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(TO THE EDITOR.)
EDINBURGH LITERARY MISCELLANY,
Description of CULZEAN CASTLE.
CULZEAN CASTLE, the seat of the Earl of Cassilis, is a very fine edifice,built, in the castellated form, about the year 1770. Its situation is very commanding, upon the brink of a racle, which rises perpendicularly to the height of 120 feet from the level of the sea. It enjoys an uncommonly fine view over the firth of Clyde, and the surrounding coasts and islands.: The interior is finished in a style superior to any house then in Ayrshire, und is every way calculated to represent the dignity of the noble house to which it belongs.
Observations suggested by the LATE FIRE, in the HIGH STREET of EDIN
For FEBRUARY 1813.
THE alarming and dreadful fire,
which broke out in this city on the evening of the 14th instant, is an event which cannot but give rise to the most serious reflections. I was present while the conflagration was at its
height, and had an opportunity of observing the various methods which were employed for arresting its progress.— Every exertion was shewn by the great mass of individuals who were present at that awful scene. At the same time, my duty to the public compels me to state, through the medium of your Miscellany, that there was blame somewhere, and that the success of these exertions did not correspond with the means which were at command. In all the operations carried on, there appeared a want of arrangement and judgement. The alarm was given with promptitude," and fire engines, to the number of fourteen, were speedily assembled. But, in the first place, there was a want of water; and when this was to a certain degree removed, much of it was lost, and great obstruction occa- ' sioned, by the manner in which it was conveyed to the engines. Instead of the people employed being formed into two lines, one of which carried the water, and the other brought back the empty buckets, a promiscuous crowd, of all ages, ran back and förward, confusedly obstructing and encumbering each other; the supply was thus very irregular. Again, it was
apparent to every person present, that only one or two of the engines had sufficient power to throw the water to such a height as to be capable of acting with any effect: from one in particular, it did not even reach the walls. Care should have been taken to supply, in the first place, the powerful and effective engines; on the contrary, the water being promiscuously distributed thro' the whole, a great proportion was rendered useless.
It cannot be denied, also, that there appeared a great want of knowledge and experience on the part of the firemen. Fire, we are happy to say, seldom commits such ravages in this city but the Insurance offices are not therefore dispensed from the obligation of providing men, duly qualified, to act their part on such an awful occasion. Of this deficiency, no stronger proof can be given, than that, at two o'clock in the morning, imagining the flames completely got under, they allowed a number of fire engines to go away, and also the military and Constables to return home. It soon appeared how completely they were deceived: at four, the fire broke out afresh; and, little assistance being at hand, raged with all its original fury; nor was it finally subdued till eight the following morning.
plugs should also be placed at convenient distances; and there should always be small pipes in readiness to fix upon the mouth of the plugholes. The best mode of conveying the water from these pipes, where the distance is small, and no obstacale in the way, is by wooden spouts: if otherwise, by a double row of buckets, as above recommended.
A mixture of mud, alum, or salt in the water, has been found to produce the best effects in quenching the flames. A supply of one or other of these substances might be kept constantly in readiness at a very moderate expense. The Magistrates, in order to animate the zeal of the people on such occasions, give a reward of 1s. to every person who should bring a bucket to the Council Chamber next day. This produced a bad effect; for when, at two o'clock, the fire was believed to be extinguished, most of those who had buckets carried them away; and when it broke out anew, there were few to be procured.
Thus, Sir, I have troubled you with a few remarks, not certainly with any wish to injure the feelings of individuals, but merely in the hope that they may be of some use to my fellow-citizens, and may, on a future emergency, point out the means of preventing those extensive ravages which have been committed on the present occasion.
I am, &c.
Edinburgh, 18th Feb. 1813.
We trust that, in making these remarks, we shall not be suspected of a desire to throw blame upon any individual or class of men. Every one present, we are convinced, was actuated by no other desire than that of doing whatever seemed most effectual to stop the progress of this calamity. We only mean, from the experience
now afforded, to deduce the most ef- Statistical View of the County of ficacious means of providing hereafter against a similar emergency. The primary object is to secure, at once, an adequate supply of water. may be accomplished by a large lead. ing pipe, through which a great body of that element may be instantly conveyed to the post of danger. Fire.
EXTENT in square miles,
-- in English acres,
Registered ships and
Inhabitants in 1811 to
Public revenue from cus-
and harbours, inland na-
docks and harbours
Port Glasgow,.....£.6,731 3 6
article,............£.105,450 14 1 Number of mills for cotton
Present value of cotton yarn
yearly,..............£.289 3 4 Enrolled poor,................................... 69,962, Capital stock of poors'
funds,...............£.2951 0 0 Annual income of the
Vessels arriving at
in one year,......... 3308 220,837 Value of imports of grain
poor,.............£7895 8 2 Average to each........... £.4 19 11 Sums annually distributed to the poor and bestowed on Infirmaries, Hospitals, and Charitable institutions,........ 13 Scholars at public & private schools in great towns, and at private schools in country parishes, 7,000 Scholars at parochial schools in the country,............
into Clyde yearly,.......£.397,000 Cotton wool imported in
one year,............lb. 10,482,541 Duties collected from that
ments................£.440 Average income of each parish schoolinaster,............£.54 4 7 The live stock in the county of Renfrew is not precisely known, nor can its value be easily ascertained. ............. 538 67,859 The number of horses is taken from
Salaries of schoolmas-
chial schools.........£.266 4 51 Their other emolu
the account of assessed taxes, but it is probable that it is considerably below the truth. The number of cattle and of sheep not having been given in the Statistical accounts of the county, even sums are here put down.
In calculating the number of inhabitants to every square mile, and the number of acres to each inhabitant, the seamen belonging to this county are taken into account. The result is, that the degree of population in the counties of Renfrew and Edinburgh is nearly equal; and these are the counties of Scotland by far the most populous in proportion to their extent. The calculation does not proceed on the supposition that the whole is to be confined to the lands in
cultivation, which would have given a far higher result, but is applied to the whole of the county, including
extensive uninhabited tracts.
The public revenue collected with.. in the county has been stated in this report at £.1,162,301. To this there may be added the sum arising from the distribution of stamps, and a further militia assessment of one
shilling in the pound on assessed taxes; so that the total revenue may be
stated at near one million and a quarter per annum.
The yearly revenues from toll bars have been stated in this report at £.10,300, but for the year commencing May 1812 there has been a considerable increase of revenue on the different roads. The toll on Inchinnan bridge has been let at £.1215; and, as there is now (1812) the prospect that the exemption in favour of mail coaches will be discontinued, the amount of tolls may be estimated at £.16,000.
The sums expended on new roads, and other public works in Renfrewshire, during thel ast five years,
Paisley canal,............ £,90,000 Docks and harbour of
The total value of the imports of the county, of its manufactured prothe county, duce, and of its agricultural produce, it is not easy to ascertain. The value of the grain imported may be accurately determined. The present value
cotton yarn spun at mills ing
communications made by the gentlethis shire has been calculated from men concerned in that manufacture. The results are given in a table.. But the amount in money, of the varisified and extended, and of a comous products of manufactures so divermerce of such magnitude, is almost impossible to be determined with any degree of precision.
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The public, or established schools in great towns have been mentioned in this report. It must be observed that, not only in the great towns, but in almost every country parish, there are many schools besides the established or parochial school, and that the probable number of scholars may be 7000.
Memoirs of the Progress of Manufac tures, Chemistry, Science, and the fine Arts.
NEW Mural Quadrant, of extraordinary precision, has been erect- . ed by Mr Pond, in the Observatory at Greenwich; and other new instruments are preparing, most of the old