« AnteriorContinuar »
before them, refused to sustain the pre- mediately west, and afterwards to that sentation, or to proceed farther in the set. next adjoining. The fire communicated tlement. The Rev. Mr Nelson then en. by the roofs, and from the height of the tered a protest against the decision of the houses, and the difficulty of access to the Presbytery, and appealed to the Synod of back parts through the closes, there was Perth and Stirling.
no possibility, though every exertion was 15.-Discovery Ships.--The Griper, inade, of opposing the progress of the Captain Lyon, who sailed along with Cap. fames. At eleven o'clock, accordingly, tain Parry, has been obliged to the whole three adjoining tenements were turn to England, after experiencing a in an entire blaze, the flames bursting continuance of the most extraordinary bad through all the windows, and carrying weather. The Griper was to have an- every thing before them with a fury that chored in Repulse Bay, and to have sent was most territic. These premises were oca boat expedition westward along the cupied by Messrs Kirkwoods, engravers ; northern coasts of America as far Mr Milner, apothecary ; Mr John Hunter, Hearn's river, where it was hoped they grocer; Mr Brunton, clothier ; Messrs might communicate with the Hecla, under Duncan and Greig, carpet-dealers ; Mr Captain Parry. While lying at anchor, Lindsay, victualler; and Mr Isbister, grohowever, in Sir Thomas How's Welcome, cer—besides many other respectable indiin a hard gale of wind, and on a lee-shore, viduals and families. Seeing the whole to prevent her from foundering, a great of these three houses the inevitable prey quantity of provisions, in short, every of the flames, the firemen now turned thing that was portable, was thrown over. their efforts to the preservatio of what board.
The poor animals of Shetland was yet untouched. They were successful horses, which they had carried out with in preserving the house eastward ; but in them, were shot, and likewise thrown the opposite direction, the flames were in overboard. The Griper ultimately escap- the mean time making their way to the ed, with the loss of all her anchors. The top of the next house ; and by three o'clock Consequence of these disasters was, that in the morning, the tenement in which Captain Lyon found it necessary to return was situated the Courant newspaper printhome, and he arrived safe at Portsmouth ing and publishing office was on fire, the on the 9th instant. It is expected that fames bursting through the roof, and de. he will set out again on a similar expedi- scending progressively through each suc. tion in the spring of next year.
ceeding flat, until the whole was destroy. 22.-Calamitous Fires in Edin. ed. About five in the morning the pin. burgh.-Last week, a series of fires nacle of the gable fell inwards, when the threw this city into the most dreadful state flames burst into the middle of the of alarm and consternation, and did more street, and in a short time another portion destruction to property than any casualty
fell. of the kind recorded in its history. With While this devastation was going on, the exception of one large tenement left in front of the High Street, it was spreadstanding, opposite the Cross, and in which ing backwards towards the Cowgate, is situated the Shop of Messrs Manners where the crowded masses of old build. and Miller, booksellers, the Advertiserings, full of old pannellings of dry timPublishing-Office, the Insurance Company ber, afforded abundant aliment to the deof Scotland's Office, &c., the whole vouring flame. The houses from the buildings on the south side of the High west side of the Old Asseinbly Close to Street, froin the head of the Old Assem. the Old Fishmarket Close fell succes. bly Close, round to the new Exchequer sively a prey to the flames. From the buildings in the Parliament Square, with Old Assembly Close it extended backward much of the property running backward to the Old Assembly Hall. In the line towards the Cowgate, have been destroy
of houses which divides Borthwick's Close ed; and the scene of desolation presented from the Old Fishmarket Close, and in to the eye rather gives the impression of rear of the Courant Office, the houses oca city sacked by an enemy, than of any cupied by Mrs Maxton, tavern-keeper, ordinary accident by fire.
