The History of Leith

November 6, 2012

Passing through several generations of his surname

The Bailie’s initials, I. M. (Bailie Macmorran), are on the pediments
that ornament his house, which after passing
through several generations of his surname, became
the residence of Sir John Clerk of Penicuik.
” By him,” says Wilson, ” it was sold to Sir
Roderick Mackenzie, of Preston Hall, appointed
a senator of the College of Justice in 1702, who
resided in the upper part of the house at the same
time that Sir John Mackenzie Lord Royston, third
son of the celebrated Earl of Cromarty, one of the
wittiest and most gifted men of his time, occupied
the low flat. Here, in all probability, his witty
and eccentric daughter Anne was born and brought
up. This lady, who married Sir William Dick of
Prestonfield, carried her humorous pranks to an
-excess scarcely conceivable in our decorous days;
sallying out occasionally in search of adventures,
like some of the maids of honour of Charles II.’s
Court, dressed in male attire, with her maid for a
squire. She seems to have possessed more wit
than discretion.” Riddell’s Close was of old an
eminently aristocratic quarter.

source-old and New Edinburgh

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