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Kay's Originals Vol. 2


BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 27 from which they had been absent for many years. On this auspicious occasion considerable interest was excited in the neighbourhood ; and a party-of the Ayrshire Cavalry, with the Kilmarnock Volunteers, marched out in military array to pay their respects to the Earl on his arrival, The following extract from a letter to the Editor of the Free Press upon occasion of his lordship’s visit, is too interesting to be omitted :- “ Never having seen that renowned warrior and statesman, the Marquis of Hastings, and being in the neighbourhood of Loudon Castle, we were exceedingly auxious to behold with our own eyes the man who has done so much for his country and his friends, and so little for himself. Being provided at Kilmamock with a ‘guid-gaun’ vehicle, we set out ; and it was not very long untii the turreta of the Castle were, with delight, beheld by us, towering above the mighty oak and elm of many hundred years’ standing, and the ‘bonnie woods and braes,’ so justly celebrated by Tamhii. We were at the village of Galston by nine o’clock, and learned, with much pleasure, that the Marquis and family were going to Newmilns to hear a sermon in the parish church. From Galston to Newmilns it ia two miles ; a road level and enchanting, overshadowed by lofty trees ; on the left, the Castle, with its beautiful avenues and pleasure-grounds ; on the right, the water of Irvine. On the same side, at the end of this road, and before entering Newmilns, is the Mill, rendered clasaic from having given birth to Ranisay’s celebrated song of ‘The Lass of Patie’s Mill, so bode, blyth, and gay.’ Newmilns in a small, neat, clean town ; the new part of it divided from the old by the water of Irvine, communicating by two bridges. It lies in a beautiful vale, surmunded by braes covered with rich planting. At the extremity of the vale, four miles east, is Loudon Hill, ‘round as my shield’ We drove to the residence of Mr. Loudon, the chief magistrate, at the east end of the town, where we had an Ayrshire breakfast in all its glory, and a hearty welcoma At eleven the bell summoned us to church. When we arrived at the church door, the Marquis’s family and suit were just at hand, in two carriages and a gig. In the h t were the Marquis, Marchioness, and four daughters. The other contained my young Lord Rawdon ; and the factor, Yr. Hamilton, was in the gig. Every eye was eager to see them alight ; and it was done with that ease and becoming dignity inherent in true nobdity. In passing the plate of collection, the poor were not neglected. It is said that the Castle is beset ezrery day with poor persons from thirty miles round, none of whom are allowed to depart without a good awmw. Before we entered the church, the noble family were all seated in the gallery in front of the pulpit, being the family seat, which is formed of a large enclosed compartment. We were in the gallery right of the pulpit, and had a good view. His lordship is seventy-one years of age ; and, although he has been in camp and field in all sorts of climate, is stout and healthy. His bold, dwk countenance, with frame erect, gives a most complete idea of the warrior ; and he possesses all that suavity and dignity of manner, with a countenance beaming with intelligence, which are ao characteristic of the statesman, wamior, and philanthropist. He was very plainly dressed-dark-green coat, coloured vest, and dark wsimere trowsen. The Marchioness is aged forty-six, and seems to have suffered little from the scorching climat+looks well, and in excellent health. The young ladies may be characterised in the same way. Lady Flora is a young lady of mod amiable dispositions, mild and attractive manners. They have more the cast of the Marqnk’s countenance, particularly in the upper part of the face. The young lord, aged twenty, is a most promising young man-no fudge nor frippery about him, aping outlandish airs with an ostentatious consciousness of his high station in life. His person is tall, handsome, good-looking ; and his manners most amiable, with every appearance to possess the virtues of his father, During the sermon, they all ,paid the most profound attention, and seemed deeply impressed with the force of the truths propounded by the Rev. Dr. Laurie, who discharged his duty much to our satisfaction. He has a good delivery and address, joined with sound sense, and is a sincere lover of the truths of the gospel, which he delivers in a plain, neat, and impressive manner. We remarked that the Marchionesa was. most attentive to the Doctor’s discourse, examining every text which was alluded to in the course of the lecture. During the prayer she and the Marquia seemed much affected when the Doctor very delicately alluded to the noble family then present. We were much pleased with the appearance of all the hearers in the church-a healthy, sober, and good-looking people ; all well dressed, with a deportment suitable to the house of God.” On his breast hung a gold insignia of one of his many Orders. She has all the lady in her appearance-modest, dignified, kind, and affectionate.
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28 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. The Earl remained only a short time at Loudon Castle, having been appointed Governor of Malta in 1824. This situation he filled for nearly two years, much to the satisfaction of the Maltese, when, in consequence of a fall from his horse, he was seized with a dangerous illness, and was, attended by his family, conveyed in a weak state on board the Revenge ship-of-war. The Earl grew rapidly worse, and died on the 28th November 1826. It was rumoured at the time that, in a letter found after his death, his lordship had desired his right hand to be cut off and preserved until the death of the Marchioness, then to be interred in the same coffin with her ladyship. His remains were interred at Malta. As a cavalry officer he looked uncommonly well. He was well learned in the history and constitution of his country; and that his talents were of the highest order is evinced by his successful government of India. He was of a kindly and affectionate disposition-In munificence unbounded; so much so that to his extreme liberality may be attributed the embarrassments under which he is understood to have laboured throughout the latter part of his life. The Earl of Moira was tall, and rather of il spare figure. His manners were digniiled, yet affable. No. CLXXXI. MR. JOHN WEMYSS, MR. ROBERT CLERK, GEORGE PRATT. JOHN WERIIYSS, the figure on the left, was, as the Print denotes, one of the Town Criers, and colleague of the eccentric and consequential George Pratt. He had formerly been a respectable dyer ; but, owing to some reverses in business, he was reluctantly compelled to abandon the trade ; and, from necessity, had recourse to the calling in which he is here represented. He was for many years officer to the Incorporation of Bonnet-makers, for which he received the sum of fifty shillings a year ! He was twice married; and by his first wife had a son and daughter. His son, Mr. Robert Wemyss, was more fortunate in the world. His death, which occurred on the 25th of August 1812, is thus noticed :-“At Edinburgh, Mr. Robert Wemyss, late Deacon of the Incorporation of Bonnet-makers, Council and Dean of Guild Officer of that city. In public and private life he was greatly respected as a worthy and honest man ; and his death is much regretted Wemyss lived at the foot of Forrester’s Wynd. He died in June 1788.
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