Mr Hunter, and other spirit-dealers, have It was in a large seven story house, at been consumed ; and the adjoining house, the head of the Old Assembly Close, on occupied by Mr A. Thomson, book-bind. the east, that the fire was first discovered er, (lately also destroyed by fire, and reon Monday night, the 15th instant. The built,) by the falling of a gable upon it, has flames burst out about ten o'clock from been completely crushed to the ground. the flat occupied as a copperplate print. To the west of the Courant Office, the ing house, when it rapidly extended up. farther progress of the conflagration was wards, and by the roof to the house im. arrested by the height of the adjoining
house, which overtopped the others by from the other parts of the spire ; and one story, and thus prevented the com- an interior fire seemed to be raging, munication by the roof. But for this which it was not in the power of those circumstance, the whole property, from without to reach by any effort. In a the Old Assembly Close upwards, to where short time the whole of the conical super. the great fire in June last commenced, structure, entirely of wood, cased in lead, would have been destroyed. By nine was in a blaze ; the flames ascended to o'clock in the morning of Tuesday the the top with a fury which nothing could fire began to abate, more for want of fuel oppose, and presenting a spectacle most than from any other obstruction, and by terrific and sublime. The firemen Fire mid-day it seemed to be entirely subdued. now obliged to fly for their lives; and
Happily during the night there was the melted lead, pouring down the sides very little wind to aid the progress of the of the structure, rendered it impossible flames, otherwise it would have been to approach it with safety. The whole scarcely possible to have saved any of the spire was now enveloped in flames, and property between the Old Fishmarket in three quarters of an hour it fell Close and Hunter's Square. The great to the ground with a dreadful crash. danger arose from the ignited sparks, which The intensity of the heat may be con. were flying about in all directions. At ceived, when it is stated, that the church. intervals, an unusual volume of mingled bell came down piece-meal, in a melted smoke and flame, with showers of burn- state. It was of the enormous weight of ing embers, was seen rising to a vast about two tons, and was hung in the height, caused by the successive falling year 1673. It cost, in Scots money, equal in of the floors and roofs. An alarm was to £82., 10s. 10d. sterling. The church at one time spread of danger to the north itself, and the steeple, were finished in side of the street, and smoke was seen 1673, twenty.six years after the former issuing from some of the houses; but for. had been opened for divine service. The tunately, this was discovered to proceed danger being somewhat abated, as the from some chimneys that had been set on upper structure was consumed, the fire. fire by the flying sparks, and which were men again ascended to the roof of the soon extinguished.
church, when, to the alarm of the spec. The engines still continued to play on tators, a mass of the flaming beams, the smoking ruins during the forenoon of which composed the frame-work of the Tuesday, when, a little before twelve steeple, was precipitated among them; o'clock, an alarm was given that the but fortunately they did not reach them. steeple of the Tron Church, distant about Owing to the tremendous gale which two hundred yards from the previous blew from the south-west, the flames conflagration, and separated by the raged with unequalled fury, and had breadth of the street from every other caught hold of the church, when, by the building, was on fire, and an inconsider. seasonable arrival of a most powerful able flame was seen issuing from the engine belonging to the Board of Ord. south-west corner of the square tower. nance, the fire was not only confined to On the ballu strade, which consisted en- the steeple, but was at last got completely tirely of wood, some of the flying brands under. had fallen, and had been fanned into a After these tragical scenes, it was na. flame by the fury of the wind, which turally hoped that the calarnity was for had begun to blow about nine o'clock in the present at an end. But at ten o'clock the morning, and had now increased to on Tuesday night, a new alarm was given a perfect hurricane from the south-west. of a fire having broke out in the ParliaUnfortunately the window, furnished with ment Square. It began in the top story pent-house boards, was neglected, for it of that immense pile of building on the was observed in the morning that some south side of the Square pointed out to of them had been removed by the wind, strangers as the highest in Edinburgh, and it was here that the fire, having being, at the back part, which overlooks made its first lodgement, penetrated with- the Cowgate, eleven stories in height. in. On the first alarm, some of the The fire, it appears, commenced in a engines immediately repaired to the spot, house occupied by a woman of the town, and by means of long ladders the fire. named Macdonald. From the situation men reached the roof of the church, from of this building, so far to windward of whence, with great difficulty, they were the scene of the former fire, it seems enabled occasionally to check the pro- impossible that the one could have been gress of the flames, that were threaten- the cause of the other, as the wind, ing destruction to the spire above. Their which blew a severe gale, carried the efforts, however, were totally ineffective. sparks in a direction completely contrary, Thiek smoke was soon observed issuing Owing to the great height of the build.
