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Book 8  p. 491
(Score 5.02)

Currie?s, and Dewar?s Closes on the north side of
the market, were all doomed to destruction by the
late City Improvement Act.
In the vicinity of the first-named alley, whose
distinctive title implied its former respectability as a
paved close, was a tenement, dated 1634, with a
fine antique window of oak and ornamental leaden
tracery, and an adjacent turnpike stair has the
THE CORN EXCHANGE, GRASSMARKET.
of December, 1793, so many members of the
memorable British Convention were seized and
made prisoners, with several English delegates,
when holding a political meeting for revolutionary
purposes and correspondence with the
French Republic.
In these transactions and meetings, Robert
Watt, a wine merchant, and David Downie, became
God . for , all . his . Giftis,? and the initials,
?L B. G. EL? .
In Currie?s Close was an ancient door, only two
feet nine inches broad, with the halfdefaced
legend :
GOD . GIVES THE . . . . RES . . . .
and the initials, ? G. B.? and ?? B. F,? and a shield
charged with a chevron and something like a boar?s
head in base.
In 1763 such a diversion as cockfighting was
utterly unknown in Edinburgh, but in twenty years
after, regular matches or maim, as they were technically
termed, were held, and a regular cockpit for
this school of gambling and cruelty was built in
the Grassmarket, and there it was that, on the 12th
death for high treason. After the dispersion of
the British Convention in the Grassmarket, they
became active members of a ? Committee of
Union,? to collect the sense of the nation, and of
another body styled the Committee of Ways and
Means,? of which Downie, who was a goldsmith in
the Parliament Close, and an office-bearer of his
corporation, was appointed treasurer. In unison
With the London Convention, the ?? Friends of the
People ? in Edinburgh had lost all hope of redress
for their alleged .political wrongs by constitutional
means, and designs of a dangerous nature were
considered-wild schemes, of which Watt was the
active promoter.
Their first attempt was to suborn the Hopetoun
Fencibles, then at Dalkeith, and under orders for ... December, 1793, so many members of the memorable British Convention were seized and made prisoners, with ...

Book 4  p. 236
(Score 4.71)

TALLY-STICK, BEARING DATE OF 1692.

