Edinburgh Bookshelf

Kay's Originals Vol. 2


Volume 9 Page 606
  Enlarge Enlarge     Pictures Pictures
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 455 his jurisdiction. It was at that time customary to present the Dean of Guild, on the expiry of his term of office, with the sum of fifty guineas as a gratuity ; but, on the motion of Sir John Marjoribanks, the sum was doubled to Mr. Johnston ; sq much had he acquitted himself to the satisfaction of the Council. In all public affairs Bailie Johnston took a lively interest. To his good taste and enterprise the inhabitants are indebted for the improvements on the Calton Hill--now comparatively easy of ascent-and one of the most delightful resorts in this picturesque city. The promenade of the Meadows, too, owes much to his exertions ; and amongst other public services of the Bailie, it deserves to be mentioned that he had the merit of originating the Society for the Suppression of Mendicity. He was for many years treasurer of the Trinity Hospital, and displayed great zeal in the management of that charity, as well as of others connected with the city. He was treasurer to the great Waterloo Fund for Scotland; succeeded his uncle as honorary Secretary to the Asylum for the Blind; and was one of the Parliamentary Commissioners for finishing the buildings of the University ; and also for the erection of the Regent Eridge. Bailie Johnston continued in business until the year 1831, when he retired in favour of Mr. Russell, his son-in-law. Latterly, in consequence of declining health, he was almost closely confined to his own house. On occasion of a dinner given to Sir James Spittal, Knight, by the Society of High Constables, the following card of apology was transmitted to the Secretary :- “Dear Sir-From the condition of my health at present, I cannot dine from home. I regret this on account of the dinner which is to be given to Sir James Spittal, whose conduct has my admiration, and I hope you will tell him so. We began public life together in the Society of High Constables, and afterwards scrvcd in the Magistracy of olden times. All was pleasant and smooth-no jarring words-no angry feelings arose during a long life, which still continues-both adhering to their own views in public matters. I wish the Society and the company all happiness.--I remain, etc. Dr. Gordon, on the Sunday after the funeral, concluded his discourse with a very appropriate character of the deceased. He died at his house, 27 St. James’ Square, on the 4th April 1838. He married Miss Christie, from Stirlingshire, by whom he had six children, three of whom died in early life.’ “ Ro. JOHNSTON.” Mr. Johnston was one of the elders in the High Church. NO. CCCXXIII. ROBERT SYM, ESQ., WRITER TO THE SIGNEI’. THIS worthy octogenarian, in his eighty-seventh year (at the time of this publication), was in his day considered one of the handsomest men of Modern Athens. Hia eldest daughter was married to Wfiam Henry Brown, Esq., of Ashly, china and glass manufacturer ; the second to Mr. Rwell, his successor in business ; and the third to Jam- Dallas, Esq., wine merchant in Canada.
Volume 9 Page 607
  Enlarge Enlarge