ing, it was impossible to bring the en. at above £.200,000. Along the front of gines to bear with any effect upon the the High-Street, there are destroyed four flames, which spread rapidly in all di- lands of six stories each, besides the sunk rections, aided by the wind, which still stories; from these, down towards the Cow. blew from the west with amazing fury. gate by Con's Close, two wooden lands; Floor after floor was kindled ; and at an in the Old Assembly Close, four lands of early hour in the morning the whole of six or seven stories ; six smaller tenements this vast mass of building was involved in in Borthwick's Close ; four lands, of from flames. About four o'clock the appear. six to nine stories, in the Old Fishmar. ance from the Cowgate was singularly ket Close. Downwards, nearly as far as terrific; the torrents of flaine bursting the Cowgate, nothing is to be seen but with irresistible fury from every aperture frightful heaps of ruin, to which all apin the house, and rising to an amazing proach is rendered highly dangerous, by height, were brightly reflected from the the walls which are still left standing in sky, while the red glare which they shed different places, but in an extremely tot. on the adjacent buildings, on the spire of tering condition. Along the front of the St Giles's, and the battlements of the Cas- Parliament Square, four double lands, of tle, was at once picturesque and awful. from seven to eleven stories each, have About an hour afterwards the fire had ex- been destroyed. Part of the walls fell tended to the east of the Square, and in during the fires, and others which were the course of two hours more, notwith left standing in the Square, in a shattered standing all the opposition that could be condition, and threatening destruction to given, all that was left standing after the the houses around, were brought down fire that happened in June last was now on Saturday, partly by means of a chain. involved in the general destruction. In the cable, and apparatus, worked by a body premises destroyed were situated the new of seamen from two gun-brigs in the Jury Court-Room, the Office of the Water roads, and partly by mining with gunCompany, and that of the Auditor of the powder. The whole of the operations Court of Session, the shop of Mr Laurie, were performed with great skill, and bookseller, and of Messrs Jardine and without injury to any of the surrounding Wilson's Chambers, Mr R, Scott, engra. property, or to the individuals employed. ver, Mr Williamson, writer, and a number The mining operations were under the of other individuals and families. By eight direction of Mr Miller, builder in this o'clock the violence of the flames had city ; and the seamen were directed by abated; the fire had indeed burnt out; and Captain Hope, R. N. son of the Lord at that period the interior walls of the President, Lieutenant Grove, R. N., and south-east angle fell upon the front wall, Captain Head of the Royal Engineers. and precipitated them into the Square, The zeal, intrepidity, and devotion of with a crash that was tremendous, and all those whose business it is to attend on a cloud of dust that darkened the atmos. such occasions, merit unqualified praise. phere.
The Lord Provost and Magistrates, the During the whole night, while the con. high constables, the Superintendant, and flagration was raging, showers of ignited other officers of police, and Mr Braid. embers and sparks were flying through wood, the superintendant of fire-engines, the sky, and falling to the eastward, exerted themselves every where with the covered the streets and houses, to the greatest activity. Early on Wednesday great danger of the buildings in that di. morning, the Lord President, the Lord rection. The sparks again set fire to the Justice Clerk, the Lord Advocate, and buildings in Con's Close, in the rear of several other distinguished individuals, the High-Street, and in the morning the were in the Parliament Square, animating flames were raging with such
by their example the exertions of all trollable fury, that it was thought they around them, at a time when extraordi. could not be prevented from spreading nary exertion was peculiarly necessary, towards the Commercial Bank, where the firemen having been exhausted by the for a time the utmost anxiety prevailed. fatigues of the preceding night. The Alarms of fire were given from other danger seemed to level all distinctions, places, during the day and night, and and every one was only anxious to lend originating principally in chimneys ignit. his aid wherever it was judged necessary. ed by the sparks; one, however, in Car- The gentlemen belonging to the army ruber's Close had actually commenced and navy were particularly useful, disburning, but was happily got out.
playing, not only that zeal and activity It is impossible to calculate, with any which was to be expected, but that calm degree of accuracy, the amount of pro. and collected intrepidity which is so much perty destroyed by these dreadful confla. wanted on occasions of this nature, where grations, but we have heard it estimated all is too frequently hurry and confusion.