discovery was made in one of our churches. Some
years ago a chest, without any address, but of
enormous weight, was removed from the Old
Weigh House at Leith, and lodged in the outer
aisle of the old church (a portion of St. Giles?s).
This box had lain for upwards of thirty years at
Leith, and several years in Edinburgh, without a
clainiznt, and, what is still more extraordinary,
without any one ever having had the curiosity to
examine it. On Tuesday, however, some gentlemen
connected with the town caused the mysterious
box to be opened, and, to their surprise
and gratification, they found it contained a
the power which the chamberlain had of regulating
matters in his Court of the Four Burghs respecting
the common welfare was transferred to the general
Convention of Royal Burghs.
This Court was constituted in the reign of
James III., and appointed to be held yearly at
Inverkeithing. By a statute of James VI., the
Convention was appointed to meet four times in
each year, wherever the members chose; and to
avoid confusion, only one was to appear for each
burgh, except the capital, which was to have two.
By a subsequent statute, a majority of the burghs,
came, by whom it was made, or to whom it
belongs, this cannot remain long a secret.
We trust, however, that it will remain as an
ornament in some public place in this city.?
More concerning it was never known, and
ultimately it was placed in its present position,
without its being publicly acknowledged
to be a representation of the unfortunate
prince.
In this Council chamber there meets
yearly that little Scottish Parliament, the
ancient Convention of Royal Burghs.
Their foundation in Scotland is as old,
if not older, than the days of David I.,
who, in his charter to the monks of Holyrood,
describes Edinburgh as a burgh holding
of the king, paying him certain revenues,
beautiful statute of his majesty (?), about
the size of life, cast in bronze. . . . .
Although it is at present unknown from
whence this admirable piece of workmanship
?and having the privilege of free
markets. The judgments of the ( F Y O ~ Scoftish ~ntiq7rurirm -w7?scunr.)
magistrates of burghs were liable
TALLY-STICK, BEARING DATE OF 1692.
to the review of the Lord Great Chamberlain of
Scotland (the first of whom was Herbert, in
IIZS), and his Court of the Four Burghs. He
kept the accounts of the royal revenue and
expenses, and held his circuits or chamberlainayres,
for the better regulation of all towns. But
even his decrees were liable to revision by the
Court of the Four Burghs, composed of certain
burgesses of Edinburgh, Stirling, Roxburgh, and
Berwick, who met ahiiually, at Haddington. to decide,
as a court of last resort, the appeals from
the chamberlain-ayres, and determine upon all
matters affecting the welfare of the royal burghs.
Upon the suppression of the office of chamberlain
(the last of whom was Charles Duke of Lennox, in
1685), the power of controlling magistrates? accounts
was vested in the Exchequer, and the reviewd
of their sentences in the courts of law ; while
. .
or the capital with any other six, were empowered
to call a Convention as often as
they deemed it necessary, and all the other
burghs were obliged to attend it under a.
penalty.
The Convention, consisting of two deputies
from each burgh, now meets ancually at Edinburgh
in the Council Chzmber, and it is
somewhat singular that the Lord Provost,
although only a meniber, is the perpetuai
president, and the city clerks are clerks to
the Convention, during the sittings of which
the magistrates are supposed to keep open
table for the members.
The powers of this Convention chiefly
respect the establishment of regulations concerning
the trade and commerce of Scotland ;
and with this end it has renewed, from time
to time, articles of staple contract with the
town of Campvere, in Holland, of old the
seat of the conservator of Scottish privileges.
As the royal burghs pay a sixth part of the
sum imposed as a land-tax upon
the counties in Scotland, the
Convention is empowered to consider
the state of trade, and the revenues of individual
burghs, and to assess their respective portions
The Convention has also been iii use to examine
the administrative conduct of magistrates in the
matter of burgh revenue (though this comes more
properly under the Court of Exchequer), and to
give sanction upon particular occasions to the
Common Council of burghs to alienate a part of
the burgh estate. The Convention likewise considers
and arranges the political seffs or constitutions
of the different burghs, and regulates matters
concerning elections that may be brought before it.
Before the use of the Council Chamber was
assigned to the Convention it was wont to meet
in an aisle of St. Giles?s church.
Writers? Court-so named from the circumstance
of the Signet Library being once there-adjoins the
Royal Exchange, and a gloomy little cuZ de sac it ... BEARING DATE OF 1692. discovery was made in one of our churches. Some years ago a chest, without ...

Book 1  p. 186
(Score 3.21)

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Book 9  p. 639
(Score 3.07)

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Book 8  p. 526
(Score 2.81)

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Book 10  p. 237
(Score 2.63)

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Book 9  p. 257
(Score 2.35)

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Book 9  p. 9
(Score 2.2)

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Book 8  p. 500
(Score 2.09)

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Book 8  p. 277
(Score 2.07)

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Book 8  p. 373
(Score 1.91)

108 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES,
but commencing the pillage too soon, the enemy rallied, and attacked the Russians-
who were busy plundering-with so much impetuosity, that they were
driven from the town in all directions. This untoward circumstance compelled
the British to abandon the positions they had stormed, and to fall back upon
their former station. Another attack on the stronghold of the enemy was made
on the 3d of October. The conflict lasted the whole day, but the enemy abandoned
their positions during the night. On this occasion Sir Ralph Abercromby
had two horses shot under him. Sir John Moore was twice wounded severely,
and reluctantly carried off the field; while the Marquis of Huntly (the late
Duke of Gordon), who, at the head of the 92d regiment, was eminently dis.
tinguished, received a wound from a ball in the shoulder.
The Dutch and French troops having taken up another strong position
between Benerwych and the Zuyder-Zee, it was resolved to dislodge them before
they could receive reinforcements. A day of sanguinary fighting ensued, which
continued without intermission until ten o'clock at night, amid deluges of rain,
General Brune having been reinforced with six thousand additional men, and
the ground he occupied being nearly impregnable, while the arms and ammunition
of the British, who were all night exposed to the elements, were rendered
useless, retreat became a measure of necessity. Upon this the Duke of York
entered into an armistice with the Republican forces, by which the troops were
allowed to embark for England, where they arrived in safety.
No. LII.
GENERAL SIR RALPH ABERCROMBY, K.B.,
VIEWING THE ARMY, ENCAMPED ON THE PLAINS OF EGYPT.
IN the month of June 1800, General Abercromby was appointed Commanderin-
Chief of the troops ultimately destined for Egypt. Owing to casualties
unnecessary to mention, the armament did not reach the place of its destination
till the 8th of March 1801, on which day the troops disembarked in Aboukir
Bay, notwithstanding the strenuous efforts of the French to prevent them.
On the 13th March, Sir Ralph attacked the French in their position, and
succeeded, after a keen contest, in forcing them to retreat to the heights of
Nicopolis. An attempt to take these heights, which were found to be comhanded
by the guns of the fort, proved unsuccessful. The British took up the
position formerly occupied by the enemy, with their right to the sea, and their
left to the canal of Alexandria, thus cutting off all communication with the city.
On the 18th the garrison of Aboukir surrendered.
General Menou, the French commander, having been reinforced, attempted to
take the British by surprise, and suddenly attacked their positions with his whole
force, The enemy advanced with much impetuosity, shouting as they went, ... BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES, but commencing the pillage too soon, the enemy rallied, and attacked the Russians- who ...

