| a sickly boy then. It is a well-known fact that the "great
literateur " was a regular comer and goer between Edinburgh
and the "Thorn Tree, " at a much later period, for
the purpose above referred to.
After several discussions between these fast friends the late
General Cadell and Mr Hislop of Castlepark, as to where Scot
lived, it was agreed to set up a medallion portrait of him
in the front wall of that house, at the foot of Harlo Hill,
indicating his home, but even this has not gone far to clinch
the argument. Many hold it was in that house farther east,
known as Nether Shot, he lived, and the " pend"
referred to is that narrow archway adjoining Rennie the baker's
DISTINGUISHED SCHOLARS—ALEXANDER HUME, THE
Among eminent scholars who have spent a portion of their lives
here, not the least noteworthy is Alexander Hume, commonly
called " the grammarian. " He was appointed parochial
schoolmaster in 1606, and held the appointment with honour
for a period of ten years. Previous to this, Hume held an
appointment as teacher in the High School, Edinburgh. He resigned
his Edinburgh situation in 1606 to become principal master
of the grammar school at Prestonpans, which had been recently
founded there by John Davidson, the minister of the parish.
The school was erected for the teaching of Latin, Greek, and
Hebrew, and the founder destined all his heritable and movable
property, including his books, to the support and ornament
of this tri-lingual academy. The school was not entirely finished
till about fifteen years after Davidson's decease.
Wood's "Fasti, " by Bliss, p. 217, says: "He
was principal master of the High School, Edinburgh, from 1596
to 1606, when he went to Prestonpans. He left the latter place
in 1615, and became master of the grammar school at Dunbar.
" His Grammar was appointed to be used in all schools,
both by the Privy Council and Parliament. As a curiosity,
we give the following account of Hume's admission to the
GRAMMAR SCHOOL OF PRESTONPANS.
"At Hadintoun ye 25 of Junij 1606. The qlk day Mr Jas.
Ker minister of ye Panis, producit ye presentatione of Mr
Alex. Hoome to be schoolmr of ye schoole of ye Panis foundit
be Mr Jon Davedsone for instruction of the youth in hebrew,
greek, and latine subscryvet be yais to quhome Mr Jo Davedsone
gave power to noiat ye man qlk prentatone ye prebrie allowit
and ordenit ye moderator and clerk to subscrive ye samine
in ye names qlk yay ded. As also ordeanit yt ye said kirk
of ye Panis suld be visited vpori ye eight day of Julij next
to come for admissione of ye said Mr Alexr. to ye said office.
The visitors were appoyntit, Mr Ard Oswald, Mr Robert Wallace,
Mr George Green, Mr Andro Blackball, and Mr Andro Maghye,
to teach at Saltprestoune July 8, 1606. The haill parischoners
being poisit how yay lyekit of ye said Mr Alexr., wt uniforme
consent, being particularly inquyrit schew yr guid lycking
of him and yr willingnes to accept and receiv him to ye said
office. Qrupon said Mr Alexr. was admitted to ye said office,
and in token of ye approbaone both of visitors, and of ye
parischioners prnt, both ye ane and ye vother tuik ye said
Mr Alexr. be ye hand, and ye haill majistratis, gentlemen,
and remanet parischoners prnt faithfullie promisit to securre
for ye furtherace of ye work yt yit restis to be done to ye
said schoole, as also to keip ye said Mr Alexr. and his scholleris
skaithlis; finallie for farther authorizing of ye aforesaid,
it was thought meitt yt ye haill visitors and parischoners
prnt suld enter ye said Mr Alexr. into ye said schoole &
yr heir him teache qlk also was done. "—(Records of Presbytery
of Haddington. )
The parliament in the course of that year erected " in
ane paroche kirk, " the kirk builded "be the labouris,
paynis, and expense, of umqle Mr Johne Davidsoun, " and
ratified the school founded and doted by him "for teaching
of Latin, Greek, and Hebrew Toungis. "—(Act Parl. Scot,
iv, 302. )
Among those who received their education at school here were
Colonel Campbell, youngest son of Hew Dalrymple (Lord Drummore).
He became Governor of Guadaloupe, 1756, after its being taken
from the French. Sir Robert Murray Keith, and his brother
Sir Basil Keith, also had their education here.
The late Dr. Scott Alison of Tranent, in a volume published
in 1839 on propagation of contagious poisons by the atmosphere,
says (page 155): "The following facts illustrate well
the influence which scanty food, insufficient clothing, and
the privations attendant upon poverty, exert in the production