Notes to pages 98-117

p. 98 Doctor Bentley’s chair: “Slatback great chair, probably Boston, 1680-1700 Maple and ash, with later pine seat board Height 48, width 24, depth 16 in.This chair was originally owned by Salem merchant Philip English and his wife Mary Hollingsworth English, who were accused of witchcraft during the Salem witchcraft trials. On June 3, 1793, the Reverend William Bentley recorded in his diary, “Ordered the Chair received from the family of English in memory of 1692 to be painted green, & on the back 1692, upper slat; middle slat, M. English; lower slat, Ap.22, the time of her mittimus; on the front upper slat, It shall be told of her.” After Bentley’s death, it belonged to Benjamin Crowninshield and was given to the museum by Mary Crowninshield.”
(from the catalogue of the Peabody Museum, Salem)

p. 99 ‘Mary will come’; Mary (see above note) is the daughter of Harriet and Jacob Crowninshield, in whose house Benjamin lived after he left the Naval Yard, and where he died. Jacob is Ben’s brother, 17 years younger then him. Mary was born in 1832.

p. 99 ‘Their home in Restalrig’. Tytler described himself as ‘printer in Restalrig’ in his ‘Essays on the First Principles etc. Restalrig was at that time a village close to the east end of Edinburgh surrounded by farmland and dairies; by 1857 it was described as ‘a decayed village’ but it retains the remains of St Treduana’s Aisle, 15th century chapel.

p.99 Essays on the Principle Articles…: this is described and discussed below, p. 107ff

p. 99-100 The Pleasures of the Abbey; the poem is mentioned by Anderson in his brief biography of Tytler. No copy has so far been located

p.100-101 The Sanctuary. sources for the descriptions of the sanctuary here and elsewhere in the book are:
Historical guide to the abbey and palace of Holyrood / collected by Henry Courtoy.  1838;
Memorials of Edinburgh in the Olden Time by Daniel Wilson, vol 10, p.318 (online HERE)

Houses in St Ann's Yards
Houses in St Ann’s Yards

“The Sanctuary of Holyrood, Holyrood Park, City of Edinburgh In the 19th century Holyrood Park was famous as a Debtor’s Sanctuary. Sanctuary was a long-established tradition, but it only became a Debtor’s Sanctuary in the 16th century. In the late 19th century, the laws of debt were repealed and it fell out of use. Holyrood was the only Sanctuary in Scotland and it was particularly large. 116 people were living in Sanctuary in 1816. They rented rooms in the area round the Palace, known as St Anne’s Yards and there was a well-established system to control life there. Once in sanctuary the debtors could take up work or negotiate to improve their fortunes. They were able to leave once a week on the Sabbath and some took their families with them into Sanctuary. Several well-known people had to make use of the facilities.”

(from RCAHMS)

Map of the Sanctuary, 'Cassell's Old and New Edinburgh', Volume 4, page 304, 1860
Map of the Sanctuary, ‘Cassell’s Old and New Edinburgh’, Volume 4, page 304, 1860

p.102 ‘A letter from the New York Gazetteer’; printed in the Gentleman and Ladies Weekly Magazine for September 14, 1774. ‘To his friend in Edinburgh. I send you enclosed the New York Gazetteer, May 12 1774 in which there is inserted an advertisement for the sale of Scotsmen.’

p. 103 Indian Peter’s life is outlined HERE.

Peter Williamson,_otherwise known as 'Indian_Peter'
Indian Peter
‘Engraved for the Grand Magazine, Jan 1759’

p.105 The Luckenbooths: originally built in the 15th century, described by the poet Dunbar c. 1500, this row of lands stood in the middle of the High Street in front of the church of St Giles. Much of Ben’s informant’s memories come from Scott’s Heart of Midlothian.¬†A full description is HERE

St Giles and the Luckenbooths, 1647
St Giles and the Luckenbooths, 1647. The High street runs from left to right with the Luckenbooths and the Tolbooth [at the left end] behind the tower of St Giles
p. 107 Essays on the First Principles etc.: The Gentleman and Ladies Weekly Magazine for July 20, 1774 contains the ‘correspondence’ quoted here. The intended 30 numbers, mentioned on p. 109, never got beyond the ‘first 5’; a bound copy is held in the National Library of Scotland in Edinburgh. It runs to 60 pages and stops in mid-sentence. The title page bears the following text:

‘A description of Sceptical Philosophy. The common method of answering it shewn to be insufficient. the Immateriality and Immortality of the Soul considered. Of our Reason, Memory, Imagination and other natural faculties. The Certainty and Infallibility of our natural Knowledge with the proper answer to Sceptical Arguments’

As far as I can establish, the Essays are not available online, which is unfortunate, since they contain clues to Tytler’s thinking that were formative, as will become clear. It is equally unfortunate that the ‘prospectus’ that is mentioned in these quotes has not survived, since it would almost certainly have contained further information helpful in elucidating matters that seem to have set the mould for Tytler’s future reception by his public.

The copy of the letter to the Bereans held in the NLS,, titled The Doctrine of Assurance Considered, In a Letter to Mr John Barclay Minister of the Berean Assembly in Edinburgh on the other hand, can be read online HERE. In it, Tyytler express his distaste for those sects, and he include the Glasites as a particular example, of setting themselves up as being sole possessors of truth and rejecting any who question them, concluding with his resolve to have nothing more to do with any organised church.

p.115 The article on the ‘vice of infidelity’ was printed¬† in the Gentleman and Ladies Weekly Magazine for January 28, 1774.

p.116 Marischal College. For the record of Tytler at Marischal, see the post Notes-to-pages-37-50/

p. 116-117; Hutchinsonianism; in his ‘biographical sketch’, Meek says that Tytler was recalled from Marischal by his father for some doctrinal transgression. However, the suggestion that it was the espousal of the ideas of Hutchinson that was the cause is a speculation on my part. it could as easily have been the embracing of the ideas of John Glas. Similarly, the conflict between John Glas and the theories of Hutchinson, whilst real, is proposed here as the most likely cause of Tytler’s abandonment of the Glasite sect and his desertion by his wife, but there is no contemporary evidence to suggest that either of these were the true causes.

Further details of the nature of Hutchinson’s ideas, and their explication by Jones of Nayland, will emerge in the text. It is clear that they played the determining role in Tytler’s life and work