Sir Walter Scott, pp.190-194.

[Scottish National Memorials Contents]

   AUTOGRAPH LETTER OF SIR WALTER SCOTT, to the late Rev. John Carslaw of Airdrie regarding ‘Old Mortality.’ (See Fig. 134.) 

(736) Lent by REV. W. H. CARSLAW. 

   TWO VOLUMES OF THE WAVERLEY NOVELS, containing Sir Walter Scott’s MSS. annotations, notes, and appendices. Volume I. contains the novel Waverley, with MS. notes and corrections; and MSS. of the Dedication to George IV., and the General Preface, 1829, together with the MSS. of the Appendix to the General Preface, being the fragments Thomas the Rhymer and Queen Hoo Hall, which were the first attempts of Scott in the field of romantic prose composition. Volume II. consists of the Black Dwarf and Old Mortality, with the author’s MSS. (1829) Introductions and the Notes which now form Appendices to these works. (See Fig. 135.) 

(734) Lent by A. AND C. BLACK. 

   ‘OLD MORTALITY’S’ MELL OR MALLET. This Mallet, which was used by ‘Old Mortality’ in his pious work of repairing the Martyrs’ tombstones, was presented to Joseph Train by Mr. Robert Patterson of Balmaclellan, in Kirkcudbrightshire, son of ‘Old Mortality.’ It was from Mr. Train that Sir Walter Scott principally received his information regarding Robert Patterson, the prototype of ‘Old Mortality.’ (See Introduction to Old Mortality, 1829.) A granddaughter of ‘Old Mortality’ became the wife of Prince Jerome Napoleon, and the widow of his grandson was married to the Marquis of Wellesley while that peer was Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland. (See Fig. 136.) 

(735) Lent by MRS. DRYDEN. 

   SKIPPER YAWKINS’ PISTOL. Skipper Hawkins, the prototype of Dirk Hatteraick, is referred to in the Notes to Guy Mannering. This pistol was obtained by Joseph Train, who supplied Sir Walter Scott with many of the incidents on which the novel is founded. 

(737) Lent by MRS, DRYDEN. 

   JOHN GIBSON LOCKHART, son-in-law and biographer of Scott (born in Glasgow. and educated at the High School and University of Glasgow). Original Silhouette by A. Edouart. 

(738) Lent by WM. MACMATH. 


   MANUSCRIPT BOOK OF RECEIPTS of the Countess of Wemyss – c. 1630. 

   This very curious volume contains one hundred and twenty leaves, whereof ninety-four are written upon, and twenty-six are blank. It has evidently been compiled at different times, and from a Sketch Pedigree drawn up by its present owner it is possible to show with some probability how it descended in successive generations from the noble lady by whom it was begun until it reached the library of Dundas Castle. There it remained until the year 1875, when at the sale of the estate of Dundas it was disposed of. along with many other books, as having no special interest or value. 

   The first owner of the book, and the transcriber in a fair and legible hand of a large number of the receipts, was the Hon. Jean Balfour, eldest daughter of Margaret, Baroness Balfour of Burleigh, and Robert Arnot (or Balfour), Lord Balfour of Burleigh. This lady was married in 1628 to David, second Earl of Wemyss, and died on the 10th of November 1649. From her it descended to her only child, Lady Jean Wemyss, who married first, in 1649, Archibald Earl of Wemyss, and secondly, in 1659, George, fourteenth Earl of Sutherland. On the first leaf of the book we find the following note by Jean Wemyss, Countess of Sutherland: ‘This Book was my mothers in wch are many Receits wch shee had from ye most famous Phisitians yt Lived in her tyme, she Dyed in Novbr. 1649. J: W: SOUTHERLAND.’ The subsequent owners of the book seem to have been (1) Helen, daughter of William, Lord Cochrane, as wife of John, fifteenth Earl of Sutherland; (2) their daughter, Lady Jean Gordon, married in 1702 to James, Lord Maitland; (3) their daughter, Jean Maitland, married in 1726 to Sir James Fergusson of Kilkerran, Bart.; (4) their daughter, Helen Fergusson, married to Sir David Dalrymple, Bart. (Lord Hailes): (5) their daughter Jean, the first wife of Sir James Fergusson of Kilkerran, Bart., who married, secondly, Henrietta, daughter of Admiral Viscount Duncan, whose younger sister. Mary Tufton, married in 1813 James Dundas of Dundas. and died May 24, 1867. 

   The first owner of the volume, Jean Balfour of Burleigh, has transcribed many of those receipts which excite the wonder of a feebler generation. Nor is the wonder less when we read the attestation – ‘probatum est.’ 

   That the lady had at her hand a plentiful supply of “simples” for her still-room we have, however, other evidence. From a M. Diary of David, Earl of Wemyss, referred to by Sir William Fraser in his Memorials of the Family of Wemyss of Wemyss (vol. i. p. 240), we learn that this nobleman expended £200 in stocking and arranging his garden, and ‘with his usual mechanical habits drew out a plan of it, so that the several flower and herb plots might be known, and also the name of every tree round the walls.’ It is also quite in keeping with Lady Wemyss’s conviction as indicated in the transcripts, that we find her in her last testament making special bequest of ‘Docktir Arnot’s stone, that is for the ueimen in traueill’ (ib. ii. 233) and of ‘my teid ston ring, with my laither belt I gait from Doktir Arnott, for my dochter Angous’ (ib. ii. 233). Doctor Arnot was probably a relative. 

