Lord Cockburn Street – The ‘Scotsman’ Newspaper – Charles Maclaren and Alexander Russel – The Queen’s Edinburgh Rifle Brigade – St. Giles Street – Sketch of the Rise of Journalism in Edinburgh – The ‘Edinburgh Courant’ – The ‘Daily Review’ – Jeffrey Street – New Trinity College Church.
THE principal thoroughfare, which of late years has been run through the dense masses of the ancient alleys we have been describing, is Lord Cockburn Street, which was formed in 1859, and strikes northward from the north-west corner of Hunter’s Square, to connect the centre of the old city with the railway terminus at Waverley Bridge; it goes curving down a comparatively steep series of slopes, and is mainly edificed in the Scottish baronial style, with many ornate gables, dormer windows, and conical turrets, high over all of which towers the dark and mighty mass of the Royal Exchange.
This new street exposes a romantic section of the lofty tenements in many of the closes that descend from the north side of the High Street, and was very properly named after Lord Cockburn, one entitled to special remembrance on many accounts, and for the deep interest he took in all matters connected with his birthplace. When he died, in April, 1854, he was one of the best and kindliest of the old school of “Parliament House Whigs,” and was a thorough, honest, shrewd, and benevolent Scottish gentleman, who, though he did not participate to any extent in the literary labours of his contemporaries, has left behind him an interesting volume of “Memorials.” Many can yet recall his plain, old-fashioned, yet gentlemanly bearing, his quiet gait, and shred features, when the clear bright glance was never dimmed, though the shaggy eyebrow grew snowier; while in conversation he furnished almost the last remnant of idiomatic Scottish phrase and accent in its old courtly gentility.
The most important edifice on the south side of Cockburn Street is unquestionably, for many reasons, the office of the Scotsman newspaper, No. 30 – the leading journal in Scotland, and of which it may be truly said that there is no newspaper out of London, and only one or two in it, which has an influence so widely felt.
About 1860 the offices of the Scotsman were removed from the High Street, where they had long been situated, to the new buildings in Cockburn Street, where no expense had been spared to make the establishment complete in all its appointments, and the perfection of what a newspaper office should be. The heading of the newspaper is carved in stone along the front of the edifice.
The front block contains five floors. On the street floor are the advertisement and publishing offices, where orders for the paper are taken in and the answers to numbered advertisements received. This department is entirely managed by an ample staff of female clerks. The manager’s room and counting room are on the first floor above. The paper usually contains not less than from 700 to 3,600 advertisements daily, and in receiving and entering these a large staff of clerks is engaged. The editorial departments are on the next floor above, and consist of a fine suite of eight rooms, opening off a spacious corridor, and all are fitted with speaking tubes and bells, communicating with every department of the establishment. In each room there is also a “copy” shoot of ingenious construction, which enables the printer’s imp to be dispensed with. “Copy” is simply dropped into it, and, by pulling a cord, is drawn instantly to the composing-room.
One of the rooms is set apart as a telegraph office, the establishment being in direct communication with London by means of its own special wires. The composing-room, 150 feet long by 30 in breadth, is well-lighted and ventilated. Three rooms for “readers” are screened off at one end, and at the other are the lavatory, cloak, and smoking-rooms, for the use of the workmen, about a hundred of whom are employed in the typographical department alone. There is also a stereotype foundry; and a library, composed of several thousand volumes, free to all employed upon the premises.
Two spacious apartments that measure together 80 feet in length by 40 in breadth, and with ceilings 25 feet in height, are the machine rooms. In these are three Walter presses, that print and fold from the web at the rate of 36,000 copies of a large eight-page sheet per hour. As a provision against accidents, there are two sets of engines and boilers. There is also a small printing machine which is used for printing the bill of contents. Over the machine room is the despatching room, a spacious hall, the general fittings of which seem a compound between a post-office and a railway ticket office.
Several rooms, in addition to these mentioned are connected with the machine department, and on the east side of the Anchor Close is an extensive ink and paper store.
“In all the great towns in England correspondents are engaged,” says David Bremner, in his “industries of Scotland;” “and in London there is a staff of reporters and a sub-editor. Even in New York the paper is represented, and special telegrams from that city have appeared on several occasions. The arrangements with the Telegraph companies for the supply of foreign news are most complete. With this vast organisation for collecting news at command, the Scotsman daily presents not only a complete record of current events in Scotland, but each copy may be said to be an epitome of the world’s history for a day.” A special express engine, hired by the proprietors at a cost of £1,000 a year, conveys the Scotsman parcels for Glasgow and the West of Scotland.
