Rose Street – Miss Burns and Bailie Creech – Sir Egerton Leigh – Robert Pollok – Thistle Street – The Dispensary – Hill Street – Count d’Albany – St. Andrew Street – Hugo Arnot – David, Earl of Buchan – St. David Street – David Hume – Sir Walter Scott and Basil Hall – Hanover Street – Sir J. Graham Dalyell – Offices of Association for the Improvement of the Poor – Frederick Street – Grant of Corrimony – Castle Street – A Dinner with Sir Walter Scott – Skene of Rubislaw – Macvey Napier – Castle Street and Charlotte Street.
IN 1784 the magistrates made several deviations from the plan and elevations for building in the New Town; and at that time the names and designs for the two Meuse Lanes, running parallel with George Street, but on the south and north sides thereof, were changed to Rose Street and Thistle Street. These were accordingly built in an inferior style of architecture and of rougher work, for the accommodation of shopkeepers and others, with narrower lanes for stabling purposes behind them.
Rose Street and Thistle Street lie thus on each side of the great central street of the first New Town, at the distance of 200 feet, and are, like it, 2,430 feet long, but only thirty broad.
The first inhabitants were at least people of the respectable class; but one lady who resided in Rose Street in 1789 obtained a grotesque notoriety from the manner in which she became embroiled with the magistrates, and had her named linked with that of Bailie – afterwards Lord Provost – Creech. Miss Burns was a native of Durham, where her father had been a man of wealth, but became unfortunate; thus his family were thrown on the world. His daughter appeared in Edinburgh in 1789, when she had barely completed her twentieth year, and there her youth, her remarkable beauty, and the extreme length to which she carried the then extravagant mode of dress, attracted such notice on the evening promenades that she was brought before the bailies at the instance of some of her neighbours, more particularly Lord Swinton, who died in 1799, and whose back windows faced hers in Rose Street; and she was banished the city, with the threat from Bailie Creech that if she returned she would get six months in the House of Correction, and thereafter be drummed out.
Against this severe decision she appealed to the Court of Session, presenting a Bill of Suspension to the Lord Ordinary (Dreghorn), which was refused; it came before the whole bench eventually, and “the court was pleased to remit to the Lord Ordinary to pass the Bill.”
The papers now became filled with squibs at the expense of Bailie Creech, and a London journal announced that Bailie Creech, of literary celebrity, was about to lead Miss Burns of Rose Street “to the hymeneal altar.” In his wrath, Creech threatened an action against the editor, whose contradiction made matters worse:- “In a former number we noticed the intended marriage between Bailie Creech of Edinburgh and the beautiful Miss Burns of the same place. We have now the authority of that gentleman to say that the proposed marriage is not to take place, matters having been otherwise arranged, to the mutual satisfaction of both parties and their respective friends.” After a few years of unenviable notoriety, says the editor of “Kay,” Miss Burns fell into a decline, and died in 1792 at Roslin, where a stone in the churchyard records her name and the date of her demise.
In the same year of this squabble we find a ball advertised in connection with the now unfashionable locality of Rose Street, thus:- “Mr. Sealey (teacher of dancing) begs to acquaint his friends and the public that his ball is fixed for the 20th of March next, and that in order to accommodate his scholars in the New Town, he proposes opening a school in Rose Street, Young’s Land, opposite to the Physicians’ Hall, the 24th of that month, where he intends to teach on Tuesdays and Fridays from nine in the morning, and the remainder of the week at his school in Foulis’s Close, as formerly.” In 1796 we find among its residents Sir Samuel Egerton Leigh, Knight, of South Carolina, whose lady “was safely delivered of a son on Wednesday morning (16th March) at her lodgings in Rose Street.”
Sir Samuel was the second son of Sir Egerton Leigh, His Majesty’s Attorney-General for South Carolina, and he died at Edinburgh in the ensuing January. He had a sister, married to the youngest brother of Sir Thomas Burnet of Leys.
This son, born at Edinburgh in 1796, succeeded in 1818 to the baronetcy, on the death of his uncle, Sir Egerton, who married Theodosia (relict of Captain John Donellan), daughter of Sir Edward, and sister of Sir Theodosius Edward Boughton, for the murder of whom by poison the captain was executed at Warwick in 1781.
It was in Dr. John Brown’s Chapel in Rose Street, that Robert Pollok, the well-known author of “The Course of Time,” who was a licentiate of the United Secession Church, preached his only sermon, and soon after ordination he was attacked by that pulmonary disease of which he died in 1827.