   The receipts are very tempting – for quotation. Take these:- 

   ‘For to stainch ye bleiding at nose. Tak ane egge and break it on ye tope yt all may ischew clean furth, then fill the egge shell with ye blood of ye paritie and put in ye fyre, let it remain untill it be hard, then burne it to ashes and it staincheth ye blooding. probatum.’ 

   ‘For the yellow Jandise or gulsoch. Tak earth wormes and wash them then tak a litle Syroped Iuory and Inglish Saffron beaten to pouder, mixe those with whyte wyne and let ye patient drink a good draucht yrof louk-warm both morning and euening. probatum est. 

   ‘A recept how to make a Cleister for ye Countess of Southerland. Tak Mallows pellitory of ye wall Cammomile wt ye flowres of each a little handfull rue half a handfull Juniper berries half of ane Unce sweet fennell seed a drahme boile this in a sufficent quantitie of water into a large half Mutchkine in which dissolve Lenetive electory six drahms, Kitchen sugar half ane Unce Oile of Cammomile two spoonfulls mixe ym and give itt in a Convenient warmness – nott forgetting to putt in a little salt instead of the Lenative electory take six drahms of Diacatholicum.’ 

   The binding is probably contemporary with the first writer, and has never been tampered with. It is in full calf, richly tooled and gilt. The size is 6 in. by 3 ⅞ in. (See Plate XXVI.) 

(694) Lent by WILLIAM MACMATH. 

Plate XXVI. – Manuscript Book of Receipts of the Countess of Wemyss (Circa 1630).

   MANUSCRIPTS OF WILLIAM MOTHERWELL, POET. William Motherwell, although he was born in Glasgow in 1797, is to be ranked among the poets of Paisley, for in that burgh he was educated, and spent most of his life. He was not only a writer of songs and ballads, but an enthusiastic collector and critic of Scottish ballad literature. Originally trained to the legal profession, he became a journalist, and at the time of his early death, in 1835, he was editor of the Glasgow Courier. His poems were first collected and published in 1832. 

(731) Lent by DAVID ROBERTSON. 

   SNUFF-BOX, which belonged to Motherwell the poet, the lid of which is composed of a mosaic of famous and historical Scottish woods. 

(732) Lent by DAVID ROBERTSON. 

   MARTIN’S ‘WESTERN ISLES.’ London, Andrew Bull, 1703. This copy was carried by Johnson in his tour in the Hebrides, and bears Boswell’s autograph attestation, dated 16th April 1774, of that fact. 


   THE FIRST NUMBER OF THE ‘EDINBURGH COURANT,’ from Wednesday 14th, to Monday 19th February 1705. 

   The printer of the first fifty-five Numbers was James Watson, the well-known historian of the art of printing in Scotland. (See p. 173.) 

(702) Lent by D. MURRAY LYON. 

   MAP, of the North part of Great Britain, called Scotland, by Herman Moll, 1714; dedicated to John, Earl of Mar, one of Her Majesty’s Private Secretaries of State. Size 42 inches broad by 22 long: divisions not by counties but by territories, such names occurring as ‘Badenoch,’ ‘Mar,’ ‘Gauray,’ ‘Strathern,’ ‘Lorn,’ ‘Lenox,’ ‘Bradalbain,’ etc. etc. The map is enframed or bordered with eleven etchings, 6 ½ by 3 inches – four being castles and seven towns. Edinburg Castle, Stirling Castle, Dunotyr Castle in Merns, The Bass Rock Castle; Edinburg, Glascow, Sterling, St. Andrews, Montrose, Aberdeen, and Channery Town in Ross. 

(681) Lent by R. LATTA KERR. 

   MANUSCRIPTS OF ROBERT TANNAHILL, POET. Tannahill. born in 1774 in Paisley, where he followed the humble craft of handloom weaving, was the most popular follower of Bums as a writer of Scottish song. His works were first collected and published in 1806; and the most popular of his songs are ‘Jessie the flower of Dumblane,’ and ‘Gloomy winter’s noo awa’.’ He was of delicate constitution, shy and nervous, and died in 1810. (See Fig. 137.) 

(730) Lent by DAVID ROBERTSON. 

   SMALL VOLUME, containing the Shorter Catechism, 48 pages (1 page wanting), and MS., about 60 pages (one at least wanting at the end), containing the examination Roll for the Parish of Eastwood, in the handwriting of the Rev. Robert Wodrow, Minister of the same, and author of the History of the Church during the Persecutions, bearing dates 1708, 1713, and 1722, with various marks and stenographic notes by Mr. Wodrow. 

(698) Lent by the REV. GEORGE CAMPBELL. 

3 thoughts on “Sir Walter Scott, pp.190-194.

  1. Thank you so much for doing this website. My husband is a descendant of “Old Mortality”, Robert Patterson – 5th or 5th great grandfather (or great Uncle – that is just what I am trying to figure out.

    1. Thank you so much for visiting. That’s quite the claim to ancestral fame! The very best of luck in your searches x

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