At this time, including all departments, nearly 200 persons are employed on the premises; and if to these be added paid contributors and others, the number of persons receiving remuneration for their services will be swelled to fully 500, who obtain among them £33,000 a year. Of the daily issue of the paper 330,000 copies are printed every week, and of the weekly issue 60,000 copies, which give a circulation of 390,000 a week, or 20,280,000 a year. The annual production would, if spread out, cover about eleven square miles of ground, and if the sheets were placed end to end they would form a ribbon about 18,000 miles long and 4 feet broad.
According to a privately-printed memoir of Mr. Charles Maclaren, who for thirty years (1817-47) was editor of the Scotsman, it was in the year 1816 that the idea of starting an independent newspaper in Edinburgh originated. The political influences which overspread Scotland after the close of the long war had permeated society, and the ruling powers carried their repressive effects into every sphere of action. Hence the local press was very abject, without courage enough to expose any abuse, however flagrant, if in doing so there was any risk of giving offence in high quarters; and the time had come when a free organ was necessary for Scotland. It was calculated that if only 300 subscribers were obtained the project would have a chance of success, and Mr. Maclaren, with Mr. William Ritchie, were to be joint editors. The leading article of the first number appeared on the 25th of January, 1817, and was from the pen of Charles Maclaren, who, during Mr. Ritchie’s absence on the continent, found a valuable coadjutor in Mr. John Ramsay McCulloch, afterwards the eminent statist and economist, who temporarily assumed the office of responsible editor of the infant journal. Mr. Maclaren having become a clerk in the Custom-house, it was deemed unwise that he should be known as the editor of an opposition journal.
At this time the paper consisted of eight pages, less than half the size of the present page, and the price was 10d. – 6d. for the paper and 4d. of stamp duty. From the latest news columns of the number for 25th of January, some idea, says Mr. Bremner, of the time occupied in the transmission of intelligence in 1817 may be gleaned; the latest from London was the 22nd; from Paris, January 15th; and from New York, December 15th.
The first advertisements were wholly of a literary nature. In 1823 the paper was published twice weekly at 7d., and when the stamp duty was abolished the daily Scotsman appeared in 1855 – a tiny sheet at first. “To the daily and bi-weekly editions, a weekly publication, composed of selections from the others, was added in 1860, representing also the venerable Caledonian Mercury. A few years ago the bi-weekly paper was merged into the daily edition, which most of the subscribers had come to prefer. In all its various forms the Scotsman has enjoyed a most gratifying run of prosperity.”
By 1820 the paper having become firmly established, Mr. Maclaren resumed the editorship, and very few persons now can have an idea of the magnitude of the task he had to undertake. “Corruption and arrogance,” says the memoir already quoted, “were the characteristics of the party in power – in power in a sense of which in these days we know nothing. The people of Scotland were absolutely without either in vote or speech. Parliamentary elections, municipal government, the management of public bodies – everything was in the hands of a few hundred persons. In Edinburgh, for instance, the member of Parliament was elected and the government of the city carried on by thirty-two persons, and almost all these thirty-two took their directions from the Government of the day, or its proconsul. Public meetings were almost unknown, and a free press may be said to have never had an existence. Lord Cockburn, in his ‘Life of Jeffrey,’ says:- ‘I doubt if there was a public meeting held in Edinburgh between the year 1795 and the year 1820,’ and adds, in 1852, that ‘excepting some vulgar, stupid, and rash’ newspapers which lasted only a few days, there was ‘no respectable opposition paper, till the appearance of the Scotsman, which for thirty-five years has done so much for the popular cause, not merely by talent, spirit, and consistency, but by independent moderation.’ “
Its tone from the first had been that of a decided Whig, and in church matters that of a “voluntary.” Apart from his ceaseless editorial labours, Mr. Maclaren enriched the literature of his country by many literary and scientific works, the enumeration of which is somewhat unnecessary here; but one of the proudest proofs of his mechanical sagacity is his having clearly foreseen and boldly proclaimed the certain success of locomotion by railways, while as yet the whole subject was in embryo or deemed a wild delusion. A series of his articles on this matter appeared in the Scotsman for December, 1824, and were translated into nearly every European language; and Smiles, in his life of Stephenson, emphatically acknowledges Maclaren’s keen foresight in the subject. His great conversational and social qualities lie apart from the history of his journal, which he continued to edit till compelled by ill-health to resign in 1847. He died in 1866, after having lived in comparative retirement at his suburban villa in the Grange Loan, in his eighty-fourth year, having been born in 1782, at Ormiston, in West Lothian.
