Imágenes de páginas

by his executors, on the 12th of May, 1627, to the town-council of Edinburgh. lie had directed a large messuage in Edinburgh, between Gray's close and Todrick's wynd, to be appropriated to the hospital; but the govemois, in conjunction with Dr. Balcanquel, finding it unfit for the purpose, purchased of the citiiens of Edinburgh, eight acres andahalf of land near the Grass Market, in a field called the "High Riggs," and they commenced to lay the foundation of the present structure on the 1st of July, 1628, according to a

Elan of Inigo Jones. The stones were rought from Ravelstone, near Edinburgh; and the building was conducted by William Aytoune, an eminent mason or architect, with considerable deviations from Inigo Jones's design, in accommodation to the supervening taste of Heriot's trustees. In 1639, the progress of the work was interrupted by the troubles of the period till 1642. When it was nearly completed, in 1650, Cromwell's army occupied it as an infirmary for the sick and wounded. It remained in such possession till general Monk, in 1658, on the request of a committee of governors, removed the soldiers to the new infirmary in the Canongate, at the expense of Heriot's trustees; and on the 11th of April, 1659, the hospital being ready, thirty boys were admitted. In the following August they were increased to forty; in 1661, to fifty-two; in 1753, to one hundred and thirty; in 1763, to one hundred and forty; and in 1822, the establishment maintained one hundred and eighty.

The children of Heriot's eldest daughter, Elizabeth Band, were among the early objects who benefited by the endowment. She had married in England, but being reduced to great difficulties, resorted to Edinburgh for relief. The magistrates allowed her one thousand merks Scots annually, till her sons were admitted into their grandfather's hospital. She had 20/. afterwards to support her journey to London, and a present of one thousand merks.

Heriot's hospital cost 30,000/. in the erection. The first managers purchased the barony of Broughton, a burgh of regality, about a quarter of a mile northward of the city, a property which, from local circumstances, seemed likely to rise in value. On this and other adjacent land, the " new town" of Edinburgh now

stands. The greater part of the valuable grounds from the bottom of Carlton-hill eastward, reaching to Leith, and to the east road to Edinburgh, is the property of the hospital, which will derive great additional revenue when the buildings on these lands complete the connection of Leith with Edinburgh. In 1779, Heriot's hospital possessed a real income of 1800/. per annum: its annual income in 1822 was supposed to have amounted to upwards of 12,000/.

The statutes of the hospital ordain, that the boys should be taught "to read and write Scots distinctly, to cypher, and cast all manner of accounts," and "the Latin rudiments, but no further." The governors, however, have wisely gone so much "further," as to cause the boys to be instructed in Greek, mathematics, navigation, drawing, and other matters suitable to the pursuits they are likely to follow in life. The majority of the boys are apprenticed to trades in Edinburgh, with an allowance of 10/. a year for five years, amounting to an apprentice fee of 50/.; and to each, who on the expiration of his servitude produces a certificate of good conduct from his master, 5/. is given to purchase a suit of clothes. Those destined for the learned professions are sent to the university for four years, with an allowance of 30/. annually. Six or eight are generally at college, in addition to ten bursers selected by the governors from other seminaries, who have each an annual allowance of 20/.

George Heriot confided to his intimate friend " Mr. Walter Balcanquel, doctor in divinity and master of the Savoy," the framing and ordaining of the rules for the government of his hospital; and accordingly in 1627, Dr. Balcanquel, "after consulting with the provosts, baillies, ministers, and council of Edinburgh," compiled the statutes by which the institution continues to be governed. By these it is directed that " this institution, foundation, and hospital, shall for all time to come, perpetually and unchangeably be called by the name of George Heriot hi* Hospital," and that "there shall be one common seal for the said hospital engraven with this device, Sigilium Hotpitali* Georfrfi Heriot, about the circle, and in the middle the pattern of the hospital."

And "because no bodv can be well

governed without a head, there shall be one of good respect chosen master of the hospital, who shall have power to govern all the scholars and officers ;" and therefore the governors are enjoined to have a special care, "that he be a man fearing God; of honest life and conversation; of so much learning as he be fit to teach the catechism; a man of that discretion, as he may be fit to govern and correct all that live within the house; and a man of that care and providence, that he may be fit to take the accounts of the same; a man of that worth and respect, as he may be fit to be an assessor with the governors, having a suffrage given unto him in all businesses concerning the hospital. He shall be an unmarried man, otherwise let him be altogether uncapable of being master. He shall have yearly given unto him a new gown. Within the precincts of the hospital he shall never go without his gown: in the hall he shall have his diet, he and the schoolmaster, in the upper end, at a little table by themselves."