Book 8  p. 158
(Score 1.79)

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Book 10  p. 134
(Score 1.76)

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Book 8  p. 303
(Score 1.75)

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Book 8  p. 371
(Score 1.67)

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Book 9  p. 434
(Score 1.48)

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Book 11  p. 94
(Score 1.45)

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Book 8  p. 157
(Score 1.43)

356 OLD ANI) NEW EDINBURGH. [North Bridge.
night. for his journey there and back, the channel
of the Gala, which, for a considerable distance was
parallel with the road, being, when not flooded,
the track chosen as most level and easy for the
traveller. At this period and long before, there
was a set of horse ?cadgers,? who plied regularly
between different places, and in defiance of the
laws, carried more letters than ever passed through
the Edinburgh office in those days.
In 1757 the revenue amounted to A10,623,
accorcling to Arnot ; in that year the mail was upon
the road from London 87 hours, and, oddly enough,
from Edinburgh back 131 hours ; but by the
influence of the Convention of Royal Burghs,
these hours were reduced to Xz and 85 respec-
Postmaster-General, and nine years after, the mails
began to be conveyed from stage to stage byrelays
of fresh horses, and different post-boys, to the
principal places in Scotland; but the greater
pxtion of the bags were conveyed by foot-runners j
far the condition of the roads from Edinburgh
would not admit of anything like rapid travelling.
The most direct, at times, lay actually in the
channels of streams. The common carrier from
Edinburgh to Selkirk, 38 miles, required a fortburgh
staff consisted of ten persons, exclusive of
the letter carriers.
In 1776 the first stagecoach came to Edinburgh
on the 10th April, having performed the journey
from London in sixty hours. In the same year
the penny post was established in Scotland by
Peter Williamson, to whom we have referred elsewhere.
This man was the Rowland Hill of his
day, and the postal authorities seeing the importance
of such a source of revenue, gave him a pension for
the goodwill of the business, and the Scottish
penny posts were afterwards confirmed to the
General Post by an Act of Parliament in 1799.
In 1781 the number of post-towns in Scotland
consisted of 140, and the staff at Edinburgh
tively; and 1763 beheld a further improvement,
when the London mails were increased from three
to five. Previously they had travelled in such a
dilatory manner, that in the winter the letters I
which left London on Tuesday night were not
distributed m Edinburgh till the Sunday following,
between sermons.
In 1765 there was a penny postage for letters
borne one stage; and in 1771, when Oliphant of
Rossie was Deputy Postmaster-General, the Edin ... OLD ANI) NEW EDINBURGH. [North Bridge. night. for his journey there and back, the channel of the Gala, which, ...

Book 2  p. 356
(Score 1.42)

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Book 9  p. 237
(Score 1.41)

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Book 9  p. 680
(Score 1.4)