In the management of the paper he was ably succeeded by Alexander Russell, a native of Edinburgh, who, after editing one or two provincial journals, became connected with the Scotsman in 1845, as assistant editor. He was a Whig of the old Fox school, and contributed many brilliant articles to the Edinburgh and Quarterly Reviews, the “Encyclopædia Britannica,” and also Blackwood’s Magazine. As editor of the Scotsman he soon attracted the attention of Mr. Cobden and other leaders of the Anti-corn-law agitation, and his pen was actively employed in furtherance of the objects of the League; and among the first subjects to which he turned his attention in the Scotsman was the painful question of Highland destitution in 1847. A notable local conflict in which the paper took a special interest was that of 1856, on the final retirement of Macaulay from the representation of Edinburgh, and the return of Adam Black, the eminent publisher; and among many matters to which this great Scottish journal lent all its weight and advocacy in subsequent years, was the great centenary of Robert Burns.
To the change in the Stamp Act we have already referred – a change which, by the introduction of daily papers, entailed an enormous increase of work upon the editors; but we are told that “Mr. Russel never failed to meet the requirements of the day; and for three of four months scarcely a day passed on which he did not write one or more articles – seventy leading articles having been written by him, we believe, day after day.” In testimony of his literary ability and public services a magnificent presentation of silver plate was made to him in 1859, at the Waterloo Rooms.
The Scotsman, which has always opposed and exposed Pharisaism [hypocrisy] and inconsistency, yet the while giving ample place to the ecclesiastical element – a feature in Scottish everyday life quite incomprehensible to strangers – was in the full zenith and plenitude of its power when Alexander Russel died, in about the thirtieth year of his editorship and sixty-second of his age, leaving a blank in his own circle that may never be supplied, for he was the worthy successor of Maclaren in the task of making the Scotsman what it is – the sole representative of Scottish opinion in England and abroad; “and that it represents it so that that opinion does not need to hang its head in the area of cosmopolitan discussion, is largely due to the independence of spirit, the tact, the discernment of character, and the unflagging energy by which Mr. Russel imparted a dignity to the work of editing a newspaper which it can hardly be said to have possessed in his own country before his time.”
Among other institutions of New Edinburgh to be found in picturesque Cockburn Street, under the very shadow of the old city, such as the Ear and Eye Dispensary, instituted in 1822, and the rooms of the Choral Society, are the permanent Orderly Rooms of the Edinburgh Volunteer Artillery, and the Queen’s Edinburgh Rifle Volunteer Brigade, respectively at No. 27 and No. 35.
Both these corps were embodied in the summer of 1859, when the volunteer movement was exciting that high enthusiasm which happily has never died, but has continued till the auxiliary army then, self-summoned into existence, though opposed by Government in all its stages, has now become one of the most important institutions in the kingdom.
The City Artillery Volunteer Corps, commanded in 1878 by Sir William Baillie, Bart., of Polkemet, consisting of nine batteries, showed in 1880 a maximum establishment of 519 (57 of whom were non-efficients), 14 officers, and 36 sergeants.1
Formed in two battalions (with a third corps of cadets), the Queen’s Edinburgh Rifle Brigade, of which the Lord Provost is honorary colonel, consists now of 25 companies, seven of which were called Highland, with a total strength on the 31st of October, 1880, of 2,252 efficients, 106 non-efficients, with 82 officers, 116 sergeants, extra-proficients. Since its embodiment in 1859 there have enrolled in this corps more than 11,537 men, of whom 9,584 have resigned, leaving the present strength, as stated, at 2,252.
As a shooting corps, and for the excellence of its drill, it has always borne a high character, and its artisan battalion is “second to none” among the auxiliary forces. At the International Regimental Match shot for in May, 1877, the Queen’s Edinburgh Brigade were twice victorious, and in the preceding year no less than 78 officers and 121 sergeants received certificates of proficiency.
Under the new system the brigade forms a portion of the 62nd, or Edinburgh Brigade Depôt, which includes the two battalions of the 1st Royal Scots Regiment, the Edinburgh or Queen’s Regiment of Light Infantry Militia, and the Administrative Volunteer Rifle Battalions of Berwick, Haddington, Linlithgow, and Midlothian.
