« PreviousContinue »
were spared just long enough to have their features taken in 1870; since then Annfield, Gilmorehill, Kelvinbank, Kelvinside, Meadow Park, Possil, Stobcross, and Whitehill have all disappeared. It is appropriately remarked in the introduction that those whom people here used to own as their natural leaders were “kent folk," who made no pretence to count them their equals, but who shared their feelings, opinions, and prejudices—who spent their lives within hearing of the Tolbooth chimes—who found in Glasgow, kirk and market, the centre of their interests in business and out of business. Every year the notables of our day grow more of strangers to the place that they live by-spend fewer hours in its smoke and din ; outside their own little circle are more and more unknown even by face, till it has come to this, that a man may be in the foremost rank on 'Change, may by all who know him be looked up to and recognised as exceptionally fitted by talent, knowledge, and force of character for the highest post in the gift of citizens, and may yet to the bulk of these be so unknown that his candidature is resented as the intrusion of a stranger.
Mention has already been made of the important services rendered to the volume by the late John Buchanan, LL.D. Availing themselves of his account of Slatefield, where his mother, Catherine Miller, was born, the editor of the new issue takes occasion to refer in a few graceful and appropriate lines to some of his many merits. It is mentioned of him that he was well read in general literature, and in history, especially Scottish history; but his favourite study was archæology, and most of all the archæology of his native City. “He loved old Glasgow with a lover's love, and he made it such a study from boyhood that a knowledge of it died with him, never to be replaced. A diligent student may recover as much of the past as lies buried in books and cartularies, and there is some hope that this work may erelong be done by one every way fitted for it. But John Buchanan had a minute personal knowledge of those who once lived here that records cannot give. The Glasgow of a hundred years ago he knew as few know the Glasgow of to-day. Its old merchants and bankers, its ministers and professors, its beaux and its belles, still lived for him ; he had known them from their cradles, and
their fathers and mothers before them ; he knew where they had been trained, and the use they made of their training; whom they had married, and whom they had tried to marry; where they lived, and how they lived; where they died, and where they lie. And he had the rare art to make them live again for our benefit. At his bidding they rose from the Ramshorn or the High Kirkyard, and once more paced the planestanes in red cloak and cocked hat, or tramped the Trongate in pattens and caléche.” In the “Mansions” his help was invaluable. No one but himself could have written “Kelvingrove,” “Stobcross,” and other papers readily recognised. It was hoped he would have given his help to the new issue, but his final illness prevented him from doing more than making a few verbal alterations on what he had already written. Dr. John Buchanan died (June, 1878) as the “Country Houses" was being finished. In a brief introductory advertisement, the publisher, Mr. Maclehose, expresses warm thanks to his friends, John Guthrie Smith and John Oswald Mitchell, for the unwearied labour they also have bestowed on the new volume. The papers, it is mentioned, have been not only revised and enlarged, but in many cases entirely re-written by them. Only those who have tried this kind of work can have any idea of the amount of research and patience that is necessary to secure accuracy; and none but those who have been associated with Glasgow and its history could have accomplished the task. The result is a work which the publisher may well describe as rare in character, if it be not indeed the solitary example of its class.
A GLASGOW CATHEDRAL RELIC.
