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Kay's Originals Vol. 2


Volume 9 Page 494
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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 371 The Highland Society was originated by him and some other patriotic gentlemen; and till the day of his death he used every exertion to promote the laudable objects it had in view. He was an original member of the Bannatyne Club, which, at its institution, was limited to thirty-one; though, in consequence of its success, it soon extended to one hundred associates. At the sale of his valuable library-which was especially rich in historical, genealogical, and antiquarian works-a set of the Bannatyne Publications was purchased for Sir John Hay,Bart. of Smithfield and Hayston (25th April 1834) for one hundred and sixty-eight pounds sterling. It wanted, however, one or two of the “ Garlands.” Those who remember the ci-devunt judge-though there cannot be many-will concur in our statement, that he retained to the last hour of his earthly existence the bearing and manners of the old Scottish gentleman-a race, we reget to say, almost extinct. To a cultivated mind was united that simplicity and ease of address which rendered his society peculiarly attractive. He was learned without pedantry, dignified without pride, beneficent without ostentation, and joyous without frivolity. In his youth he must have been handsome, as even the infirmities of age were unable entirely to efface the remains of manly beauty. Sir William resided during his latter years in Whitefoord House, Canongate, where he died on the 30th of October 1833, in the ninety-first year of his age. When an advocate, he lived for many years in Craig’s Close, fourth storey, first stair, left hand. The house was his own property ; and it continued in his possession until his death. It was afterwards long occupied by the printing establishment of Messrs. Thomas Allan and Co., proprietors of the Culedonian Mercury Newspaper. No. CCXCV. TRAINING A COUNCILLOR. IN 3817 a Reform in the Burghs was keenly agitated throughout the country, and nowhere more warmly than in Edinburgh. At the annual return of Councillors in October of that year, much excitement prevailed, and an attempt was made to disfranchise the city. For this purpose meetings were held by the various Corporations-committees were formed-and money voted to carry on the process. The subject was accordingly brought before the Court of Session ; and, after some litigation, a decision was recorded against the Council. The latter, however, resolved to appeal ; and, from certain favourable circumstances not duly weighed by the Court, confident hopes were entertained of a reversal. Under these circumstances, a compromise was entered into, by which, on the
Volume 9 Page 495
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