In St. Giles Street, which opens on the north side of the High Street (opposite to the square in which the County Hall stands) and turning west joins the head of the mound, at the foot of Bank Street, are the offices of the Daily and Weekly Review. The Glasgow Herald, and the Evening Times share a handsome edifice, built like the rest of the street, in the picturesque old Scottish style, with crowstepped gables and pedimented dormer windows, and having inscribed along its front in large letters:
THE COURANT, ESTAB. 1705.
To this office, which was specially designed for the purpose by the late David Bryce, R.S.A., the headquarters of the paper were removed from 188, High Street; and in noticing this venerable organ of the Conservative party, it is impossible to omit some reference to the rise of journalism in Edinburgh, where it has survived its old contemporaries, as the Caledonian Mercury, a continued serial from 1720, is now incorporated with the Scotsman, and the Edinburgh Advertiser, which started in January, 1764, ceased about 1860; hence the oldest existing paper in the city is the Edinburgh Gazette, which appeared in 1699, the successor to a short-lived paper of the same name, started in 1680.
The newspaper press of Scotland began during the civil wars of the 17th century. A party of Cromwell’s troops which garrisoned the citadel of Leith in 1652, brought with them a printer named Christopher Higgins, to reprint the London paper called the Mercurius Politicus, consisting of from eight to sixteen pages, which he began to issue from his establishment “in Hart’s Close, over against the Tron Church.” The first number appeared on the 26th of October, 1653, and the serial continued till 1660. On the 31st December in that year appeared the “Mercurius Caledonius, comprising the affairs now in agitation in Scotland, with a survey of foreign intelligence.” It is in eight pages post 8vo., and contains a description of the funeral of Montrose, the departure of the English garrison from the Castle, with the announcement that “the blasphemous Rumper and other anti-monarchical vermin in England must cast about somewhere else than for companions in Scotland.” It lived only three months, and was succeeded by The Kingdom’s Intelligencer – to prevent false news – published by authority. James Watson, a printer of eminence, started the Edinburgh Courant in 1705, which only attained its fifty-fifth number, and in 1706 the Scots Courant. The whole of the local notices in the first-named paper are most meagre, and are as follows:-
EDINBURGH, FEB. 19.
On Saturday last, Captain Green, Captain of the Ship Worchester, and the rest of his Crew who are Prisoners here, and are to be try’d as Pyrats, before the Judge-Admiral, has each of them got a Copy of their Inditement to answer against the 5th. of March next; and the Lords of Her Majesty’s Privy-Council, has appointed five of their number to be assessors to the Judge-Admiral.
This day Robert Pringle one of the Tellers of the Bank, who lately went off with about 425 lib. [£] sterling of the Bank’s Money, is to be Try’d for Life before the Lords of Justiciary, upon a Lybel rais’d at the instance of the Treasurer of the Bank, and the said Pringle’s Cautioners, with concourse of Her Majesty’s Advocat.
Leith, Feb. 16. This day came in to our Port the Mary Galley, David Preshu, Commander, laden with Wine and Brandy.
THAT the Lands of Pirnatown, lying within the Regality of Stow, and Sheriffdom of Midlothian, are to be exposed to a voluntar Roup and Sale, in the House of James Gibson, Writer, living in the Advocats Closs, opposite to the Old-Kirk-Style, on Thursday the 12th. day of April next 1705, betwixt the hours of 2 and 5 in the Afternoon; whoever has a mind to bid for the same, may see an exact and compleat Progress of the Writs of the said Lands, in the hands of William Wilson, one of the Under Clerks to the Session.
THAT there are Post-Offices settled at Wigtoun and New-Galloway: Therefore all Letters and Pacquets must be given in at Wigtoun every Wednesday Morning, and at New-Galloway every Wednesday Night, and at Edinburgh every Saturday; the same to Commence March 1st. 1705.
THAT the Famous Lozengees for curing the Cold, stopping the Kinkhost [whooping cough], and pains in the Breast; Are to be sold by George Anderson at the foot of the Fish Mercat, and at George Moubray’s Shop, opposite to the Main-Guard. Price 8sh. the box.
THE Author hereof having upon the 13. instant, got an Act of Her Majesty’s most Honourable Privy-Council, to Print and Publish the Foreign and Home News thrise Weekly, viz., Monday, Wednesday, and Friday; the same will be continued from this day foreward.
