The History and Antiquities of London, Westminster, Southwark, and Parts Adjacent, vol. 3
The Scottish Hospital.
This corporation was instituted for the relief of the poor and necessitous people of Scotland, residing within the cities of London and . It owes its origin to James Kinnier, a Scotsman, and merchant of this city; who, on his recovery from a long and dangerous illness, resolved to give part of his estate towards the relief of his indigent countrymen; for which purpose, having prevailed with a society of Scotchmen, who composed a boxclub, to join their stock, he obtained a charter, by which he and his coadjutors were, in the year , constituted a body politic and corporate, with several privileges, which king Charles II. confirmed the following year by letters patent; wherein are recited the privileges granted in the former charter, with the addition of several new ones, viz. that they might erect an hospital, within the city or liberties of London and , to be called,
to be governed by Scotchmen, who were to chuse from among themselves a master, who, together with these governors, was declared to be a body politic and corporate, and to have a common seal. They were also empowered to elect assistants, and to purchase, in mortmain,
|per annum, over and above an annual sum mentioned in the charter.|
But experience soon evinced, that confinement to a charity workhouse was altogether uncongenial to the feelings of the Scottish poor. The idea of an hospital, or receptacle for the objects of the charity, was in consequence relinquished, and the plan of assisting and relieving them at their own habitations substituted. To enable the hospital to extend its relief to those objects, it became necessary to make an application for a new charter, which was granted by his late majesty, in , whereby the Scottish hospital of the foundation of king Charles II. was re-incorporated, and directed to be governed, in all time coming, by a president, vice-presidents, a treasurer, and an unlimited number of governors. A donation of guineas and upwards, constituting a governor for life; and a subscription of guinea or more, but less than , an annual governor, so long as such payment shall continue to be made.
The present buildings are extensive; on the floor is a handsome court room or hall (formerly occupied by the royal society, of whom it was purchased in on the demolition of the Scotch hall, Blackfriars). The ceiling is stuccoed with wreaths of foliage, flowers, &c. with the date of . Over the mantelpiece, at end of the room, is a fine half length bust of Charles II. In this apartment are several fine paintings, viz. a full length portrait of Mary queen of Scots, presented by Mr. Douglas in , with this inscription:
J. Dobie, esq. secretary, who died , by R. Phillips, R. A. The duke of Queensbury, a -quarter length, in the robes of the order of the garter; the earl of Lauderdale, a similar painting; general Robert Melville; the earl of Bedford, a -quarter length, in the robes of the order of the garter; above is the following inscription:
The gift of Ja. Kynneir, master of the Scots corporation, anno domini, .
The next portrait is the donor of the last painting; sir John Ayton, knt.; and a portrait unknown; but probably some presbyterian minister. Also a painting of the regalia of Scotland. Over the fire-place are the royal arms of Scotland of the time of James I. beautifully carved in oak.
Part of the premises belonging to this corporation was occupied by the philosophical society of London; the principal object of which was the diffusion of science by lectures, experiments, &c.
A chapel adjoining the hall, which formerly belonged to the hospital, is now let to a congregation of dissenters.
extends from , in the south, to , in the north, and was anciently called Fewters'-lane, from the number of idle persons who used to frequent it, it being surrounded with gardens and houses for dissipation. In this lane resided the celebrated puritanical republican
In Bolt-court, where once resided the learned Dr. Samuel Johnson, is the house of the Medical Society of London, a gift to the society, together with many valuable and scarce works, from the late truly philanthropic Dr. Lettsom. This society was established in , and its object is the promotion of medical science. The library consists of upwards of volumes.
Nearly opposite to St. Andrew's church, in , is situated a large house, in the occupation of Messrs. Pontifex, coppersmiths, and denominated , or Old-bourn hall, but when or by whom erected does not appear, though by its name it seems to have been the manor house. The exterior is not remarkable, but the ceiling of the floor is very rich in stucco work, with shields and busts. In corner is a date
In the centre are the royal arms within a garter, and surmounted with an imperial crown between I. R. the initials of James I. In other compartments are the royal arms, and busts of Roman emperors.
Near to this mansion stood an hospital, or cell, to the monastery of Cluny in France, which was suppressed by Henry V.
Lower down, on the same side of , is a burial place, belonging to the parish of St. Andrew, over the entrance into which is a carving of the general resurrection, which is well executed; but, having been repeatedly covered with paint, all the sharpness of the figures is lost.
 Vide, ante, p. 611.