In 1810 No. 82 was “Mrs. Bruce’s fashionable boarding-school,” and many persons of the greatest respectability occupied the common stairs, particularly to the westward; and in Thistle Street were many residents of very good position.
Thus No. 2 was the house, in 1784, of Sir John Gordon, Bart.; and Sir Alexander Don, Bart., of Newton Don, lived in No. 4, when Lady Don Dowager resided in No. 53, George Street (he had been one of the détenus in France who were seized when passing through it during the short peace of 1802), and a Mrs. Colonel Ross occupied No. 17, which is now the New Town dispensary.
Under the name of Hill Street this thoroughfare is continued westward, between Frederick Street and Castle Street, all the houses being “self-contained.” The Right Hon. Charles Hope of Granton, Lord Justice Clerk, had his chambers in No. 6 (now writers’ offices) in 1808; Buchanan of Auchintorlie lived in No. 11, and Clark of Comrie in No. 9, now also legal offices. In one of the houses here resided, and was married in 1822, as mentioned in Blackwood’s Magazine for that year, Charles Edward Stuart, styled latterly Count d’Albany (whose son, the Carlist colonel, married a daughter of the Earl of Errol), and who, with his brother, John Sobieski Stuart, attracted much attention in the city and Scotland generally, between that period and 1847, and of whom various accounts have been given. They gave themselves out as the grandsons of Charles Edward Stuart, but were said to be the sons of a Captain Thomas Allan, R.N., and grandsons of Admiral John Carter Allan, who died in 1800.
Seven broad and handsome streets, running south and north, intersect the great parallelogram of the New Town. It was at the corner of one of those streets – but which we are not told – that Robert Burns first saw, in 1787, Mrs. Graham, so celebrated for her wonderful beauty, and whose husband commanded in the Castle of Stirling.
From the summit of the ridge, where each of these streets cross George Street, are commanded superb views: on one side the old town, and on the other the northern New Town, and away to the hills of Fife and Kinross.
According to “Peter Williamson’s Directory,” Hugo Arnot, the historian, had taken up his abode in the Meuse Lane of South St. Andrew Street in 1784. His own name was Pollock, but he changed it to Arnot on succeeding to the estate of Balcormo, in Fifeshire. In his fifteenth year he became afflicted with asthma, and through life was reduced to the attenuation of a skeleton. Admitted an advocate in 1772, he ever took a deep interest in all local matters, and published various essays thereon, and his exertions in promoting the improvements then in progress in Edinburgh were rewarded by the freedom of the city, which was conferred on him by the magistrates.
The house he occupied in St. Andrew’s Lane was a small one, and he had an old and very particular lady as a neighbour on the upper floor. She was frequently disturbed by the hasty and impetuous way in which he rang his bell, and often remonstrated with him thereon, but without avail, which led to much ill-feeling between them. At length, on receiving a very imperative and petulant message one day, insisting that he should summon his servants in a different manner, great was the old lady’s alarm to hear the loud explosion of a heavy pistol in Arnot’s house! But he was simply – as he said – complying with her request by firing instead of ringing for his shaving water.
In 1784 St. Andrew Street was the residence of David, Earl of Buchan, who in 1766 had been Secretary to the British Embassy in Spain, and who formed the Scottish Society of Antiquaries in 1780. Though much engaged in literary and antiquarian pursuits, he was not an indifferent spectator of the stirring events of the time, and when invasion was threatened, he not only used his pen to create union among his countrymen, but essayed to rouse them by example in buckling on his sword again, as in his youth he had been a lieutenant in the army. In 1787 he retired on account of his health to Dryburgh Abbey, but returning to Edinburgh again, occupied the house 131 George Street, and died in 1829.
In St. Andrew Street lived, and died in 1809, in his sixty-eighth year, Major-General Alexander Mackay, who in 1803 commanded the forces in Scotland, and was thirty years upon the staff there. He was usually named “Old Buckram,” from the stiffness of his gait, for he “walked as if he had swallowed a halbert, and his long queue, powdered hair, and cocked hat, were characteristic of a thoroughbred soldier of the olden time.”
Sir James Gibson Craig, W.S., of Riccarton, occupied No. 8 North St. Andrew Street in 1830.
