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Kay's Originals Vol. 2


BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 367 factured, to “ gust the gabs ” of the young villagers, by whom it was held in high estimation. She continued in office for several years, and was in turn succeeded by a little woman, commonly distinguished by the somewhat appropriate appellative of Eel1 Greasy. She. died a number of years ago-the last of the race of Dalkeith clap and hand-bell ringers. The drum having been deemed by the Magistrates of that rising town as infinitely more dignified, was then adopted, and still continues in nse. The change, however, is much regretted by the inhabitants, as the charge for calling was formerly only a penny, whereas the drum costs at least eighteenpence for performing the same labour. No. CCXCII. TWO CHAIRMEN; “THE 8OCIAL PINCH.” IN this Etching is represented the east corner of the Parliament Square, with a partial view of the Parliament House, as it existed prior to the late extensive alterations. The two Chairmen, both of whom died about the beginning of this century, were well remembered, by the old frequenters of the Square. DONALDK ENxmY-seated on the pole of the sedan, and presenting his “mull ” -was a native of Perthshire. He was married, but had no children-owing to which circumstance, we presume, Donald and his helpmate were not always on the most amicable terms, and their quarrels at length terminated in a separation. His wife, who survived to old age, was lately an inmate of the Charity Workhouse. DONALDE LACKth, e other figure, came from Ross-shire, and was a bachelor. The Chairmen of Edinburgh, chiefly Highlanders, were at one time a numerous and well-employed body, and some of them were known to amass large sums of money.’ The introduction of hackney-coaches, however-together with a considerable change in the habits of fashionable life-have wholly sub- 1 Donald M‘Glashan, chair-master, who died within a few years of the publication of this print, left very considerable property, chiefly in houses, situated in Milne’s Square. He had at one time about twelve men employed in carrying sedan-chairs, parcels and letters, and in attending strangers in their perambulations through the city. Latterly, it is said, he found a source of no inconsiderable gain in lending small sums of money to young men of rank by whom he was employed, and whose remittances happened to run short. No charge for interest was made, but favours of this kind were always liberally repaid. He was interred in the Greyfriars’ Churchyard, where his place of burial is enclosed, and distinguished by a stone bearing the following inscription:- Erected by Donald M‘Glashan (1825), Chair-master in Edinburgh, as a place of interment for the use of his heirs in mession.
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368 BI 0 Gl?, A P HI GAL S ICE T C HE S. verted the once courtly sedan. Formerly they were in (Treat demand about the Parliament Square, most members of the College of Justice having their stated chairmen in attendance. Lord Monbocldo, though he invariably went home on foot, used to employ a sedan, if it rained,.to carry his wig I The Society of Edinburgh Chairmen was instituted in 1740. No. CCXCIII. JAME S M’KEAN, AT THE BAR OF THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICIARY. . THIS is understood to be a striking likeness of the prisoner, as he appeared at his trial-placed between two of the Old Town Guard-for the murder of Euchanan the Lanark carrier. The name of M‘KEAN is well remembered by the inhabitants of the west of Scotland ; and the circumstances of his crime are yet fresh in the memory of many old people of the district. . He was a shoemaker in Glasgow; and, though poor, had maintained a reputable character up to the period of the murder. M‘Kean was intimate with his victim, James Buchanan, the Lanark and Glasgow carrier, and was aware that he was in the habit of carrying money betwixt these places, On the 7th October 1796, the day on which the deed was committed, it appears he had obtained information that Buchanan had received a sum in charge : and immediately contemplated making himself master of it. With this view he invited him to his house in the evening to drink tea. The unsuspecting carrier accordingly called about six o’clock, and was ushered into a room perfectly dark, there being neither fire nor candle, Here M‘Eean accomplished his villanous design in the most deliberate and revolting manner. He then thrust the body of Euchanan into a closet; and on coming out of the room asked his daughter for a towel, which she gave him ; but, remarking that it would not do, he took up a piece of green cloth which covered the carpet, and again retired into the room. With this he attempted to dry up the immense quantity of blood on the floor ; but his wife, being attracted by the noise of chairs driven about, ran to the door, which was opened by M‘Kean. On discovering the blood, she shrieked “Murder ;” when her guilty husband, taking up his hat, instantly disappeared. The neighbours having caught the alarm, and hurried to the spot, found the body in the closet, and also the instrument of death lying upon a shelf in the room. M‘Kean fled from Glasgow, proceeding by the Kilmarnock road ; and on the This was a razor, tied with a rosined thread, so as to preveet it from yielding,
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