NOTA, Advertisements may be put in this Courant, and for that end, attendance will be given from ten a Clock in the Forenoon till twelve, and from two in the Afternoon till four, at the Exchange Coffee-House in Edinburgh.
In 1718 the Town Council gave a privilege to Mr. James MacEwan to print the Edinburgh Evening Courant thrice weekly, on condition that before publication he should give “ane coppie of his print to the magistrates.” This is stated in the number of the paper for February 18, 1850.
In its early days it was intended to be a decidedly Whig print, in violent opposition to the Caledonian Mercury, which, for long after the battle of Culloden, was an organ of the Jacobites, in whose interest it was started.
From the first day of its issue the Courant proved successful. “As to our newspaper,” says the Rev. Robert Wodrow, writing from Edinburgh on the 17th of January, 1719, when it was about a year old, “it thrives so far as to be very well liked by all, excepting the violent Jacobites, who hate it for no other reason but because it is a true and impartial paper. Several gentlemen who have had the London papers sent them have laid them aside, because this contains the substance not only of them, but of the foreign post also.”
Like other papers of its time, the columns of the Courant, in its earlier stage, display a dire dearth of home intelligence, “whole months often elapsing without so much as one obituary notice, or a ship’s arrival at Leith. The reason of this unfortunate peculiarity was no other than the civic censorship under which the paper, as we see, was from the beginning placed. Even intelligence in the interest of the Government was not in every instance safe.”
All the copies of a certain number issued in the February of 1723 were seized by the magistrates, in consequence of their containing a very little paragraph regarding a Mr. Patrick Holden, then under probation before the Lords of Session, as presentee of the Crown for a seat on the bench – he being a mere creature of the ministry, and unfitted for the office of senator, to which eventually he does not seem to have attained. Indignant at the remark, “we do not hear of any great discoveries yet made to his prejudice,” the judges inflicted punishment upon MacEwan, who was compelled in his next issue to apologise to his country subscribers, and explain why they were not served “with that day’s Courant, as also why we have been so sparing all along of home news.”
In course of time the politics of the Courant gradually changed, and it is still a flourishing paper as the organ of the Conservatives and of the landed interest in Scotland.
The Daily Review, which came into existence in April, 1861, has always been a high-class and well-conducted paper of Liberal principles, and a leading organ on ecclesiastical matters among the greater body of Scottish Dissenters – the Free and United Presbyterian churches. It was founded by the late Mr. David Guthrie to advance the views and interests of the Nonconformist Evangelical Church in Scotland, while at the same time taking its fair share in the general news of the country. Under the editorship of Mr. James Bolivar Manson, who was esteemed as one of the greatest journalists in Scotland, it gained a high reputation for art criticism, and an increased circulation. Mr. Manson had an earnest susceptibility for art, and everything he wrote on the subject proceeded from genuine and native interest on the subject, and expressed convictions which he cherished deeply. The quarterlies, too, occasionally contained articles from his facile pen, and not unfrequently has Punch been the vehicle for the dissemination of the rich vein of humour which ran through his character.
His qualities as a writer in a daily journal were amply displayed during the six years he edited the Daily Review, and a melancholy interest attaches to his connection with that journal, as he literally “died in harness.” His great reading gave him extensive resources, while his long study of public matters and knowledge of past political transactions were remarkable, or equalled only in the parallel instance of Alexander Russel, of the Scotsman. His tastes were various; for in classic authors and in the Scottish vernacular he was equally at home. “He could scourge pretenders, but he loved to welcome every genuine accession to our literary treasures, and to give a fresh and advantageous setting to any gems that might be found in the volume with which he had to deal. Indeed, amid the rough strokes of political war, his regard for any opponent whom he believed to be a man of genuine mind and culture, was ever and anon made evident, sometimes with curious solicitude.” When death came upon Mr. Manson he was only in his forty-ninth year, and had not been confined by illness to the house for a single day. After breakfast, he had seated himself in his study to write a leader welcoming John Bright to Edinburgh; and the few lines he wrote were penned, as usual, without a single elision, when Mrs. Manson entering the room about twelve o’clock, saw him lying back in his chair, as she supposed asleep – but it was the sleep of death. This was on the 2nd of November, 1868.
