Edinburgh Bookshelf

Kay's Originals Vol. 2


294 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. No. CCLXIX. SIR JOHN MARJORIBANKS, BART., LORD PROVOST OF EDINBURGH, IN HIS ROBES. THEl ate SIRJ OHXN~A RJORIBANKS was the eldest son of Edward Marjoribanks, Esq., of Lees, near Coldstream. This gentleman was a native of Linlithgowshire, and owner of the small estate of Hallyards. He married a daughter of Archibald Stewart, Esq., Lord Provost of Edinburgh at the commencement of the Rebellion in 1745, and who was afterwards tried on suspicion of favouring the Pretender.’ For many years a wine merchant in France, Mr. Marjoribanks resided at Bordeaux till 1770, when, on succeeding to the estate of Lees: as heir of entail, he returned with his family to Scotland. Sir John, who was born at Bordeaux, entered the army in early life, and was afterwards a Captain in the Coldstream Guards. He married, about the year 1790, Miss Ramsay of Barnton. Shortly afterwards, he sold his commission, and bought the estate of Eccles: in Berwickshire, to which he retired. Here he remained for a number of years ; and by his judicious management in farming a’great portion of his own lands, nearly doubled the value of the property in the course of a few seasons. The father of a numerous family, Sir John at length removed to Edinburgh, a town residence affording greater facilities for the education of his children. He now became a partner in the banking-house of Mansfield, Ramsay, and Co. ; and, entering the Town Council in 1811, was chosen to fill the office of Chief Magistrate in 1814-15. In the latter year he was created a Baronet; and succeeding, by t,he death of his father, to the estate of Lees, was elected M.P. for the county of Berwick. While Lord Provost of Edinburgh, Sir John displayed much zeal in carrying forward the improvements of the city; and he may be considered as the chief promoter of the New Jail and the Regent Bridge, This elegant approach (opened when Prince Leopold entered the Scottish metropolis in 1819) had been projected so early as 1784,’ under the Provostship of Sir James Provost Stewart went to London, where, meeting with the support of the Jacobite party, he * This beautifully situated property belonged to a family of the name of Pringle, and fell to Mr. became a banker, and realised a considerable fortune. Marjoribanks as their heir-female. This estate waa sold by Sir John, and purchased by Jamas Greig, Esq., W.S. A plan of the improvement was drawn out bp a person of the name of Kyles, on whose death the late Dr. Duncan had it engraved by subscription for the benefit of the widow and children. Kyles wa8 suppwed to have been the original projector.
Volume 9 Page 391
  Shrink Shrink   Print Print