The schoolmaster, whose duties in leaching are already expressed by the quality of the learning defined to the boys, also " must be unmarried."

It is charged on the consciences of the electors, "that they choose no burgess's children, if their parents be well and sufficiently able to maintain them, since the intention of the founder is only to relieve the poor; they must not be under seven years of age complete, and they shall not stay in the hospital after they are of the age of sixteen years complete: they shall be comely and decently apparelled, as becometh, both in their linens and clothes; and their apparel shall be of sad russet cloth, doublets, breeches, and stockings or hose, and gowns of the same colour, with black hats and strings, which they shall be bound to wear during their abode in the said hospital, and no other."

Further, it is provided, that " there shall be a pair of stocks placed at the end of the hall in the hospital, in which the master shall command to be laid any officer, for any such offences as in his discretion shall seem to deserve it; and the master likewise shall have authority to lay in the same stocks any vagrant stranger of mean quality, who, withiu the precincts of the hospital, shall commit any such offence as may deserve it: the officer for executing the master's command, in this point of justice, shall be

the porter of the hospital." The porter is to be "a man, unmarried, of honest report—of good strength, able to keep out all sturdy beggars and vagrant persons ;—he shall have every year a new gown, which he must wear continually at the gate; and if, at any time, he dispose himself to marry, he shall demit his place, or else be deprived of the same."

The last of many officers ordained is "one chirnrgeon-barber, who shall cut and poll the hair of all the scholars in the hospital; as also look to the cure of all those within the hospital, who any way shall stand in need of his art."

These extracts are lather curious than important; for it is presumed, that any who are interested in acquiring further knowledge, will consult the statutes "at large." They are set forth in "The Life of George Heriot," published at Edinburgh in 1822, from whence the preceding particulars of the hospital and its founder are derived. They especially provide for the strict religious instruction of the boys—" while in the hospital the greatest care is bestowed on them in regard to morals and health; they have certain hours allowed them daily for exercise; and their amusements generally partake of a manly character."

It may be quoted as an amusing incident in the annals of the establishment, that "a singular occurrence took place with the boys of Heriot's hospital in 1681-2, the year in which the earl of Argyle was tried, and convicted of high treason, for refusing the test oath without certain qualifications. We extract the following account of it from Lord FountainhilVs Chronological Notes of Scottish Affairs, just published: 'Argyle was much hated for oppressing his creditors, and neither paying his own nor father's debts, but lord Halifax told Charles II. he understood not the Scots law, but the English law would not have hanged a dog for such a crime.' Every lawyer of common sense, or ordinary conscience, will be of the same opinion. Lord Clarendon, when he heard the sentence, blessed God that he lived not in a country where there were such laws, but he ought to have said such judges. The very hospital children made a mockery of the reasoning of the crown lawyers. The boys of Heriot's hospital resolved among themselves, that the house-dog belonging to the establishment held a public office, »nd ought to take the test. The paper being presented to the mastiff, he refused to swallow the same unless it was rubbed over with butter. Being a second time tendered, buttered as above mentioned, the dog swallowed it, and was next accused and condemned, for having taken the test with a qualification, as in the case of Argyle!"

The Doc Of Hebiot's Hospital.

There is "An Account of the Arraignment, Tryal, Escape, and Condemnation of the DOG of Heriot's Hospital in Scotland, that was supposed to have been hang'd, but did at last slip the halter."

From this exceedingly rare folio paper of two pages, "Printed for the author, M. D. 1682," now before the editor of the Every-Day Book, he proceeds to extract some exponences in the case of " the dog of Heriot's hospital," by which " the reasoning of the crown lawyers," in the case of the duke of Argyle, was successfully ridiculed.

Its waggish author writes in the manner of a letter, " to show you that the act, whereby all publick officers are obleadged to take the Test is rigorously put in execution; and therby many persons, baith in Kirk and State, throughout the haill Kingdome, by reasone they are not free to take the said Test, are incontinently turned out of their places."

He then relates that this severity occasioned " the loune ladds belonging to the hospittal of Hariot's Buildings in Edenbrough, to divert themselves with somewhat like the following tragi-commedy."

He proceeds to state, that they "fell intil a debate amongist themselves, whither or no, ane mastiffe Tyke, who keept the outmost gate, might not, by reasone of his office of trust, come within the compass of the act, and swa, be oblendged to take the Test, or be turned out of his place."

In conclusion, "the tyke thereupon was called, and interrogat, whither he wold take the test, or run the hazard of forfaulting his office.''

