230 MEMORIALS OF EDINBURGH. the Council-room of the Hospital; so that here was the fashionable lounge of the dilettanti of the seventeenth century, and the resort of rank and beauty, careful to preserve unbroken the links of the old line of family portraiture ; though a modern fine lady would be seized with a nervous fit at the very prospect of descending the slippery abyss. Following our course eastward we arrive at Roxburgh Close, which is believed to derive its name from having been the residence of the Earls of Roxburgh. It has, however, suffered a very different fate from the adjoining close. Few of its ancient features have escaped alteration, and only one doorway remains-now built up-f the mansion reputed to have been that in which the ancestors of the noble earls lived in state, We have engraved a fac-simile of the quaint and pious legend that adorns the old lintel. If this account be true (for which, however, there is only the authority of tradition), the date carries us back to the year 1586, in which their ancestor, Sir Walter Ker, of Cessford, died, one of the leaders in the affray already alluded to, in ,which Sir Walter Scott of Buccleugh was slain on the High Street of Edinburgh. Warriston’s Close is another of the ancient alleys of the Old Town which still remains nearly in its pristine state,’ exhibiting the substantial relics of former grandeur, like the faded gentility of a reduced dowager. Handsome and lofty polished ashlar fronts are decorated with richly moulded and sculptured doorways, surmounted by architraves adorned with inscriptions and armorial bearings, still ornamental, though broken and defaced. Timber projections of an early date jut out here and there, and give variety to the irregular architecture, while far up, and almost beyond the point of sight that the straitened thoroughfare admits of, dormer windows of an ornate character rise into the roof, and the gables are finished with crow-steps, and, in one case at least, with armorial bearings. . . . . QUE * ERIT ILLE * MIHI - SEMPER DEUS 1583 The front of this building, facing the High Street, is of polished ashlar work, surmounted with handsome though dilapidated dormer windows, and is further adorned with a curious monogram ; but like most other similar ingenious devices, it is undecipherable without the key. We have failed to trace the builders or occupants at this early period; but the third floor of the old land was occupied in the following century by James Murray, . Over the first doorway on the west side is the inscription and date : of his finest works were possessed by the late Andrew Bell, engraver, the originator of the Encyclopaedia Britannicg who married his granddaughter. Pinkerton remarks of him :-“ For some years after the Revolution he WBB the only painter in Scotland, and had a very great run of business. This brought him into a hasty and incorrect manner.” This is very observable in the portrait of Heriot, copied in 1698, from the original by Paul Vansomer,-now lost. The head is well painted, but the drapery and background are 80 slovenly and harshly executed, that they appear more like the work of an inexperienced pupil. Scougal died at Prestonpana about the year 1730, aged 85, having witneased a series of aa remarkable political changes as ever occurred during a single lifetime. He is named George in the Weekly MaguzinC (vol. xv. p. 66) and elsewhere, but this appears to be an error, aa several of his descendants were named after him, John. Since the First Edition of these “Memorials ” appeared, Warriston’s and other closes in this part of the city have been w much altered as now to present little of their characteristics &4 memorials of the past.
THE HIGH STREET. 231 Lord Philiphaugh, one of the judges appointed after the Revolution. He sat in the Convention of Estates which assembled at Edinburgh, 26th June 1678, and was again chosen to represent the county of Selkirk in Parliament in the year 1681, when he became a special object of jealousy to the government. He was imprisoned in 1684 ; and under the terror of threatened torture with the boots, he yielded to give evidence against those implicated in the Rre House Plot. He had the character of an upright and independent judge, but his contemporaries never forgot ‘‘ that unhappy step of being an evidence to save his life,”’ a weakness that most of those who remembered it against him would probably have shown in like circumstances. A little further down the close another doorway appears, adorned with an inscription and armorial bearings. At the one end of the lintel is a shield bearing the arms of Bruce of Binning, boldly cut in high relief, and at the other end the same, impaled with those of Preston, while between them is this inscription, in large ornamental characters, GRACIA DEI * ROBERTUS * BRUISS In the earlier titles of property in this close, it is styled Bruce’s Close, and the family have evidently been of note and influence in their day. We were not without hope of being able to trace their connection with the celebrated Robert Bruce, who, as one of the ministers of Edinburgh, became an object of such special animosity to James VI. ; and the vicinity of the old mansion to the ancient church where he officiated renders it not improbable in the absence of all evidence.’ Still farther down, another doorway, ornamented with inscriptions and armorial bearings: gives access to a large and handsome dwelling on the first floor, adorned at its entrance with a niche or recess, formed of a pointed arch, somewhat‘ plainer than the (‘ fonts ” described in Blyth’s Close. Here was the residehce of the celebrated Sir Thomas Craig, who won the character of an upright judge, and a man of eminent learning and true nobleness of character, during the long period of forty years that he practised as a lawyer, in the reign of Queen Mary and James VI. One of his earliest duties as a justice-depute was the trial and condemnation of Thomas Scott, sheriff-depute of Perth, and Henry Yair a priest, for having kept the gates of Holyrood Palace during the assassination of Rizzio. He appears to have been a man of extreme modesty, and little inclined from his natural disposition to take a prominent part in public affairs. Whether from timidity or difEdence, he left Sir Thomas Hope to fulfil the duties which rightly devolved on him, as advocate for the Church, at the famous trial of the six ministers. He was of a studious turn, and readier in the use of his pen than his tongue. His legal treatises are still esteemed for their great learning ; and several of his Latin poems are to be found in the “ Delitiae Poetarum Scotorum,” containing, according to his biographer Nr Tytler, many passages eminently poetical. It is a curious fact, that although repeatedly offered by King James the honour of knighthood, he constantly refused it ; and he is only styled (‘ Sir Thomas Craig,” in consequence Hackay’s Memoirs. ’ In the Book of Retoum, vol. ii., Nos. 26 and 30, in the year 1600, Robert Bruce, heir male of Robert Bruce of Binning, his father, appears as owner of various hnds in Linlithgow, anciently belonging to the F’rioress and Convent of the B. V. Yary of Elcho, with the chuich lands of the vicarage of Byning. a The inscription, now greatly defaced, is, Gratia Dei, Thiromas T . . . .