say ; and away again would-ego, and again would-a-come : I shall never see such a fellow !” Mr. Rae was afterwards Captain-Lieutenant and Surgeon of the Second Battalion ; and latterly Captain of a corps of sharp-shooters. He held this commission at the time of his death, which occurred in the spring of the year 1808, in consequence of an apoplectic attack : he was buried with military honours. He married a daughter of Mr. John Fraser, W.S., by whom he had two daughters who survived. During the Volunteer system Mr. Rae took an active part. He was understood to leave considerable property.
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284 \ BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. No. CCLXV. MR. EDWARD INNES, AND HIS SECOND, MR. JAMES COOPER, FOLLOWING AFTER MR. BELL. IN this, the sequel of the preceding Etching, MR. INNES is represented in the rear of his victorious opponent ; and, from the expression of his countenance, it may be augured that every hope of success has expired. The progenitors of Mr. Innes were farmers in the neighbourhood of Glencorse, but his father was a baker, and had his shop at one time at the head of the Fleshmarket Close. Latterly, the shop having been let without his knowledge; to a higher bidder, he removed to his son’s property, situated betwixt Marlin’s and Niddry’s Wynds.’ In his younger years, the old man was usually styled the “ handsome baker,” from his exquisite symmetry ; and he was not less fortunate in his choice of a pretty woman for his wife. Isabella, or Bell Gordon, had been married to a sea-captain who was drowned only a few weeks after. The young widow, then only in her eighteenth year, happening to be on a visit at the house of her brother-in-law, Mr. Syme, ship-builder, Leith, the “ handsome baker ” was introduced to her acquaintance, and the result was a speedy union.’ Besides a daughter by her first husband, Mrs. lnnes had eight children, of whom the subject of our notice was the second eldest. Mr. Edward Innes, after serving his apprenticeship with his father, commenced as a baker on his own account, in the High Street. In addition to his good fortune in business, he acquired considerable property by his wife, a Miss Wright of Edinburgh, by whom he had several children. Mr. Innes kept a horse and gig-an equipage rather unusual for a tradesman in his day ; and what was considered remarkable at that time, he drove to London on one occasion, accompanied by his wife, in eight days, a distance averaging fifty miles a day, The circumstance was much talked of, and taking into account the state of the roads at that period, the performance was really one of no ordinary magnitude. It was a timber land, and taken down to make way for the South Bridge. In compliment to his pretty wife, the bakers of Edinburgh used to bake a description of sweetcake (shaped, in millinery phrase, like a s t m c h e ~ )c,a lled “ Bell Cordon,” which at one time was much in repute, not only in the capital, but in the provinces.
Volume 9 Page 377
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