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whose original mansion Wryteshouse has been, which seems to have been a matter of perfect uncertainty to all who have mentioned it in their writings." Yet I have been able to trace the family alliances by comparing with other records the carved stones still extant, some of which are built into the park walls and offices of Gillespie's Hospital; others were purchased by the late Lord Woodhouselee, and formed into an artifical ruin which still adorns Mr Tytler's lawn.
One of the most ancient of these stones appears to have no connection with the family of Napier. The shield carved upon it carries three crescents disposed upon the field, with a mark of difference in the centre. This might be a cadet of Seton. What connection, however, can be traced between the Wrychtishousis, and Seton? This led me to trace the history of the property upwards from Adam Forrester ; and I find a charter under the Great Seal of Robert II. in the twelfth year of his reign (1383) to Adam Forrester two parts of the lands of Wrychtishousis,* near Edinburgh, by resignation of Henry de Winton and Amy Brown. Now it is a remarkable coincidence that Alan de Wyntown carried off Margaret Seton, the heiress of Seton, and married her,—a marriage that gave rise to a feud, causing more than a hundred ploughs to be laid aside from la- • bour. Wyntoun records this in his chronicle as having happened in the year 1347;
* Maitland (Hist, of Edin. p. 507-) refutes the antiquarian opinion, that the village at the west end of Bruntsfield Links was called Wryghts Houses because the Wrights dwelt there who were employed in cutting down and manufacturing the oaks that once grew on the Borough-muir. As that event occurred after the year 1508, the ancient charter quoted in the text so far confirms the refutation, but it also refutes Maitland's own theory, which is, that the village was so called because the Laird of Wryte had a house there.
A thousand thre hundyr fourty and seven
So Henry Wyntown, who resigned Wrychtishousis to Adam Forrester before the close of that century, may have been a cadet of that alliance, and it is possible that the stone in question was meant to commemorate that point in the history of the mansion.*
1. The armorial stone which refers to the most ancient date about the building connected with the Napers that I have discovered, is here represented, as its story is less equivocal. It is built over the well at Gillespie's Hospital, and is evidently very old, though surely not contemporary with the date carved upon it. The use of Arabic numerals in Scotland can
* This ingenious theory, it must be confessed, is one of those liable to be overturned by the plain fact of some provoking Edie Ochiltree, a controversialist yet more to be dreaded, in these matters, than the author of the Tracts. >
scarcely be referred to a period so early, (a test genealogical antiquaries sometimes overlook,) and probably the stone is merely commemorative of an'alliance proved by other records of the family then existing. Sir David Lindesay, in his heraldic manuscript, records the arms of Napier of Wrychtishoussis, " on a bend azure, a crescent betwixt two spur rowels ;" which also agrees with the ancient seals of that family still extant. Mr Nesbit says, "the name of Stirling has always been in use to carry buckles variously situate, but more frequently on a bend, as now used." Hence the above impalement indicates the marriage of an A. Napier of Wrychtishousis, to a J. Stirling, in 1399; and probably commemorates the marriage of the successor of the constable who acquired the lands in 1390.
2.1 find an Alan Naper of Wrychtishoussis mentioned in the very ancient chartulary of St Giles, * as having lent his seal to Thomas Hogeson, in a charter dated at Leith 1st June 1451. This illustrates one of the armorial stones bearing date the previous year, as follows.
The arms here impaled with Napier are unquestionably those of Bhind, which fact corresponds with the lady's initials.
3. Their son, or at least successour, " Alexander Naper de Wrychtishouse," is one of the inquest in the re* The property of Maule of Panmure.
tour of Archibald Naper of Merchanston as heir to his father, dated 12th December 1488;* and he is also mentioned in the ancient protocol books of the city of Edinburgh, in the years 1494 and 1505.
4. From the same records of Edinburgh it appears that Alexander had been succeeded by Robert; for, of date 11th July 1523, Robert Naper of Wrychtishoussis, Margaret Naper his spouse, and Alexander Naper their son, are all mentioned in making up titles to burgage property. Another of the armorial stones, a delineation of which is here given, affords an interesting elucidation of this marriage.
These are the respective armorial bearings of Wrychtishousis and Merchiston, impaled; and hence it appears that in the year of the battle of Flodden Field, the laird of the former had married a daughter of the latter. The heraldic distinction of the two families is here perfectly illustrated, thus affording another contradiction to the theory that Merchiston and Kilmahew were armorially identified. From the Merchiston genealogy it can be proved that John Napier and Elizabeth Menteith had a daughter Margaret, who must have been the above lady.
5. Their son Alexander is mentioned in the city re
* Quoted in the Memoirs of Merchiston, p. 10, where by mistake it is called the retour as heir to his mother Elizabeth Menteith.
cords of date 5th December 1549, as clearing off annualrents which had been contracted by his father Robert. His wife Janet Udwart is also mentioned in the same records.
6. In the record of deeds in the Register-House there is one dated 20th July 1592, by " William Nepare of Wrychtishoussis, merchant, burgess of Edinburgh, son of Jonet Udwart, now relict of Johne Lummisdene of Blanerne." William's wife was Eliza Park, which may account for what seems to have puzzled Cadmon, that the arms of Park appear amid the lavish heraldry of their mansion.
7. In the record of the Great Seal I find a charter to William Naper, eldest legitimate son and heir of William Naper merchant burgess of Edinburgh, of the lands of Wrychtishoussis, dated 20th December 1605. And another charter 15th April 1608, to Master William Naper and Margaret Bannatyne* his spouse, of the same lands. This last notice enables us to read the story carved upon a triangular stone, without a date, now built above the school-house door at Gillespie's Hospital, where the initials W. N. and M. B. are so lovingly mingled with the mullets and crescents growing upon the Scotch thistle. The leading insignia of the Bannatynes of Corehouse and Newhall was the mullet, that of Naper of Wrychtishoussis, the crescent; for it is obvious that the mullets on the bend of the latter is their mark of dif
* She appears to have been a sister of that celebrated George Bannatyne, whose exertions for the preservation of the poetry of his country during the great plague which ravaged Scotland in 1568, have obtained a grateful commemoration by the institution of the "Bannatyne Club," and an illustrious record in the compilation of his Memoirs by its first President, Sir Walter Scott.