The 720 regiment in the Castle was on berry House as a temporary shelter fet duty during the whole period, some of those whom the present disaster had de them employed in keeping order in the prived of a home. Besides those build. streets, and others in working the engines. ings utterly destroyed by the fire, a On T’uesday, the assistance of the dragoon great deal of property has been dama. guards from Piershill barracks was called ged by the falling of the burning ruins, in, and a part of the artillerymen from and much has been destroyed or lost Leith Fort, with their officers, some of in the removals which were occasion. whom were particularly active, and ren. ed by the general alarm ; for such was
dered most able assistance. Wednesday the threatening appearance of the fire on · morning the Edinburgh troop of yeoman. Wednesday morning, that not only in the
ry cavalry were called in, and to them Cowgate, but even in Hunter's Square was allotted the duty of keeping the High- and Biair. Street niany individuals remorStreet clear.
ed their most valuable furniture. On the On Wednesday morning there were 22 South Bridge, and other parts in the difire-engines in full operation, namely, rection of the thick showers of fire tben those of the Sun, Caledonian, Friendly, falling, persons were stationed on the roofs North British, and Royal Exchange As
of most of the houses to sweep off the surance offices ; two belonging to the burning embers as they fell, and occasioncity, and two to the Castle ; one to Sir ally to pour water on the roofs. W. Forbes & Co. ; one from Queens
It could not be expected that such a berry, and one from Piershill barracks; calamity should pass over without some one from Leith, three from the Naval serious accidents; and accordingly we Yard, and three from the Fort; one
have to record the death of eight indivifrom Musselburgh, one from Dalkeith, duals, either killed on the spot by the and one from Buccleuch Palace.
falling of ruins, or who have died in conNothing can equal the consternation sequence of their hurts. Two of these that was spread through the city by these
are boys who were assisting in carrying dreadful events. After the fire that broke water, a dragoon employed in keeping out on Tuesday night was announced, a
order, and the others were firemen be. feeling of indescribable alarm seized all longing to the engines. A number of classes. They did not see where the evil others received hurts, from the effects, of was to terminate. In the High-Street which they either have recovered, or are business was entirely suspended ; every
in a fair way of doing so. The bodies of one seemed only to consider of the best two of these known to have been killed means of avoiding any farther calamity. are still buried among the ruins. The whole street was crowded, until it
The number of families rendered house. was at last cleared by the military, and less by these disasters are between three an empty space left for the operation of and four hundred, for whose relief & subthe engines, which were constantly driv. scription has been commenced, that proing backwards and forwards to the points mises to be beyond example liberal. of danger. The distress became at last so 25.- Convention of Royal Burghs.great and general, that not only those in On Monday the 22d, an extraordinary the immediate vicinity of the danger, but meeting of the Convention was held in many at considerable distances, thought the Council Chamber, Edinburgh, the of nothing but securing their furniture Lord Provost of that city in the chair. and other property by removal, and the The Resolution of the Annual Committee scenes of confusion which in consequence was read, calling this meeting in conseensued are altogether beyond description. quence of a letter from the Provost of The wretched families that have been Brechin, stating that he had been served burnt out are far more numerous than with a summons before the Court of Ses. ever was known in any similar scene of sion, to have it found that the new sett calamity. All the closes and lanes lead. 'granted to that Burgh by the Convention ing from the Cowgate, southward, the was illegal, and craving assistance to de. Royal Exchange, the Parliament Square, fend the action. Mr William Bell, W.S. and the Court of the Police Office, were delegate for Jedburgh, said, before procrowded with the wrecks of furniture ceeding to the business of the day, he rescued froin the flames, and watched begged to mention, that it was proposed by the houseless inhabitants. There to take up in Parliament, during the enwas something extremely touching in suing session, the subject of improving the desolate appearance
many of those the communication between London and groupes. The Lord Provost, with an Edinburgh, and that it was intended to active humanity that does him honour, bring in the mail at six o'clock in the by an application to the officers of Go- evening. He, however, had reason 10 vernment, obtained the use of Queens, expect that its arrival might be so far ac.
