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Kay's Originals Vol. 2


EIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 3i5 He had just sat down to dinner, when feeling himself unwell, he rose hurriedly, and had only time to get the length of another room, where he expired.‘ The figure to the left, displaying a sum of money in a bag,’and exclaiming, “ Cabbage, Willie-mair cabbage,” is intended for the then City Chamberlain, MR. THOMAS HENDERSON. He was formerly a Russia merchantthat is, a dealer in coarse linens and yarns-and had his shop on the south side of the High Street. He first appeared in the Council in 1796; and, after having filled’ the various civic offices of Bailie, Dean of Guild, and Treasurer, was appointed City Chamberlain, on the death of Dr. Thomas Hay, in 1810. Thereafter, in accordance with a resolution of the Council, he gave up his business as a Russia merchant, devoting his whole attention to the duties of his office, His salary as Chamberlain was then augmented from 2600 to 2800. Mr. Henderson died on the 22d December 1822, in the sixty-second year of his age, much regretted by all who knew him. The figure behind the sippost, tendering advice to the Laird to “ Keep the halter tight fear she turn,” will easily be recognised by many of our Edinburgh readers as the well-known city officer, ARCHIE CAMPBELL, of whom a portrait and memoir has yet to be given. No. CCXCVI. JOHN STEELE. THE sturdy beggar, of whom this is a likeness at the advanced age of one hundred and nine years, resided, as intimated on the Print, in the parish of Little Dunkeld, Perthshire. He was a man of uncommon strength, and was usually designated Steele Dhu, or Black Steele. He lived in a manner at free quarters-helping himself without scruple to whatever he required-few of his neighbours daring to come into angry collision with him. He was originally, we believe, a sort of blacksmith or tinker, and used to frequent fairs and markets, vending fire-irons and other articles of his own manufacture. His children, like himself, were remarkable for their strength. He had two daughters, each of whom, it is said, could cany a load of turf from the hill sufficient for the back of a horse. It may be mentioned that, while holding the office of Chief Magistrate, Mr. Mackenzie had the honour of entertaining at dinner, at his house in Gayfield Square, tkst the Russian Prince, Michael, and on a subsequent occasion, Prince Leopold ; both of these distinguished persouages having visited this country during the years 1818-19. Mr. Mackenzie had a sister married to the present Mr. Balliigall, who, it is believed, has been factor on the Balbirnie estate upwards of seventy years.
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376 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. No. CCXCVII. MR. JOHN AUSTIN, AUTHOR OF A “ SYSTEM OF STENOGRAPHIC MUSIC.” MR. AUSTIN was born at Craigton,’ where his fathe? was gardener to John Baird, Esq.; but what were his means of education, or in what capacity he at first entered upon active life, we have not ascertained. At an early period he became a citizen of Glasgow, and was long known, in an extended circle of acquaintances, for his musical skill, and an inventive, speculative genius. Possessed of a jovial disposition, his company was greatly prized, and he was ever ready to take part in a catch or glee. It was not till comparatively late in life that Mr. Austin produced his ‘( System of Stenographic Music ”-a work of considerable ability, though his ideas of improvement were probably more theoretical than sound or practicable. The principal object of the author was to simplify the prevailing method of notation. In place of five lines, his system consisted of only one, written upon by certain characters (six in number), which, “reversed and inverted,!’ were held capable of expressing every variety in music. Besides the Introductory Essay, and an Analysis of Tone, the work contained a great many songs, written in the shorthand character. In the Scots Magazine for 1803, it is stated that “Mr. Austin’s exertions have been great, and every lover of the art will now have an opportunity of gratifying himself, with far less labour than is necessary upon the old system. The Stenographic Music has obtained the approbation of those connoisseurs to whom it has been submitted ; it has already begun to be taught in some of the first boarding-schools in Edinburgh, and, by permission of the Lord Provost, the Magistrates and Managers of Heriot’s and Watson’s Hospitals, it has been adopted in these seminaries.” Notwithstanding the flattering prospect thus held forth, Mr. Austin’s system does not appear to have experienced much encouragement; and at this day, we believe, the author and his work are equally unknown in the musical world. In 1806 we find Mr. Austin eagerly engaged in a very different, but certainly not less important speculation. This was the invention of a powerloom for weaving cotton, of which he presented a model to the Society of Arts, accompanied by the following memorial :- 1 Craigton is situated a few miles west of Glasgow, and waa afterwards possassed by Henry Dunlop, Esq., Lord Provost of that city.
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