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Kay's Originals Vol. 2


BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 285 Mr. Innes was a man of pleasant manners ; much respected by all who were acquainted with him ; and greatly esteemed by his workmen. On his way to London he called on an old apprentice, then working as a journeyman in Newcastle ; and treated him in a very kind manner, This marked attention on the part of his former master, so recommended the young man in the estimation of his employer, that he daily rose in his confidence ; and such was the progress of his good fortune, attributed alone to this incident, that he afterwards became an eminent and wealthy merchant in London. Though certainly social in his disposition, Mr. Innes by no means approached in his conviviality to the character of a bon viwant. His wager with Mr. Hamilton Bell was quite an accidental affair ; and from the silence maintained on the subject, it may be presumed that he was not altogether pleased with the remembrance of the adventure. He was at the time a widower ; and the alarm occasioned by the early hour at which he that morning left home was only explained to his daughter, who was his housekeeper, in the publicity given to the affair by the caricatures of the artist. Having again entered into the married relation, by espousing the widow of Mr. Steele, a confectioner, Mr. Innes opened a new establishment on the South Bridge, where he combined the confectionery with the baking business ; and for many years carried on an extensive and lucrative trade. He died on the 4th of March 1808, leaving two daughters, one of whom was married to Mr. Scott, apothecary, South Bridge j the other to Mr. Davidson, confectioner, Frederick Street. The bottle-holder represents the late ME JAMES COOPER, jeweller on the South Bridge, an intimate acquaintance of Mr. Innes. The history of Mr. Cooper, like that of many worthy merchants of last century-whose descendants now rank among the high and the wealthy-affords an honourable instance of industry and enterprise surmounting the most formidable difficulties. The eldest of two sons, he was born at Douglas, in Lanarkshire, where his father, who died at an early age, possessed a small estate, and exercised the profession of a land-surveyor. His mother unfortunately espousing another husband-a reckless spendthrift-the property was dissipated j and, driven by the violence of their step-father, the two boys were ultimately compelled to leave a home where they could no longer find shelter. With a few pence, all they possessed betwixt them, laid out in the purchase of a small stock of light wares, the young adventurers commenced the game of life. For some time they travelled in company; but their stock increasing, it occurred to them that business might be done to more advantage singly. England being at this time an attractive field for Scots pedlars, the brothers journeyed as far as Newcastle ; and here the plan of a division of stock was put in practice. After a lapse of some years, and having become master of capital to a smaIl amount, Mr. Cooper settled in Edinburgh as a hardware merchant and jeweller; his shop, the corner one, long occupied as a coach-office, No. 2 North Bridge They parted ; and from that moment never met again.
Volume 9 Page 379
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