Though propounded again and again, "the silly curr, boding no ill, answered all their queries with silence, whilk had been registrat as a flat refusal, had not on :f the lounes, mair bald then the rest, taken upon him to be his advooat, who

standing up, pleaded that silence might as wel be interpreted assent, as refusal, and therupon insisted that it might be tendered to him in a way maist plausible, and in a poustar maist agreeable to his stomack."

The debate lasted till all agreed " that ane printed copy should be thrumbled, of as little boulke as it could, and therafter smured over with tallow, butter, or what else might make maist tempting to his appetit: this done he readily took it, and after he had made a shift, by rowing it up and down his mouth, to separat what was pleasant to his pallat, and when all seemed to be over, on a sudden they observed somehat (ilke piece after another) droped out of his mouth, qwhilk the advocats on the other side said was the lest, and that all his irksome champing and chowing of it, was only, if possible, to seperat the concomitant nutriment, and that this was mikel worse then an flat refusal, and gif it were rightly examined, would, upon Tryal, be found no less then Leising-making."

The tyke's advocate "opponed, that his enemies having the rowing of it up, might perhaps (through deadly spite) have put some crooked prin intil it; and that all the fumbling and rowing of it up and down his mouth, might be by reason of the prin, and not through any scunnering at the test itself; and that there was nought in the hail matter, that looked like Leising-making, except by interpretation, and his adversaries allowed to be the only interpreters." Finally, he required that his client should have a fair trial before competent judges, "qwhilk was unanimously granted;" and on the trial " ther fell out warm pleading."

The advocates against the tyke set forth, "that he was ou'r malapert, to take so mikel upon him; and that the chaining and cherking of the test belonged nought to him, nor to none like him, who served only in inferior offices; that hit trust and power reached nought so for, and by what he had done, he had made himself guilty of mair nor a base refusal as was libelled.

Those who defended the tyke, pleaded "that he could be guilty of nather, since he had freely taken it in his mouth, willing to have swallowed it down; and that ther was no fault in him, but in its self, that it passed not; since it fell a sqwabeling, one part of it hindering another:" that if it would " have agreed in its self to have gone down all one way, he wold blaithly swallowed it, as he had done many untouthsome morsel before, as was well known to all the court."

To this was answered, that "all his former good service could not excuse his present guilt."

"Guilt 1" quoth another, "if that be guilt he hath many marrows, and why should he be worse handled than all the rest?"

Notwithstanding what was urged in the tyke's behalf, the jury found he had so mangled the test, and abused it, that it was "interpretative treason," and found him "guilty of Leising-making:" wherefore he was ordered to close prison till he should be again called forth and receive sentence "to be hanged like a dog."

While he was removing from the court, there chanced " a curate" to be present, and ask, "what was the matter, what ailed them at the dog V whereto one answered, "that he, being in publick trust, was required to take the test, and had both refused it and abused it, whereupon he was to be hanged ;" whereat the curate, storming, said, "They deserved all to be hanged for such presumptuous mockery;" but the boys, laughing aloud, cried with one consent, that "he, and his brethren, deserved better to be hanged than any of them, or the tyke eather, since they had swallowed that which the tyke refused."

The verdict created no small dissension; "some suspected deadly fewd in th« chanselor of the jury, alleadging that ane enemy was not fit to be a judg; this was answered, that he was of more noble extract then to stain his honor with so base an act, and that his own reputation wold make him favored; another objected that a tyke's refusing so good a test, might be ill example to creatures of better reason; to this a pakie loun answered, that it could not be good, since Lyon Rampant, King of Tykes, nor none of his royal kin, word not so much as lay ther lips, to it far less to swallow it, and therefore"

Here the speaker was interrupted "by one that was a principal limmer among them (a contradiction reconciler) who would needs help him with a logical distinction, wherby he, like an Aberdeen's man, might cant and recant again."

There were other conjectures, " requiring the judgment of the learnM to determine which has been maist suitable:" e. g.

One fancied, that " the tyke might take

the test secundum quid, though not timpliciter;"

Another, that he might take it "in sensu divito, though not in tentu composite ,■"

A third, that " though it was deadly to take it with verbal interpretatione, yet it might be taken safe enough with mental reservatione;"

A fourth thought, that "though his stomach did stand at it, in sentu univoro, yet it might easily digest it in tentu et aguivoco;"

In this manner suppositions multiplied, and to one who proposed a "Jesuitical" distinction, it was answered, that "the tyke would neither sup kail with the div'l, nor the pope, and therefore needed not his long spoon; well, said ane other, this is mair nor needs, since we are all sure that the tyke could not have kept his office so long, but he most needs have swallowed many a buttered bur before this time, and it was but gaping a little wider and the hazard was over."

