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Kay's Originals Vol. 2


BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 345 attended with the best results. The fishermen and their families consider this place of worship more peculiarly their own, and take a pride as well as a pleasure in assembling under its roof. “he political agitations of the last half-dozen years, too, have not been without their influence on the character of the fishermen. Many of them now discuss state questions with all the nonchalance of thorough politicians. By the Reform Bill, a measure in which they greatly rejoiced, not a few of them obtained the parliamentary franchise, and it was altogether a new and flattering thing to be solicited by a candidate for their suffrage. The chief spokesman of the community, Thomas Wilson, was presented with a handsome silver snuff-box by the Reformers of Edinburgh, in approbation of his conduct. He was also gratified by a visit from O’Connell, during his visit to Edinburgh. Mr. Wilson was a shrewd, sensible, hard-working man ; was landlord of a small public house, and when not out at the fishing, presented his box for a pinch with much sociality, not unfrequently accompanied by some remark about his friend the “ member for Ireland.”’ No. CCLXXXIV. WILLIAM MACDONALD, OFFICER TO THE HIGHLAND SOCIETY OF SCOTLAND. THE individual who thus figures in the national uniform is still a denizen of Modern Athens ; and though a lapse of thirty-five years has not failed to effect a proportionate change in the outer man, he still retains much of the original freshness and vigour of his more early days. WILLIAMM ACDONALaD n, ative of Fothertie, near Dingwall, Ross-shire, came to Edinburgh in 1790. He was then about fifteen years of age, and for some time afterwards was engaged in the service of one or two respectable families in the city. He was next employed as keeper of the Subscription Room, in Fortune’s Hotel, Princes Street, then much frequented by members of the Caledonian Hunt, to many of whom he was well known. The Print of Macdonald was executed in 1803, the first year of his officiating as officer to the Society, which then held its meetings in the premises now occupied as the Subscription Library, South Bridge. The likeness, though it In ddition to the suggestions, in pages 342-3, respecting the “ tabular stone in the wall” of a house in Newhaven, it is worthy of remark that the date, “1588,” is the era of the memorable Spanish Armada. In the wreck which befel this formidable armament, many of the ships were lost on the coasts of Scotland ; and it is probable that the “ signal deliverance” then experienced was meant to be commemorated by the tablet in question. VOL. 11. 2 Y
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346 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES, may not now be striking, was considered very much so at the time. The tartan in which he is represented is the Caledonian or national colour. On relinquishing his services with the Society, Macdonald qualified himself as a messengerat- arms ; and, with the exception of one individual, was at the time the oldest of his calling in Edinburgh. Mr. Macdonald was twice married. His eldest son, in whom he had the highest hopes, was for many years in Calcutta, where he became a partner in an extensive trading house. During a severe commercial panic, however, the firm gave way ; and his son shortly afterwards died on his passage to Sydney, where, had he survived, he would have been advantageously settled. No, CCLXXXV. SIR WILLIAM MILLER OF GLENLEE, BART., ONE OF THE SENATORS OF THE COLLEGE OF JUSTICE. THIS venerable Judge is the only son of Sir Thomas Miller, Bart., Lord President of the Court of Session, who died at his seat of Earskimming, in Ayrshire, in 1789. SIR WILLIAM was admitted a member of the Faculty of Advocates in 1777. At the keenly contested election in 1780, he was returned M.P. for the city of Edinburgh, in'opposition to Sir Laurence Dundas, and took his seat in Parliament ; but he was unseated upon a petition, and his opponent declared duly elected.' On the death of Alexander Murray of Henderland, in 1795, Sir William was promoted to the bench, and took his seat, as Lord Glenlee, a title assumed from the name of an estate belonging to his lordship in Galloway. His chief residence, Barskimming, on the banks of the Ayr, is one of the most delightful that can well be imagined. Embosomed among thick woods and nearly overhanging the rocky bed of the river, the romantic nature of the scene has been greatly increased by artificial means. In the west country, it hm long been an object of curiosity and admiration. Sir William, when considerably above eighty years of age, resided in Edinburgh during the sittings of the Court ; and it is worthy of remark that, while all his compeers had long before forsaken the Old Town,' he still continued in An account of this affair, which created great excitement in Edinburgh at the time, will be a The late Lord Balgray, whose unexpected demise, in 1837, was deeply regretted, resided in found in the first volume of this Work, page 119. George Square during the entire period he sat on the bench.
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