Mr. Manson, who was long regretted by men of many professions over the length and breadth of the kingdom, and by friends who mourned him as a genial acquaintance, was succeeded by the late Henry Kingsley, who occupied the editorial chair for eighteen months, and who was succeeded in turn by Dr. George Smith, formerly of The Friend of India, and author of the “Life of Dr. Wilson of Bombay.” The paper has ever been an advanced Liberal one in politics, and considerably ahead of the old Whig school.
Jeffrey Street, so named from the famous literary critic, is one of those thoroughfares formed under the City Improvement Act of 1867. It commences at the head of Leith Wynd, and occasioned there the demolition of many buildings of remote antiquity. From thence it curves north-westward, behind the Ashley Buildings and is carried on a viaduct of ten massive arches. Proceeding westward through Milne’s Court, and cutting off the lower end of many quaint, ancient, narrow, and it must be admitted latterly somewhat inodorous alleys, it goes into line with an old edificed thoroughfare at the back of the Flesh Market, under the southern arch of the open part of the North Bridge, and is built chiefly in the old Scottish domestic style of architecture, so suited to its peculiar locality.
In this street stands the Trinity College Established Church, re-erected from the stones of the original church, to which we shall refer elsewhere.
When the North British Railway Company required its site, it was felt by all interested in archæology and art that the destruction of an edifice so important and unique would be a serious loss to the city, and, inspired by this sentiment, the most strenuous efforts were made by the Lord Provost, Adam Black, and others, to make some kind of restoration of the church of Mary of Gueldres a condition of the company obtaining possession; and their efforts were believed to have been successful when a clause was inserted in the Company’s Act binding them, before acquiring Trinity College church, to erect another, after the same style and model, on a site to be approved by the sheriff, in or near the parish and about a dozen of these were suggested, among others the rocky knoll adjoining the Calton stairs.
The company finding the delay imposed by this clause extremely prejudicial to their interests, sought to have it amended, and succeeded in having “the obligation to erect such a church raised from them, on the payment of such a sum as should be found on inquiry, under the authority of the sheriff, to be sufficient for the site and restoration. About £18,000 was accordingly paid to the Town Council in 1848; the church was removed and its stones carefully numbered, and set aside.”
Questions of site, of the sitters, and the sum to be actually expended, were long discussed by the Council and in the press – some members of the former, with a sentiment of injustice, wishing to abolish the congregation altogether, and give the money to the city. After much litigation, extending ultimately over a period of nearly thirty years, the Court of Session in full bench decided that all the money and the interest accruing therefrom should be expended on the church.
This judgement was reversed, on appeal, by Lord Chancellor Westbury, who decided that only £7,000 “without interest should be given to buy a site and build a church contiguous to Trinity Hospital, in which the rest of the money should vest.” The Town Council of those days seemed ever intent on crushing this individual parish church, and, as one of the congregation wrote in an address in January, 1873, “to these it seemed as strange as sad, that while all over this island, corporations and individuals were spending very large sums in the restoration or preservation of the best specimens of the art and devotion of their forefathers, a city so beholden as Edinburgh to the beautiful and picturesque in situation and buildings, should not only permit the disappearance of an edifice of which almost any other city would have been proud, but when the means and the obligation to preserve it had been secured, with much labour by others, should, with almost as much pains, seek to render nugatory alike the efforts of these and the certain pious regrets of posterity.” In 1871 the churchless parish, in respect of population, held the fourth place in old Edinburgh (2,882) exceeding the Tolbooth, Tron, and other congregations.
The church, rebuilt from the stones of the ancient edifice of 1462, stands on the south side of Jeffrey Street, at the corner of Chalmers’ Close. It was erected in 1871-2, from drawings prepared by Mr. Lessels, architect, and is an oblong structure, with details in the Norman Gothic style, with a tower and spire 115 feet in height. It is almost entirely constructed from the “carefully numbered stones” of the ancient church, nearly every pillar, niche, capital, and arch, being in its old place, and, taken in this sense, the edifice is a very unique one.
Opened for divine service in October, 1877, it is seated for 900, and has the ancient baptismal font that stood in the vestry of the church of Mary of Gueldres placed in the lobby. The old apse has been restored in toto, and forms the most interesting portion of the new building. The ancient baptismal and communion plate of the church are very valuable, and the latter is depicted in Sir George Harvey’s well-known picture of the “Covenanter’s Baptism,” and, like the communion-table, date from shortly after the Reformation, and have been the gifts of various pious individuals.