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street, Leith, on Tuesday at 10.15 o'clock in each week
during the sessions of court. The Leith district includes
the parishes of South Leith, North Leith, and Duddingston
(excepting that part of the parish of South Leith which is
within the parliamentary boundaries of Edinburgh). Appeals
are taken by the Sheriff erery Monday and Tuesday at 10
o'clock, or other convenient days, and an ordinary couit is
held every Tuesday and every Friday at 1 1 o'clock during
the session. A Sheriff Small Debt Court for the county of
Edinburgh is held within the Sheriff Court, Edinburgh,
every Wednesday at 10 o'clock ; and for the Leith district
ei'ery Tuesday at 10.15 o'clock, within the Sheriff Court
room, Leith, during the sessions of court. All civil causes
are competent in these courts for any debt or demand not
exceeding the sum of £12. sterling. Summonses are issued
for these courts daily at the respective clerks' offices, George
IV. bridge, Edinburgh, from 10 till 4, and Constitution
street, Leith, from ii till 3.
The Justice of Peace Court is of no earlier origin in Scot-
land than 1609. The Justices are empowered to judge in
cases of breaches of the peace ; to regulate highways,
bridges, and ferries ; to see the laws executed against
vagrants, beggars, transgressors of the game laws, and
frauds against the revenue, besides many other branches of
jurisdiction. But the principal business of the justices in
Edinburgh comes before them as a court for a speedy settle-
ment of debts under ^5, commonly called the Small Debt
Court, which sits weekly in Edinburgh, and at longer inter-
vals in the different villages of the country.
The Convention of the Royal Burghs was instituted by
James III., and consists of a commission and assessors from
each burgh. The Lord Provost of Edinburgh is perpetual
president, and the city clerk of Edinburgh is clerk of the
convention. The Court had considerable powers until the
passing of the Burgh Reform Act, but is now much like a
national Chamber of Commerce. The place of meeting of
the annua] convention is the Court room of the High Court
of Justiciary, on the first Tuesday in April, when held in
Edinburgh, and the committees meet in the Edinburgh
Council chambers.
The Register House is the depository for the public records
and registers of Scotland. The records of all suits at law,
and the various documents which have been produced in
actions before the supreme courts, are also placed here ; and
in virtue of a late Act, the parish registers of births and
marriages have been collected here, whilst herein are
deposited the returns of births, marriages, and deaths sent
in by the registrars from all parts of Scotland. This estab-
lishment, important as it is, is almost peculiar to Scotland.
The collection of documents deposited here is immense, and
is, of course, accumulating ; but few are of ancient date,
for the greater part of the papers relating to this kingdom
prior to the Restoration were carried away by Edward I.,'
and at a later era by Cromwell ; and a considerable portion
of those that were suffered to remain were unfortunately
lost or destroyed in consequence of a fire in 1700. The most
ancient state papers in this house are the letter of the Scottish
barons to the Pope in 1320, and the acts of settlement of the
Scottish crown upon the Stuarts in 1371 and 1373. The
Duilding, finished in 1822 and situated at the east end of
Princess street, fronting the North bridge, was designed by
Robert Adam, and is a good example of the plainer ItaUan
style : at the angles are large square balustraded towers,
hardly rising above the parapet, and surmounted by small
turrets, carrying a cupola and vane : the front is relieved
in the centre by a pediment and Corinthian pilasters above
the entrance ; in the centre of the building is a very
fine and lofty circular hall, surmounted by a lead-covered
dome, 50 feet in diameter. IJehind the principal building
is another, also in the Italian style, completed in i36o at a
cost of^26,440, and available as an additional storage room.
The depute clerk register is (under the Lord Clerk Register
and Keeper of the Signet) the actual head of the office,
which is divided into several sub-departments, including
the General Record, the Historical, the General Registry,
the Great Seal, Privy Seal and Signet offices. Chancery,
and Sasine and Teind offices, and other registry departments.
