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EDINBURGH LITERARY MISCELLANY,
For NOVEMBER 1808.
Description of BLACKFRIARS CHAPEL, expeditione.” This expedition would ST ANDREWS.
no doubt be promoted by the plunder
of those famous edifices, which fell to THIS ruin is situated in the ancient the share of the mob.
city of St Andrews, near the west end of the South or principal street. The convent here situated is generally Proceedings of the WERNERJAN Natural understood to have belonged to the Dominicans, or Black friars ; and to have
History Society. beet, founded by Bishop Wishart in At the meeting of blais Society:
What fragment, tho' extremely elegant in its Jameson of St Mungo, Dumfries-shire, appearance, with an arched roof. The read a paper intituled, Observations on building appears to have been ancient- Meteorological Tables, with a desly of great extent. All the garden on cription of a new Anemometer. Afthe South side of the ruin, and of the ter some general observations on the present grammar school (which stands importance of meteorological obserimmediately contiguous to it) exhibits, vations, and on the merits and dewhen dug, the marks of having been fects of registers of the weather, &c. built upon; and there are still standing, he pointed out what he considered and inhabited, on the same side of the to be the best form of a meteorostreet, about forty yards west from the logical journal, and then described ruin, some old houses which have much the external form and internal structhe appearance of having once formed ture of an extensive and complete part of the buildings of the convent. meteorological observatory, and enu
This convent, with all the other merated about twenty different instrufine ruins of St Andrews, was demo- ments, which ought to find a place in lished in one day (in June 1559) in every establishment of that kind. He consequence of a sermon of John Knox, remarked, that a daily examination of which moved the hearers with such the changes that take place in these zeal, that “as weill the Magistrates, instruments, joined with a careful rethe Proveist, and the Commonalty, cord of the external appearances in the
agree to remove all monuments atmosphere, will afford a constant and of idolatry, quhilk also they did with most fascinating employment to the
* Kaox's reformation.
most zealous observer, and will in time Fleming is also inclined to believe enable us to form a just theory of me- that the serpentine of the neighbourteors, to prognosticate with consider. ing island of Fetlar belongs to the able accuracy the nature of the com same formation. The island of Papa ing weather,--and enable us to ascer- Stour, situated on the west coast of tain the climate of different countries, the Mainland (the name by which the with the view of determining the in- largest of the Shetland islands is fluence it exerts on organic bodies. known,) contains no primitive rocks; He next described an Anemometer on the contrary, it appears to be enwhich, by a very simple and ingenious tirely composed of floetz-rocks. These arrangement of parts, will enable the are conglomerate, greenstone, claymost common observer to ascertain stone, porphyritic-stone, hornstone ? the velocity of the wind with perfect and sandstone. The sandstone, as apaccuracy.
from observations made in this At the same meeting, the Rev. Mr island and other parts of Shetland, Fleming of Bressay in Shetland, (who would seem to belong to the oldest has, for some time past, been engaged coal formation. The claystone, conin examining the mineralogy of those glomerate, porphyritic - stone, greenremote islands,) communicated to the stone, and hornstone (probably clinkSociety an interesting account of the stone,) rest on the sandstone. In geognostic relations of the rocks in the some places, Mr Fleming observed islands of Unst and Papa Stour, in the the greenstone alternating with the course of which he answered the sandstone : hence he properly conqueries formerly published in regard cludes that they belong to the same to the serpentine and sandstone of formation. In no place, however, did Shetland. After a general account of he observe any of the other rocks the position, extent and external ap- alternating with the sandstone : and pearance of the island of Unst, he next therefore the formation to which they described the different rocks of which belong is still somewhat problematical. it is composed, in the order of their re We recommend the re-examination of lative antiquity, and remarked that this interesting island to the zealous their general direction is from S. W. and indefatigable author of this paper ; to N. E. The rocks are gneiss, mica- and as he announced to the Society slate, clay-slate, limestone, hornblende- his intention of again examining the rock, potstone, and serpentine. The whole of the Shetland isles, and of congneiss, in some places, appeared to al-structing a mineralogical map, in ternate with the oldest mica-slate, and which the rocks should be laid down in others, to contains beds of horn- according to their relative antiquity blende-rock.h The mica-slate, which and their extent, we anticipate muck is the most abundant rock in the island, valuable information. is traversed by numerous cotemporane the meeting of the Society on ous veins of quartz, and also offelspar, the 19th November, Mr Mackenzie, and passes distinctly into clay-slate. younger of Applecross, read a short It contains beds of hornblende-rock account of the coal formation in the and of limestone. The clay-slate oc- vicinity of Durham. From the precurs but sparingly in this island. The cise and accurate description commupotstone usually accompanies the ser- nicated by this gentleman, the rocks pentine. The serpentine occurs in appear to belong to the oldest coal. great abundance, in beds, in the oldest formation of Werner, In the course clay-slate and mica-clate, and hence of his observations he explained what must be referred to the oldest or first is called the creep by miners, and exserpentiue formation of Werner. Mohibited specimens of the different rocks,
and a plan or section of the coal-minc This sea-snake was measured by Mr of Kipia, in which both the miners’ap- Shcaret, a tenant of Mr Laing's, and pellations and the scientific names of the found to be 55 feet long. The thickdifferent strata and beds were inserted. est part of the body was equal to the
At the same meeting, Dr Ogilby, girth of an Orkney poney. The head of Dublin, read a continuation of his was not larger than that of a seal, and mineralogical description of East Lo- was furnished with two spiracles, or thian, under the title of Observations blow- holes. Along the back was on the Veins of the Newest Floetz-trap a row of filaments, hanging down of East Lothian. After some prelimi- like a mane. The animal had three nary observations on the general geo- pairs of large fins, resembling paws. gnostic relations of the rocks of East Before men, with ropes, &c. could Lothian, and of the precipitation of be assembled in order to secure this felspar in its different states of fineness, truly wonderful creature for the infrom earthy to glassy felspar, he pro- spection of naturalists, a tempest occeeded to describe the different veins curred, and unfortunately beat the he had an opportunity of examining carcase to pieces. Some of the rein this tract of country. These veins mains, however, have been picked up he considered as of three different pe- by Mr Laing, and are to be transmit. riods of formation, viz. 1. Veins deriv. ted to the Museum of the University ed from partial formations subsequent of Edinburgh. to the floetz-trap, which however are of unfrequent occurrence ; 2. Veins of the different rocks of the formation Monthly Memoranda in Natural Hispenetrating the older beds; and,
tory. 1. Those of cotemporaneous origin. Oct. 28. WE mentioned in our last after the manner of Werner, the fol. that the herring-fishery had commenlowing veins,---greenstone, jasper, ced in the Frith of Forth, near to quartz, heavy-spar, and calcspar; and Queensferry. In one of the herringconcluded with several interesting ge- nets, shot nearly opposite to Hopeton neral remarks.