"Nay," quoth his neighbour, "the hazard was greater than ye imagine, for the test, as it was rowed up, had many plyes and implications in it, one contrary to another; and swa the tyke might been querkened ere it had been all over, ilk ply, as it were, rancountering another, wresting and fighting."

Then it was proposed, as the tyke had actually swallowed the better part, if not the whole test, that thougn he had brought it up again, yet it were better to try if he would swallow it again; "but this project was universally rejected, baith by the maist charitable, as bootless, and by the mair severe, or too great a favor.

As regarded the condemned tyke, "matters being thus precipitat, and all hopes of reprieve uncertain, a wylie loun advised him to lay by the sheep s (which had done him so little good) and put on the fox's skin;" wherefore, like a sensible dog, "hiding his own tail between his legs, and gripir.g another's train, he passed through all the gates undiscovered and swa was missing :—

'Thus he was forc'd when light did fail, To give them the flap with a fox's tail.'"

What became of him was unknown, and " the news of the tyke's escape being blazed abroad, the court assembleth to consult what was then anent to be done."

By one it was said that " the affronting escape, and other misdemeaners of that tyke were so great, that the highest severit; was too little;"

Another said, "sine he is gone, let him go, what have we more to do, but put another in his place;"

A third said, "his presumptuous and treasonable carriage, would be of ill example to others, unless due punishment followed thereupon;"

A fourth said, "had he not been confident of his own innocency he wold never hare byden a tryal, and since he met with such a surprising verdict, what could he do less than flee for his life? wold not the best in the court, if he had been in his circumstances done the like?"

A fifth said, "if he had been condemned, and hanged in time, he had not played us this prank, but seeing we have missed himself, let us seaze well on what he hath left behind mm."

Then further debate ensued, and, thereupon, the conclusion; which was ordered to be published as follows :—


<'"W^7"I1EREAS one cutt lugged, broun▼ T ish coloured Mastiff Tyke, called Watch, short leged, and of low stature; who being in Office of Public Trust, was required to take the Test, and when it was lawfully tendered to him, he so abused it, and mangled it; whereupon he, after due Tryal for his presumption, was convict of Treason, and sincesyn hath broken Prison, whereupon the Court adjudges him. To be hanged like a Dog, whenever he shall be apprehended; and in the mean time declares his Office, his hail Estat heiratable and moveable, and all casualties belonging to him, to be echeatcd and forfanlted, and ordeans the coleclors of the Court to uplift his Rants and Casualties, and to be countable to the Court, both for diligence and intermission, and also discharges all persons to reset or harbor the Fugitive Trator, and likeways, gives assurance to all persons, who shall either apprehend him, or give true information of him, sica that thereupon he bees apprehended, the person swa doing, shall have !>00l. for hie pains. Given at our Court, fcc."

A Remark.

A great deal of the ingenious argu. ment in this extremely scarce witticism, was probably adduced by the "Heriot's boys," when they indulged in the practical humour of administering the test to the hospital dog as an "office bearer." Independent of its ability, and because the editor of these sheets does not remember to have met with it in any collection of papers on public affairs, he has rather largely extracted from it, hoping that, as it is thus recorded, it will not be altogether i misplaced. Of course, every reader may not view it in that light; but there are some who know, that such materials frequently assist the historian to the proof of questionable facts, and that they are often a clue to very interesting discoveries: by such readers, apology will not be required for the production.

It has been said of George Heriot, that "his vanity exceeded his charity."* But an assertion justly urged respecting many founders who sought posthumous notoriety by sordid disregard to the welfare of surviving relatives, cannot be applied to George Ileriot. It was not until he had bestowed ample largesses on his kinsfolk, that he munificently endowed his native town with a provision for rearing the children of its citizens. To stay the fame of the deed, was not in the power of the hand that bestowed the gift; and when the magistrates of Edinburgh honour Heriot's memory, they incite others to emulate his virtue. Their predecessors received his donation with a spirit and views correspondent to those of the donor: as faithful stewards they husbanded his money, and laid it out to so great advantage, that when the hospital was completed, though the building alone cost more than the amount of Heriot's bequest, the fund had accumulated to defray the charges, and leave a considerable surplus for the maintenance of the inmates; with a prospect, which time has realized, of further increase from the increasing value of the land they puichased and annexed to the foundation as its property for ever. It did not escape the penetration of Heriot's mind, and, in

• In a communication descriptive of Edinulgh, in the Gent. Mng. for 1743, p. 080.

« AnteriorContinuar »