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Kay's Originals Vol. 2


NOTES TO VOL. 11. BY PROFESSOR DANIEL WILSON, AUTHOR OF ‘NEMOI1IALS OF EDINBURGH IN THE OLDEN TIME,’ ETC. ETC. Page 1, DOWIE’ST AVERN. David Martin, the fashionable portrait painter of last century, instituted a club in Johnnie Dowie’s Tavern, styled after its host “ Doway College.” Lord Kames, Lord Monboddo, and Dr. Alexander Carlyle of Inveresk, were among its members, and Sir Henry Raeburn, the pupil of Martin, frequented the same old haunt. hfr. Archibald Constable mentions in his biography that he frequently met George Paton, the antiquary, and David Herd a t John Dowie’s. There is a very characteristic portrait of Dowie, in his three-cocked hat, in the Scots Magazine. Page 33, WEST DIGGES. West Digges acted young Douglas in John Home’s famous tragedy ; and it was at his lodging in the Canongate that Dr. Carlyle attended the rehearsals of the ‘‘ DoziqZas ” in conipany with Home, Lord Elibank, Dr. Ferguson, and David Hume. Digges was a man of good birth, but had been compelled to leave the army, and is described by Dr. Carlyle as a handsome young man, with a genteel address and very agreeable manners ; but he adds, ‘‘ he was a great profligate and spendthrift, and a poltroon, I’m afraid, to the bargain.” Page 69, WHITEFOORHDO USE. Whitefoord House, Canongate, a plain building in the unpicturesque style of the eighteenth century, is interesting as one where Burns found hearty welcome. I t also has a certain local interest owing to its occupying the site of the ancient lodging of the Earls of Winton ; the Court residence of one of the most powerful of the nobles who adhered to Queen Mary. Sir Walter Scott restores it in fancy ; and there Roland Crmne goes in pursuit of Catherine Seyton, with results familiar to all readers. In Edgar’s Map of Edinburgh, 1742, the ancient mansion appears, though neglected and ruinous. Before the century closed it had been displaced by Whitefoord House. Page 88, DR. HAMILTON. Dr. Hamilton was lately popularly known by the name of “ Cocky Hamilton,” from his adherence to the otherwise obsolete cocked hat. A story was current of one of the street simpletons, Daft Jamie, if I mistake not, stopping Dr. Haniilton one evening, opposite Law’s famed coffee establishment, and pointing in succession to the Doctor, the lamplighter, who was just then lighting a neighbouring street lamp, and to the namc over the shop, he exclaimed, “ Cocky-leery-law,” by which cock-crowing he won a liberal gratuity from the Doctor.
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NOTES TO VOL IL Page 209, THEG OLFER’SL AND. The Golfer’s Land still stands on the north side of the Canongate, with its characteristic coat of arms and inscription, in confirmation of the legend. But the tenor of the inscription is inconsistent with the story of the poor shoemaker. I t rather refers to a house then rebuilding, which had been the family property of successive generations of heroic golfers. John Paterson, several times bailie of the burgh of Canongate, died in 1663, as appeared from his monument in the cemetery alongside of Holyrood Abbey, now the palace garden. Page 236, THE CAPE CLUB. The minute-books of the Cape Club are in the library of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. I t included among its members Runciman and his pupil Jacob More the landscape painter, David Herd, Ferpsson, Lancashire the comedian, Walter Ross the antiquary, Sir Henry Raeburn, etc, etc. Each of them had a characteristic name given to him as a knight of the Club. The minute-books will show what was the designation of Sommers. Page 239, RUNCIMANP’Sr odigal Son. There was, and possibly still is, in the Cowgate Chapel, now St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Chapel, a painting of the Prodigal Son by Runciman, which was said to include Fergusson’s portrait. This may be the picture here referred to. Page 365, MURDERERO F BEQBIE. The once famous murder of Begbie was one of the popular mysteries with the last generation. Begbie was stabbed directly in the heart by the blow of a long knife furnished with a broad pasteboard guard to prevent the blood spurting on the murderer’s sleeve. Mr. C. K. Sharpe affirmed that a man of strangely recluse habits, who had been a medical student in Edinburgh at the date of the murder, died in Leith many yeam afterwards ; and on his deathbed confessed to the deed. D. W. TORONTOJa, muary 1878.
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