Proceeding westward, at the north-west corner of South St. David Street we find the house of David Hume, whither he came after quitting his old favourite abode in James’s Court. The superintendence of the erection of this house, in 1770, was a source of great amusement to the historian and philosopher, and, says Chambers, a story is related in more than one way regarding the manner in which a denomination was conferred upon the street in which his house is situated. “Perhaps, if it be premised that a corresponding street at the other angle of St. Andrew Square is called St. Andrew Street – a natural enough circumstance with reference to the square, whose title was determined on the plan – it will appear likely that the choosing of ‘St. David Street’ for that in which Hume’s house stood was not originally designed as a jest at his expense, though a second thought and whim of his friends might quickly give it that application.”
Burton, in his “Life of Hume,” relates that when the house was first inhabited by him, and when the street was as yet without a name – a very dubious story, as every street was named on the original plan – a witty young lady, daughter of Chief Baron Orde, chalked on the wall, St. David Street. The allusion was obvious. Hume’s servant “lass,” judging that it was meant neither in honour nor in reverence, hurried into the house to inform him that he was made game of. “Never mind, lassie,” said he; “many a better man has been made a saint before.”
Though Hume was a native of Edinburgh, and was born in the Tron parish, the exact spot of his birth is unknown.
In six years after it was built, according to Professor Huxley, the house in St. David Street was the centre of the accomplished and refined society which then distinguished Edinburgh. Adam Smith, Blair, and Ferguson, were within easy reach, and what remains of Hume’s correspondence with Sir Gilbert Elliot of Minto, Colonel Edmonstone, and Mrs. Cockburn, gives pleasant glimpses of his social surroundings, and enables us to understand his contentment with his absence from the more perturbed, if more brilliant, worlds of Paris and London.
In 1775 his health began to fail, and it was evident that he would not long enjoy his new residence. In the spring of the following year his disorder, which appears to have been a hæmorrhage of the bowels, attained such a height that he knew it must be fatal, so he made his will, and wrote “My Own Life,” the conclusion of which is one of the most cheerful and dignified leave-takings of life and all its concerns.
On Sunday the 25th of August, 1776, Hume died in his new house. On the manner of his death, after the beautiful picture which has been drawn of it by his friend, Adam Smith, we need not enlarge. The coolness of his last moments, unexpected by many, was universally remarked at the time, and is still well known. He was buried in the place selected by himself, in the old burial-ground on the western slope of the Calton Hill. A conflict between vague horror of his imputed opinions and respect for the individual who had passed a life so pure and irreproachable, created a great sensation among the populace of Edinburgh, and a vast concourse attended the body to the grave, which for some time was an object of curiosity to many who were superstitious enough to anticipate for his remains the fate appropriate to those of wizards and necromancers.
“From the summit of this hill,” says Huxley, writing of the grave of Hume, “there is a prospect unequalled by any to be seen from the midst of a great city. Westward lies the Forth, and beyond it, dimly blue, the far away Highland hills; eastward rise the bold contours of Arthur’s Seat and Salisbury Craigs, along with the grey old town of Edinburgh; while far down below, from a maze of crowded thoroughfares, the hoarse murmur of the toil of a polity of energetic men is borne to the ear. At times a man may be as solitary here as in a veritable wilderness, and may meditate undisturbedly upon the epitome of nature and man – the kingdoms of this world – spread out before him. Surely there is a fitness in the choice of this last resting-place by the philosopher and historian who saw so clearly that these two kingdoms form but one realm, governed by uniform laws, and based alike on impenetrable darkness and eternal silence; and faithful to the last to that profound veracity which was the secret of his philosophic greatness, he ordered that the simple Roman tomb which marks his grave should bear no inscription but, ‘DAVID HUME. Born, 1711. Died, 1776.’ Leaving it to posterity to add the rest.”
It is a curious fact, sometimes adverted to in Edinburgh, but which cannot be authenticated, according to the Book of Days, that in the room in which David Hume died the Bible Society of Edinburgh was many years afterwards constituted, and held its first sitting.
In the early part of the present century, No. 19 was the house of Miss Murray of Kincairnie, in Perthshire, a family now extinct.
In 1826 we find Sir Walter Scott, when ruin had come upon him, located in No. 6, Mrs. Brown’s lodgings, in a third-rate house of St. David Street, whither he came after Lady Scott’s death at Abbotsford, on the 15th of May in that – to him – most melancholy year of debt and sorrow, and set himself calmly down to the stupendous task of reducing, by his own unaided exertions, the enormous monetary responsibilities he had taken upon himself.
