The History of Leith

March 12, 2011

Robert Watson

No. 141 Kirkgate was long the place of business of Mr. Alexander Watson, who is chiefly remarkable as being the nephew and close corresponden of a very remarkable man, who frequently resided with him—Robert Watson, who was made Principal of the Scots College at Paris by the Emperor Napoleon I., an office which he held for six years.
It was to his nephew at Leith, after his escape to Rome (having been tried at the Old Bailey as President of a Corresponding Society), he confided his discovery of a large mass of correspondence known as ” The Stuart Papers,” which he purchased (as stated in the Courant for 1819.)
In one of his letters, dated london, 6th April, 1818 he states that they consist of half a million of pieces, and are valued at ,£300,000. ” The Pope, however, look military possession of them, under the protest that they were of too much importance to bekmg to a private individual. I protested against the arbitrary proceedings of his Holiness.
The Prince Regent sent two ships of war to Civita Vecchia to bring them to London and they w now in Carlton House.”

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