A SCULPTURED memorial, suggestive in the highest degree of the ancient ecclesiastical dignity of Glasgow, was removed in 1878 under circumstances somewhat unusual, yet at the same time extremely interesting and appropriate. While the Cathedral itself was saved from destruction at the Reformation by the energetic action of the City trades, the adjoining Archiepiscopal Castle or Palace was allowed to fall gradually into decay. So late, comparatively, as 1715 it was hastily fitted up as a prison for 300 Highland rebels, but for all really useful or permanent purposes it may be set down as having been in ruins. In 1720, a Robert Thomson, merchant, who lived near the fabric, represented to the Barons of Exchequer that the Palace, not having been inhabited for many years, was then in ruins, and men were getting so barbarous and unjust as to carry off stones and timber for their own use “to the shame and disgrace of the Christian religion.” Nothing, or rather worse than nothing, was then done to arrest decay, and in 1755 the Magistrates (George Murdoch being Provost at the time) gave formal permission that Robert Tennant, builder, might use the castle as a quarry, wherein stones might be obtained for the purpose of building the old Saracen's Head Inn. Not far from the castle, and giving direct access to its chief entrance-hall, was the gate-house and arched gateway, erected by Archbishop Gavin Dunbar, 1524-47, and adorned with what must have been at the time a most effective sculptured emblazon of his own family armorial bearings, surmounted by the Royal Arms of Scotland. When the work of spoliation was going on at the palace, this portion of the plunder would appear to have fallen into the hands of one, Charles Selkirk, who, being a man of some little taste, as it was understood in those days, and actuated probably by some feeling of compunction regarding the abuse of ecclesiastical ornaments, saved the armorial, and afterwards inserted it high up in the back part of a tenement erected by him near the foot of High Street
This building now forms part of the pren.ises known as No. 22 (east side), owned by Messrs. John Millar & Sons, drapers, as figured and described in "Glasgow, Ancient and Modern." This interesting memorial of Archbishop Dunbar may be described as consisting of three portions, measuring in all 7 feet by 3 feet 3 inches—(1) The Royal Arms of Scotland, a lion rampant within the double tressure, and unicorn supporters bearing the letter I. and
figure 5, most likely by permission of King James V. himself, who had in early life been the pupil, and to its sad close at Solway Moss, continued to be the friend and patron of the archbishop; (2) The armorial bearings of that branch of the Dunbar family to which the arch-prelate belonged, viz., Dunbar of Mochrum, Wigtownshire, three cushions within the double tressure of Scotland, being the arms of Randolph, Earl of Moray, assumed by the family of Dunbar, subsequent to the marriage of the son of the Earl of March to a daughter of the former house. It is possible there may have been a mallet or some such ornament occupying the space between the three cushions, but now mouldered away. The third or lowest division in the group is made up by the armorial bearings of James Marshal, Sub-Dean of the Cathedral, friend and executor to the archbishop-viz., a chevron cheque, between two martlets in chief and one in case, a rose occupying the middle chief point. Under each shield is a scroll which may have borne an inscription or motto not now to be traced. On either side are two ornamented pillars, the dexter, or right, now slightly broken. A line or two regarding the archbishop's career will best explain the story of the removal of this interesting memorial. A younger brother of Sir John Dunbar of Mochrum, by Dame Jannet Stewart, of the house of Garlies, Gavin was educated at the University of Glasgow, became Dean of Moray, tutor, as has been already mentioned, to the young Prince James, and was also raised to the dignity of Prior of Whithorn, a religious foundation in his native county, reared in commemoration of the labours of St. Ninian. By a curious coincidence this earliest of Christian missionaries in the north had fully a thousand years before Dunbar's date consecrated for Christian burial the ground by the Molendinar, where St. Mungo reared his first cathedral, and then passed to Galloway, where he laid the foundation of that religious establishment governed in later days by one who was also destined to fill a chief seat among the hierarchy of the West. On the removal of Beatoun to the Primatal See of St. Andrews in 1524, Gavin Dunbar was made Archbishop of Glasgow, and filled the See till his death in 1547, when his body was placed within a tomb prepared by himself in the Cathedral chancel. No portion of it is now to be seen, but some traces of the erection and also of the remains were thought to have been discovered in the course of repairs made in May, 1856. As Dunbar had succeeded one Beatoun, so he in turn was to be succeeded by another James Beatoun, the Cardinal's nephew, and who proved to be the last of the pre-Reformation Archbishops. Dunbar was elevated to the dignity of Lord Chancellor in 1528, and was made a Lord of the Articles in 1532, the year when the College of Justice was instituted. The present (1878) lineal representative of the Dunbars of Mochrum is Sir William Dunbar, eldest son of James, second son of the fifth Baronet. Sir William sat for the Wigtown district of burghs from 1859 to 1865, and was during the same period a Lord of the Treasury and Keeper of the Great Seal for Scotland to His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales. He also represents the Dunbars, hereditary Sheriffs of Morayshire, one of whom, it may be mentioned, was killed at Donibristle Castle by Huntly and his party, along with “the Bonnie Earl of Murray” of ballad fame. Engaged in the erection of a new mansion on his Wigtownshire property, and hearing through ex-Bailie Salmon that the memorial stone from the Archbishop's gateway was still where it was placed, in much the same condition as in 1760, Sir William indicated a desire to rescue it from obscurity, and give it a place of honour in the new residence of the family to which the great churchman belonged. Coming to hear of the wish, Bailie Millar, proprietor of the premises in High Street, readily placed the old armorial stone at the disposal of Sir William. The offer being accepted in the same courteous spirit in which it was made, the stone was withdrawn from its secluded and all but inaccessible niche to adorn the family pile of the Archbishop's home, and to revive his fame within a few miles of the priory where he bore rule.