Lockhart tells us that a week before Captain Basil Hall’s visit at No. 6, Sir Walter had sufficiently mastered himself to resume his literary tasks, and was working with determined resolution at his “Life of Napoleon,” while bestowing an occasional day to the “Chronicles of the Canongate” whenever he got before the press with his historical MS., or felt the want of the only repose he ever cared for – simply a change of labour.
Hanover Street was built about 1786. No. 27, now a shop, was the house of Neilson of Millbank; and in No. 33, now altered and sub-divided, dwelt Lord Meadowbank, prior to 1792, known when at the bar as Allan Maconochie. He left several children, one of whom, Alexander, also won a seat on the bench as Lord Meadowbank, in 1819. No. 39, at the corner of George Street, was the house of Marjoribanks of Marjoribanks and that ilk.
No. 54, now a shop, was the residence of Sir John Graham Dalyell when at the bar, to which he was admitted in 1797. He was the second son of Sir Robert Dalyell, Bart., of Binns, in Linlithgowshire, and in early life distinguished himself by the publication of various works illustrative of the history and poetry of his native country, particularly “Scottish Poems of the Sixteenth Century,” “Bannatyne Memorials,” “Annals of the Religious Houses in Scotland,” &c. He was vice-president of the Antiquarian Society, and though heir-presumptive to the baronetcy in his family, received in 1837 the honour of knighthood, by letters patent under the Great Seal, for his attainments in literature.
A few doors farther down the street is now the humble and unpretentious looking office of that most useful institution, the Edinburgh Association for Improving the Condition of the Poor, and maintained, like every other charitable institution in the city, by private contributions.
In South Hanover Street, No. 14 – of old the City of Glasgow Bank – is now the new hall of the Merchant Company, containing many portraits of old merchant burgesses on its walls, and some views of the city in ancient times which are not without interest. Elsewhere we have given the history of this body, whose new hall was inaugurated on July 9, 1879, and found to be well adapted for the purposes of the company.
The large hall, formerly the bank telling-room, cleared of all the desks and other fixtures, now shows a grand apartment in the style of the Italian Renaissance, lighted by a cupola rising from eight Corinthian pillars, with corresponding pilasters abutting from the wall, which is covered by portraits. The space available here is forty-seven feet by thirty-two, exclusive of a large recess. Other parts of the building afford ample accommodation for carrying on the business of the ancient company and for the several trusts connected therewith. The old manager’s room is now used by the board of management, and those on the ground floor have been fitted up for clerks. The premises were procured for £17,000.
All the business of the Merchant Company is now conducted under one roof, instead of being carried on partly in the Old Town and partly in the New, with the safes for the security of papers of the various trusts located, thirdly, in Queen Street.
By the year 1795 a great part of Frederick Street was completed, and Castle Street was beginning to be formed. The first named thoroughfare had many aristocratic residents, particularly widowed ladies – some of them homely yet stately old matrons of the Scottish school, about whom Lord Cockburn, &c, has written so gracefully and so graphically – to wit, Mrs. Hunter of Haigsfield in No. 1, now a steamboat-office; Mrs. Steele of Gadgirth, No. 13; Mrs. Gardner of Mount Charles, No. 20; Mrs. Stewart of Isle, No. 43; Mrs. Bruce of Powfoulis, No. 52; and Lady Campbell of Ardkinglas in No. 58, widow of Sir Alexander, last of the male line of Ardkinglas, who died in 1810, and whose estates went to the next-heir of entail, Colonel James Callender, of the 69th Regiment, who thereupon assumed the name of Campbell, and published two volumes of “Memoirs” in 1832, but which, for cogent reasons, were suppressed by his son-in-law, the late Sir James Graham of Netherby. His wife, Lady Elizabeth Callender, died at Craigforth in 1797.
In Numbers 34 and 42 respectively resided Ronald McDonald of Staffa, and Cunningham of Baberton, and in the common stair, No. 35, there lived for a time James Grant of Corrimony, advocate, who had his town house in Mylne’s Court, Lawnmarket, in 1783. This gentleman, the representative of an old Inverness-shire family, was born in 1743, in the house of Corrimony in Urquhart, his mother being Jean Ogilvie, of the family of Findlater. His father, Alexander Grant, was induced by Lord Lovat to join Prince Charles, and taking part in the battle of Culloden, was wounded in the thigh. The cave at Corrimony in which he hid after the battle, is still pointed out to tourists. His son was called to the bar in 1767, and at the time of his death, in 1835, he was the oldest member of the Faculty of Advocates. Being early distinguished for his liberal principles, he numbered among his friends the Hon. Henry Erskine, Sir James Macintosh, Francis Jeffrey, and many others eminent for position or attainments. In 1785 he published his “Essays on the Origin of Society,” &c.; in 1813, “Thoughts on the Origin and Descent of the Gael,” &c.: works which, illustrated as they are by researches into ancient Greek, Latin, and Celtic literature, show him to have been a man of erudition, and are valuable contributions to the early history of the Celtic races.