celerated, that, instead of six o'clock, the and said, that he could not, from the ag• mail might arrive at mid-day. He there. gravated nature of the case, restrict this fore moved that a Committee of the Con. libel to any punishment short of death. vention be appointed to attend to that They, however, pleaded Guilty. Lord important subject ; which was agreed to, Pitmilly then stated, that the Court had and the Committee appointed. The clerk no alternative ; they must pronounce the then read the reasons set forth in the last punishment of the law; and his Lord. summons for setting aside the new con. ship concluded by advising them to make stitution of the Burgh of Brechin, and much of the time allotted to them, and having it declared that the Convention has proposed that they should be executed on no power to make any alteration on the Wednesday, the 15th December next, at sett of any Royal Burgh. Mr Burnes, the usual place of execution. The Lord delegate for Montrose, concluded a speech Justice Clerk then addressed them, and of considerable length upon the rights of admonished them not to indulge in any the Convention to alter the setts of burghs, vain hope of mercy here, for he could not by moving a set of resolutions, declara. hold out to them the slightest hope of tory of the powers of the Convention, vot- an alteration of their sentence, and that ing £.500 to defend the actions against they would do well to prepare themselves, Brechin and Dundee, and empowering a by a due and diligent attention to their special Committee to appeal the case, in religious duties, for the awful fate that the event of its being lost in the Court of awaited them. He then passed sentence Session. The two first or declaratory in the usual form. [Their sentence has resolutions were carried unanimously ; the since been commuted to transportation for third and fourth, voting the £.500, and life.] the manner of raising it, being opposed Mary Graham, or Fraser, was next by the Provost of Aberdeen, were carried placed at the bar, accused of stealing, on divisions of 30 to 8. The last resolu. from the house of Ralph Wilson, tailor, tion, authorising the Committee to appeal Little Jack's Close, Canongate, on the the case, was withdrawn by the mover. 30th June last, a quantity of linen apThe Provost of Aberdeen entered his parel, and of being habit and repute a protest against the resolutions, and the common thief. She also pleaded Guilty, Convention dissolved.
and, after a suitable admonition, sentence 25.-Edinburgh Southern Markets. of transportation for life was passed upon These markets were opened on Saturday her, the Lord Advocate having departed last. They are finished in a very neat and from the capital charge. So incorrigible elegant style, and have entries from West had she been, that no less than 15 con. Nicolson-Street, Chapel-Street, and Gray's victions for theft before the Police Court Court. There are about fourteen stalis were set forth in the indictment against for butcher meat, besides stalls for poulher, for which she suffered various terms try, fish, fruit, and vegetables. In the of imprisonment in Bridewell. butcher market, on Saturday, we are in- 10.-- Isaac Simpkins was placed at the formed, one individual sold meat to the bar, accused of having broke into the amount of £.70. The only objection house of Matthew Pemberton, Esq. in that strikes a visitor is the smallness of Albany-Street, and stolen, at different these markets : but we understand the times, from a drawer, 25 sovereigns, in Company has already purchased the ad- the month of July last. The prisoner joining property on the westward, inclu- pleaded Guilty before the Court and Jury, ding the house and garden possessed by to the charge libelled. The public proMr Miller; and this ground, when add. secutor restricted the libel. John Camped to the former markets, will double bell was then put to the bar, accused of their extent, and add considerably to breaking into and entering the house of their beauty and comfort.
William Frier, publican in the HighHigh COURT OF JUSTICIARY.- Street, with intent to steal, but was apNov. 9.-- Wm. Tutton, alias Titton, alias prehended in the house before he had got John Knox, and John M'Kenzie, alias any articles. The prisoner pleaded Guilty M.Kinlay, were brought to the bar, ac. before the Court and Jury. Mr Neaves, cused of having, in the evening of 5th council for Simpkins, submitted to the July last, feloniously entered the house of Court several certificates from gentlemen Captain John Forbes Drummond of Haw. with whom the prisoner had served in the thornden, R. N., in Charlotte Square. capacity of valet, and stated that he had They had entered by one of the lower committed the crime when in a state of windows, and carried off a number of ar. intoxication, and that he had a wife and ticles from drawers, chests, &c., princi. five children. They were then sentenced, pally ladies' wearing-apparel. When call. Simpkins to 14, and Campbell to 7 years ed on to plead, the Lord Advocate rose transportation. Ann Adams was then put