The Royal Observatory and Astronomical Institution,
on the Calton Hill, was begun in 1776, and completed in
1792, and now entirely belongs to the Government. Another
observatory, erected in 1818 by the Astronomical Institu-
tion, from a design by Playfair, is a little to the east of the
former. Connec;ed with the observatory is a time-ball,
conspicuously elevated on a tall pole on the summit of the
Calton Hill, which falls, by the action of electricity, exactly
at one o'clock p.m. Greenwich time. The Corporation of
Edinburgh have taken over the observatory buildings, but
have no control over the action of the time-ball. - ,
The Scientific Observatory on Blackford Hill, opened
7 April, 1896, by Lord Balfour of Burleigh, Secretary of
State for Scotland, occupies some three and a half acres and
consists of the observatory proper, the residence of the
Astronomer-Royal, the residences of his assistants, and the
Lodge House, together with a number of smaller separata
structures required for scientific observations. The highest
points of the buildings are the two towers at the east and
west ends, one rising to a height of 75 feet and the other
to a height of 44 feet. In the east tower there is a 15 inch
refractor from Dunecht, and in the west a 24 inch reflector
from Calton Hill. The library, occupying the main floor of
the annexe, affords room for about 30,000 volumes, and
includes the Crawford collection, in which there are many
valuable manuscripts. On the main floor is an experiment
room or laboratory ,and containing a photographic measuring
machine for measuring the distances between stars, and a
large number of physical instruments.
The Eoyal Institution, founded in 1819 and incorporated
in 1827, occupies a magnificent building on the north end
of the Mound, in Princes street, erected from a design by
Playfair, on the model of a Greek Doric temple with iluted
columns, the front range supporting a pediment, on which
is a statue of H. late M. the Queen, by Steell. The building,
commenced in 1823, and enlarged in 1836, cost ^40,000.
It contains a sculpture gallery of casts, a school of art, the
rooms of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and of the Board of
Manufactures. The library of the Royal Society of
Edinburgh contams 15,000 volumes.
The National Gallery is immediately south of the Royal
Institution, on the Mound ; it was built in 1850-4, at a cost
of ^40,000, and is a building of the Ionic order, from a design
by Mr. Playfair. There are two suites of octagonal rooms ;
the western contains the National Gallery of painting and
sculpture, in which, besides specimens of the old masters,
are same admirable works of more recent painters ; the
eastern is used for the annual exhibition of the Royal
Scottish Academy, which is one of the great attractions of
the city during the months of March, Api"il and May,
The Society of Arts, was incorporated in 1822, has since
obtained the royal charter, and is very efficient in the en-
couragement of useful inventions, models of which are
exhibited at its meetings, which are held once a fortnighti.i
their hall, below the Assembly rooms, George street.
The Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Queen street,
opened in July, 1889, is in the Gothic style, and to some extent
partakes of the features of the Ducal palace at Venice ; at the
angles are corbelled-out turrets, crowned with spirelets
relieved by tall dormers and crocketing, and an open para-
pet surrounds the whole : the site was purchased at a cost
of ^^7,000. Mr. J. R. Findlay presented, for the erection
of the building and towards the endowment of the
Portrait Gallery, a sum of ^50,000, in addition to which a
large amount was voted by Parliament. It is intended that
while the Gallery should be primarily a collection of portraits
of eminent Scottish men and women, it should also embrace
portraits illustrative of the history of the United King-
dom. The Antiquarian Museum, removed from the Royal
Institution, Princes street, to this building, has a library of
about 10,000 volumes, chiefly relating to the archaeology of
Scotland. The Royal Scottish Geographical Society is also
now located here.
The Royal Botanic Garden and Arboretum of Edinburgh
occupies a fine position on the north side of the town, and
has its entrance from Inverleith row. The main entrance
to the arboretum is at the west side, and can be approached
by Stockbridge. This garden, of which the professor of
botany in the university is regius keeper, is one of the
oldest in the kingdom, having been founded in 1670. Since
then it has undergone many changes, both as to situation
and extent, to accommodate it to the requirements of the
Edinburgh Botanical School, which is the largest in the
kingdom. The garden embraces an area of 27 Scotch acres,
and is especially adapted for the purposes of tuition : it
includes a pinetum, a herbarium, and a winter garden, a
special room provided with microscopes for the pursuit of
histological botany, class museum, and various ranges of
hothouses and greenhouses. The palm house is 100 feet in
length, 37 in breadth, and 72 feet in height. The class-
room of the professor of botany, the museum, and the house
of the curator are situated at the right hand side of the
entrance. Admission is free.
The Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland was
instituted in 1784, and incorporated by royal charter in
1787, and originally bore the name of the Highland Society.
The leading purpose of the society is the promotion of
agricultural and allied interests by offering premiums
for reports on almost every subject connected with the
cultivation of the soil, the rearing and feeding of stock, the

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