The next thoroughfare is Castle Street, so called from its proximity to the fortress. As the houses spread westward they gradually improved in external finish and internal decoration. By the French Revolutionary war, according to the author of “Old Houses in Edinburgh,” writing in 1824, an immense accession of inhabitants of a better class were thrown into the growing city. All the earlier buildings of the new town were rubble-work, and so simple were the ideas of the people at that time, “that main doors (now so important) were not at all thought of, and many of the houses in Princes Street had only common stairs entering from the Mews Lane behind. But within the last twenty years a very different taste has arisen, and the dignity of a front door has become almost indispensable. The later buildings are, with few exceptions, of the finest ashlar-work, erected on a scale of magnificence said to be unequalled; yet, it cannot be denied that here and there common stairs – a nuisance that seems to cling to the very nature of Edinburgh – have crept in. However, even that objection has in most cases been got over by an ingenious contrivance, which renders them accessible only to the occupants of the various flats,” i.e., the crank communicating from each, with the general entrance-door below – a feature altogether peculiar to Edinburgh and puzzling to all strangers.
No. 1 Castle Street, now an hotel, was in 1811 the house of the first Lord Meadowbank, already referred to, who died in 1816. At the same time the adjoining front door was occupied by the Hon. Miss Napier (daughter of Francis, seventh Lord Napier), who died unmarried in 1829. No. 16 was the house of Skene of Rubislaw, the bosom friend of Sir Walter Scott, and the last survivor of the six particular friends to whom he dedicated the respective cantos of “Marmion.” He possessed the Bible used by Charles I. on the scaffold, and which is described by Mr. Roach Smith in his “Collectanea Antiqua.” Latterly Mr. Skene took up his residence at Oxford. His house is now legal offices.
About 1810 Lady Pringle of Stitchel occupied No. 20, at the corner of Rose Street. She was the daughter of Norman Macleod of Macleod, and widow of Sir James Pringle, Bart., a lieutenant-colonel in the army, who died in 1809. At the opposite corner lived Mrs. Fraser of Strichen; and No. 27, now all sub-divided, was the residence of Robert Reed, architect to the king. No. 37, in 1830, was the house of Sir Duncan Cameron, Bart, of Fassifern, brother of the gallant Colonel Cameron who fell at Quatre Bras, and won a baronetcy for his family. And now we come to the most important house in New Edinburgh, No. 39, on the east side of the northern half of the street, in which Sir Walter Scott resided for twenty-six years prior to 1826, and in which the most brilliant of his works were written and he spent his happiest years, “from the prime of life to its decline.” He considered himself, and was considered by those about him, as amassing a large fortune; the annual profits of his novels alone had not been less than £10,000 for several years. His den, or study, there is thus described by Lockhart:- “It had a single Venetian window, opening on a patch of turf not much larger than itself, and the aspect of the place was sombrous… A dozen volumes or so, needful for immediate purposes of reference, were placed close by him on a small movable form. All the rest were in their proper niches, and wherever a volume had been lent its room was occupied by a wooden block of the same size, having a card with the name of the borrower and date of the lending tacked on its front… The only table was a massive piece of furniture which he had constructed on the model of one at Rokeby, with a desk and all its appurtenances on either side, that an amanuensis might work opposite to him when he chose, with small tiers of drawers reaching all round to the floor. The top displayed a goodly array of session papers, and on the desk below were, besides the MS. at which he was working, proof-sheets and so forth, all neatly done up with red tape… His own writing apparatus was a very handsome old box, richly carved, lined with crimson velvet, and containing ink-bottles, taper-stand, &c., in silver. The room had no space for pictures, except one, an original portrait of Claverhouse, which hung over the chimney-piece, with a Highland target on either side, and broadswords and dirks (each having its own story) disposed star-fashion round them. A few green tin boxes, such as solicitors keep their deeds in, were piled over each other on one side of the window, and on the top of these lay a fox’s tail, mounted on an antique silver handle, wherewith, as often as he had occasion to take down a book, he gently brushed the dust off the upper leaves before opening it. I think I have mentioned all the furniture of the room, except a sort of ladder, low, broad, and well carpeted, and strongly guarded with oaken rails, by which he helped himself to books from his higher shelves. On the top step of this convenience, Hinse, a venerable tom-cat, fat and sleek, and no longer very locomotive, usually lay, watching the proceedings of his master and Maida with an air of dignified equanimity.”
