Edinburgh Bookshelf

Kay's Originals Vol. 2


378 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. Mr. Austin' left a son and a daughter, both of whom were distinguished for symmetry and handsomeness of figure, The latter, in particular, was considered one of the finest-looking women in Glasgow. She was respectably married, and went out to the West Indies with her husband ; from whence, after a residence of many years, they returned-she still retaining all her charms in spite of the tropical climate. ' The son was unfortunate, and died soon afterwards. CCXCVIII. ROBERT KAY, ESQ., ARCHITECT. BOBERKTA Y, a distant relative of the Caricaturist, was born in the parish of Cairnton, near Penicuik, in 1740. He was ori,oinally a wright, or carpenter; but, gradually advancing himself by steady application and industry, on settling in Edinburgh he became a builder and architect, and attained to no small degree of respectability and professional reputation. Mr. Kay was supposed to have acquired considerable wealth by his wife, Mrs. Janet Skirving, a widow, and who at one period kept a tavern in the Canongate. This, however, was not the case, both parties being in anything but affluent circumstances at the period of their union. She latterly succeeded to part of a house in the Canongate, on the death of a nephew, who had some years before settled in Jamaica j but Mr. Kay had previously advanced several sums of money on the property, and a portion of the debt remained unpaid. The greater part of the architect's substance is understood to have been realised by his fortunate speculations in buildings erected in South Bridge Street, while the new line of approach was in progress. Having ultimately obtained what he conceived to be a competency, Mr. Kay feued a piece of ground from Mr. Cauvin, at Wester Duddingstone, where he built a house and laid out a garden.' To this pleasant spot he latterly retired ; and for a good many years enjoyed himself in the calm of seclusion and easy independence. His intercourse with society at Duddingstone was limited ; but with Mr. Cauvin, the well-known teacher of French, Mr. Scott of Northfield, and a few other neighbours, the utmost sociality was maintained ; and their meetings were not unfrequently enlivened by occasional visitors from the city, to partake of their hospitality. Mr. Austin had a brother in Glasgow, long of the firm of Austiu and M'Auslin, nursery and a The remainder of his money wm principally laid out on the purchase of property in Hunter Square. seedamen. He WILB a highly respectable man, and was repeatedly in the magistracy of the city.
Volume 9 Page 504
  Enlarge Enlarge  
Volume 9 Page 505
  Enlarge Enlarge     Pictures Pictures