The History of Leith

August 28, 2012

Constable’s liabilities

In January, 1826, the public was astonished by
the bankruptcy at No. 10, Princes Street, when
Constable’s liabilities were understood to exceed
^250,000—a failure which led to the insolvency
of Ballantyne and Co., and of Sir Walter Scott,
who was connected with them both; and when it
became known that by bill transactions, &c., the
great novelist had rendered himself responsible for
debts to the amount of ^i’2o,ooo, of which not
above a. half were actually incurred by himself.
Constable’s failure was the result of that of Messrs.
Hunt, Robinson, and Co., of. London, who had
suspended payment of their engagements early in
the January of the same fatal year.
At the time of his bankruptcy Constable was
meditating a series of publications, which afterwards
were issued under the title of ” Constable’s Miscellany,”
the precursor of that now almost universal
system of cheap publishing which renders the
present era one as much of reprint as of original
publication; but soon after its commencement he
was attacked by a former disease, dropsy, and died
on the 2ist of July, 1827, in the fifty-third year of
his age. His portrait by Raeburn is one of the
most successful likenesses of him.

Source-Old and New Edinburgh

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