Scott’s professional practice at the bar was never anything to speak of; but in 1812 his salary and fees as a Principal Clerk of Session were commuted into a fixed salary of £1,600 annually, an income he enjoyed for upwards of twenty-five years. His principal duty as clerk in court was to sit below the bench, watch the progress of the suits, and record the decisions orally pronounced, by reducing them to technical shape.
Prior to living in No. 39 he would appear to have lived for a time in 19 South Castle Street (1798-9), and in the preceding year to have taken his bride to his lodging, 108 George Street.
In 1822 Lord Teignmouth visited Edinburgh, and records in his “Diary” that he dined here with Sir Walter Scott, who on that occasion wore the Highland dress, and was full of the preparations for the forthcoming visit of George IV. To Lord Teignmouth the dinner in all its features was a novelty; and he wrote of it at the time as being the most interesting at which he ever was present, as “it afforded a more complete exhibition of Highland spirit and feelings than a tour of the country might have done.”
Four years afterwards saw the melancholy change in Sir Walter’s life and affairs, and from his “Diary” we can trace the influence of a darker species of distress than mere loss of wealth could bring to a noble spirit such as his. His darling grandson was sinking apace at Brighton. The misfortunes against which his manhood struggled with stern energy were encountered by his affectionate wife under the disadvantages of enfeebled health; and it would seem but too evident that mental pain and mortification had a great share in hurrying Lady Scott’s ailments to a fatal end.
He appears to have been much attached to the house referred to, as the following extract from his “Diary” shows:- “March 15, 1826. – This morning I leave No. 39 Castle Street for the last time! ‘The cabin was convenient,’ and habit made it agreeable to me… So farewell poor No. 39! What a portion of my life has been spent there! It has sheltered me from the prime of life to its decline, and now I must bid good-bye to it.”
On that day the family left Castle Street for Abbotsford, and in Captain Basil Hall’s “Diary” he records how he came, by mistake, to 39 Castle Street, and found the door-plate covered with rust, the windows shuttered up, dusty and comfortless, and from the side of one a board projected, with the ominous words “To Sell” thereon. “The stairs were unwashed,” he continues, “and not a footmark told of the ancient hospitality which reigned within. In all nations with which I am acquainted the fashionable world moves westward, in imitation, perhaps, of the civilisation; and, vice versá, those persons who decline in fortune, which is mostly equivalent to declining in fashion, shape their course eastward. Accordingly, by involuntary impulse I turned my head that way, and inquiring at the clubs in Princes Street, learned that he now resided in St. David Street, No. 6.”
On the occasion of the Scott Centenary in 1871 the house in Castle Street was decorated, and thrown open to the public by its then tenant for a time. It became the residence of Macvey Napier, editor of the seventh edition of the “Encyclopædia Britannica.” He died in 1847, and his “Life and Correspondence” was published in 1879.
Early in the century, No. 49, at the corner of Hill Street, was the residence of Ochterlony of Guynd, in Forfarshire, a family of whom several members have since those days settled in Russia, and a descendant of one, Major-General Ochterlony, fell in the service of the Emperor at Inkerman, after bearing a flag of truce to the British head-quarters.
Charlotte Street and Hope Street lie east and west respectively; but the former is chiefly remarkable for having at its foot on the north-west side a monument, in the shape of a lofty and ornate Eleanor cross, to the memory of Catherine Sinclair, the authoress of “Modern Accomplishments” and many other works. She was born April 17th, 1800, and died August 6th, 1864. Her sister Margaret, one of the best known members of old Edinburgh society, and one of the last survivors of the Abbotsford circle, died on 4th August, 1879, in London, in her eighty-seventh year. She had the curious fortune of being the personal friend of Anne Scott, Sir Walter’s daughter, and in her extreme youth of being presented at Court by the beautiful Duchess of Gordon. Miss Margaret Sinclair was intimate with the princesses of the old royal family of “Farmer George,” and retained to the last a multitude of recollections of the Scottish world of two generations ago.