Inverleith.] THE ROYAL BOTANIC GARDENS. 47
arrangement of British plants according to the
Natural System ; a general collection of the hardy
plants of all countries, and a series of medicinal
plants. There are also a collection of European
plants, according to the Linnzean System, and an
extensive arboretum, a rosery, and splendid parterres
; a winter garden, museum, lecture-room, and
library; a magnetic observatory and aquarium; with
a construction of terraced rockeries, 190 feet long,
by IZO wide.
ranged geographically, so as to enable the students
to examine the flora of the different countries ; and
there is a general arrangement of flowering plants,
illustrating the orders and genera of the entire
world.
There is likewise a grouping of cryptogamic
plants, and special collections of other plants,
British, medicinal, and economical.
The usual number 01 students in the garden in
summer averages about 300, and the greatest
WARRISTON HOUSE.
A public arboretum, comprising about thirty
acres, along the west side of the Botanic Gardens,
was obtained for A18,408 from the city
funds, and ~16,000 from Government, This was
sanctioned by the Town Council in 1877; and this
large addition to the original garden was opened
in April, 1881, and Inverleith House became the
official residence of the Regius Keeper.
Students have ample facilities for studying the
plants in the garden; the museum is open at all
times to them, and the specimens contained in it
are used for illustrating the lectures. The University
Herbarium is kept in the large hall, and can
be consulted under the direction of the professor
of botany, or his assistant. In it the plants are ar-
109
number is above 500. The fresh specimens of
plants used for lectures and demonstrations averages
above 47,300.
By agreement, it has been provided that the
arboretum, mentioned above, should be placed
under the Public Parks Regulations Act of 1872,
and be maintained in all time coming by the
Government. The trustees of both Sir William
Fettes and Mr. Rocheid were bound to provide
proper accesses, by good roads and avenues, to
the ground and to give access by the private avenue
leading from St. Bernard?s Row to Inverleith
House. Another avenue was also stipulated for,
which was to join the road from Inverleith Place,
westward to Fettes College. ... THE ROYAL BOTANIC GARDENS. 47 arrangement of British plants according to the Natural System ; a ...

Book 5  p. 97
(Score 1.39)

277 --_ - b r d Prumts.1 THE FIRST MAGISTRATE.
c-
CHAMBERS STREET.
CHAPTER XXXIV.
THE L9RD PROVOSTS OF EDINBURGH.
The FLt Magistrate of EdinburghSome noted Prwosts-William de Dedzryl., Alderman-John Wigmer and the Ransom of David 1 I.-
John of Quhitness, First Provost -Willkm Bertraham-The Golden Charter-City Pipers-Archibald Bell-the-cat-Lord Home-
Arran and Kilspindie-Lord Maxwell-? Greysteel s ? Penance-James VI. and the Council-Lord Fyvie-Provost Tod and Gordon?s
Map-The First Lord Provost-George Drurnmond-Freedom of the City given to Benjamin Franklin-Sir Lawrence Dundas and the
Parliamentary Contest-Sir James Hunter Blair--Riots of 179-Provost Coulter?s Funeral--Lord Lynedoch-Recent Provosts-The
First Englishman who w u Lord Provost of Edinburgh.
THE titles by which the chief magistrate is known
are ? The Right Honourable the Lord Provost of
the City of Edinburgh, Her Majesty?s Lieutenant
and High Sheriff within the same and Liberties
thereof, Justice of the Peace for the County of
Midlothian, and Admiral of the Firth of Forth,??
&c. A sword and mace are always borne before
hiin.
It has been suggested that at some early period
the chief magistrate had an official residence, and
Lawson, in his Gazetteer, gives us a tradition that
it was in the well-known alley from the High Street
to the Public Markets, ?now called the Fleshmarket
Close, but formerly the Provost?s CZose..?
Few Highland names appear among those of the
chief magistrates before the fifteenth century, while
in the earlier ages many Norman and Saxon are to
be found, as these elements existed largely in the
Lowlands. We have the son of Malcolm 111.
addressing his subjects thus :--?Eadgarus Rex
Scotorum, omnibus per regnum suum Scotis et AngZi~,
salufem,? with reference no doubt to the English
Border counties, then a portion of the realm.
Although seven aldermen and three provosts
appear among the first men in authority over Edinburgh,
it is probable that the office of bailie, bailiff,
or rent-gatherer, is more ancient than either, as such
an officer was originally appointed by the king ta
collect revenues and administer justice within the
burghs.
In 1296 the first magistrate, whose name can be
traced to Edinburgh, was William de Dederyk,
aZdermarr; he appears as such in ?Prynne?s
Records of the Tower, and the Ragman Rolls.?
In the preceding year John Baliol held a Parliament
at Edinburgh, and a convention of the burgesses of ... --_ - b r d Prumts.1 THE FIRST MAGISTRATE. c- CHAMBERS STREET. CHAPTER XXXIV. THE L9RD PROVOSTS OF ...

Book 4  p. 277
(Score 1.38)

......

Book 9  p. 31
(Score 1.33)

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