House, a Shark was entangled, which At this meeting, also, Mr P. Neill measured, from the snout to the tail, Tead Observations on the Great Sea 8 feet 3 inches. It was a female, of Snake of the Northern Ocean. He the kind denominated Beaumaris or first enumerated and read extracts Porbeagle Shark (Squalus Cornubifrom the different authors who have cus.) mentioned the existence of such an Nov. 1. A large Whale having, animal, or described its appearance, within these few days, been stranded particularly Ramus, Egede, and Pon- near Alloa, we resolved to view the toppidan. He then gave an account animal on the spot. Before we could of a vast animal, shaped like a snake, reach it, however, the body was alreawhich had recently been cast ashore in dy very much disfigured by the opera. Orkney. Malcolm Laing, Esq. M.P. tion of flenching or Haying off the fat, happening to be in Orkney at the (which was only about one-third of the time, communicated the circumstance thickness of the blubber on the comto his brother Gilbert Laing, Esq. ad- mon Greenland whale.) Still, thro' vocate, Edinburgh, on whose property, the kindness of Mr R. Bald of Alloa, at Rothesholm Bay in Stronsa, the we learned all the particulars relative animal had been stranded. Through to its external appearance, necessary to this authentic channel, Mr Neill state determine the species. It was the Baed, he had received his information. læna rostrata of Gmelin's edition of
the Systema Naturæ; ---the Pike-headed perhaps even greater, are reniemberWhale of English authors, --- Baleinop- ed; but four successive tides, of such tère museau pointu of La Cepede.-- height and impetus, no one recollects The total length of the animal was 43 to have observed. The same observafeet, and, where thickest, it was near. tion has been made at other ports on ly 20 feet in circumference. Dr Wal- the Forth. ker, late Professor of Natural History, Nov. 25. The Snow-bunting (Enhas left a description of a whale of the beriza nivalis) has appeared in this same species which was cast ashore at neighbourhood. One was shot about Burntisland in 1"61. It was 46 feet a week ago near Alloa. in length. From the numerous plaits
P, S. SEA-SNAKE. In our last, we or grooves in the skin along the tho- announced the Rey. Mr Fleming's rax, he called it Balæna sulcata. Sib- discovery of the Small-beaded Nar. bald, in his Phalaivologia, mentions' whal, or Sea-Unicorn, at the Sound of another, precisely of the same kind Weisdale in Shetland. This was an and of the same dimensions, as having excellent and rare addition to the been cast ashore at the same place in Fauna of Scotland. But we have, this 1690. This species seems, therefore, month, to congratulate zoologists on pretty frequently to leave the remoter the appearance, in Orkney, of a still parts of the northern ocean, and to vi- greater rarity ;-an animal, nearly 60 sit the Scottish seas. The whale in feet long, yet a non-descript, or unquestion had probably been induced to known to the writings of Linnæus run so far up the river in order to find and other systematic naturalists. It is shelter from the effects of the very the Great Sea-snake, described and fitempestuous weather, which, for seve- ' gured by Pontoppidan in his History ral days before its appearance, had of Norway, and which has very gekept the frith and the German ocean nerally been considered as a fabulous in furious agitation. It seems unac- monster : at least, it evidently appears countable that none of the neighbour- to be the animal which has served as ing farmers should have availed them- the prototype of the Serpens marinus selves of the trang, or carcase, to form magnus of the Bishop of Bergen. For manure. Along with peat-moss, it particulars, we refer our readers to would, on Lord Meadowbank's prin- the report of the proceedings of the ciple, have produced a very rich com- Wernerian Natural History Society, post : it would, indeed, have formed a (p. 805). The destruction of this dunghil equal, if not superior, in mo- wonderful specimen by the fury of the ney-value, to the blubber which was waves is much to be regretted. It so carefully flayed off, and which, we will not, in consequence, be possible believe, was sold for about L.15 ster- ' to form, with precision, a generic cha. img.
racter on Linnæan principles; and Nov. 4.- A fine specimen of the centuries may revolve, before another Toothed Gilt-head (Sparus dentatus) animal of the same sort shall again be was found cast ashore near Newhaven. wafted to our shores. It has been beautifully preserved by
N. Mr John Wilson, janitor to the Uni- Nov 25th 1808. versity of Edinburgh, whose excellence in preparing specimens of birds, quadrapeds, and fishes, is unrivalled Query respecting Dr NISBET. in this country.
To the Editor. 17,--20. The tides at Leith SIR, have, during these days, been remark. To
do the names and acably high. Tides equally great, or tions of those who justly merit to