| "During the last three months (loth February 1839)
the fishermen and potters living in Prestonpans have been
in a very destitute condition, the former partly from the
very boisterous weather which has prevented their going regular
to sea, and the latter from the closure of the potteries at
which they were employed. During that time, these two classes
of people have been suffering much from fever, about ten of
their number having died in that short period; while the people,
amounting to 750 including children, connected with Prestongrange
colliery, who are well employed, well paid, and well fed,
though inhabiting the same locality, and the houses stretching
from Prestonpans to Musselburgh Links, have been almost free
of that disease, fever having affected two of these families
only in the course of the same time; and while fever is still
prevailing extensively among the potters and fishermen, the
people connected with the colliery have been entirely free
of that disease since about the seventh of last December.
On these facts I am well informed, being the medical attendant
of the colliery. "
LORD WESTHALL AND WESTHALL HOUSE.
Westhall House, now Dovecot, is a long rambling block, with
few outside adornments, but inside full of curious nooks and
whirling boutgates, which, though they might drive the artist
into fits who tried to sketch them, does no less thrill with
delight the soul of the antiquarian who tries to penetrate
their curious windings.
Lord Westhall was a Dairymple, connected with the families
of North Berwick and Newhailes. He was a Judge Ordinary in
1778, and resided here for many years. Lord Westhall was an
elder in the church during the incumbency of Dr M'Cormac.
There is, or was lately, a pane of glass in one of the room
windows with " Miss Dalrymple " scratched on it.
On the decease of Lord Westhall, during the early part of
the 19th century, one Smith, a shoemaker, purchased the building
and put the curious upper storey on it. It now belongs to
Mr. J. B. Taylor, S. W. M., and is presently occupied by his
brother Mr William, a worthy villager indeed.
PROFESSOR ROBERT OLIVER CUNNINGHAM.
Among the distinguished living of the ancient village, we
are pleased to mention the three sons of the late Rev. Mr
Bruce Cunningham. Mr Robert, the eldest, was born in 1841.
He received his school and college education in Edinburgh,
and graduated as Doctor of Medicine at the University of Edinburgh
In January 1866 he was appointed Professor of Natural History
in the Royal Agricultural College at Cirencester, Gloucestershire;
and in June of the same year resigned the appointment in consequence
of being appointed by the Admiralty, Naturalist on board H.
M. S. " Nassau " then commissioned for the survey
of the Straits of Magellan and West Coast of Patagonia.
Returning home in 1869, he was appointed by the Crown to the
Chair of Natural History in Queen's College, Belfast, which
he still holds.
He is author of a variety of scientific papers, and of a separate
work on the Natural History of the Straits of Magellan.
PROFESSOR DOUGLAS CUNNINGHAM.
David Douglas Cunningham, a younger son of the late minister,
entered the Indian Medical Service in 1868, and a few years
subsequently was appointed Professor of Physiology in the
Medical College, Calcutta.
He was much engaged in the investigation of cholera, and has
published many papers on that and kindred subjects. He retired
from the service in 1897.
DR JAMES BANNERMAN CUNNINGHAM.
The third son of the Rev. W. Bruce Cunningham is Dr. James
Bannerman Cunningham, M. B., CM. He graduated at Edinburgh
in 1878. He practised for a time in his native village and
afterwards proceeded to England. He is still in practice at
Ruyton, near Shrewsbury.
MR WILLIAM BROWN—A SUCCESSFUL MERCHANT AND
Mr Brown was a gentleman who never seemed to care that his
one hand knew what the other hand was doing. His mother was
a Taylor (Isabel), of that genuine old stock who still form
a strong connecting link between West Seton and the village
of Prestonpans. He had his upbringing, for the most part,
between the two places.