| OLD TAVERNS.
A curious little old house was recently pulled down in order
to make way for that very handsome building erected by Mr
Wallace, head master, Prestonpans Public School. It stood
directly opposite the Power House at the north-west corner
of Mr Wallace's property. This was known as Preston Tavern,
and during nearly the whole of last century a flourishing
business was conducted here. Through the village of Preston
being the main highway eastwards from Edinburgh in those days,
many a noble lord, it is said, was wont to tie his steed to
the iron ring which hung by the door cheek, till he regaled
himself with cake and ale before passing on to his mansion-house.
Old Willie Rodger, grandfather to Mr George Rodger of Prestonpans,
was the hindmost proprietor of the little tavern. The iron
ring to which the horses were wont to be tied remained by
the door cheek till destruction overtook the puny little building.
The Dower House was occupied for a good many years by Mr Thomas
Kay as a tavern or licensed house. It ceased to be used as
such some thirty-five years ago.
A CURIOUS IMPOST.
In 1753, under authority of a special Act of Parliament, a
house with a small garden attached was purchased in the village
of Preston and fitted up as a workhouse, to be supported by
an impost of twopence Scotch on each Scotch pint of ale brewed
or sold in the parish. But after a few years trial the workhouse
was abandoned, and the house and garden let as an ordinary
dwelling, the annual rental going to augment the parochial
funds for the benefit of the poor. The house stood at the
east end of the Dower House. It was pulled down recently,
but the door in the wall and the remains of the western gable
may yet be seen. The grounds extend to an acre, and belong
to the heirs of the late Mr John Fowler Hislop of Castle Park,
This famous medical practitioner was reared in Schaw's Hospital.
On turning up an old roll we find he was admitted to the institution
(William Jelley) in 1824. He would leave probably in 1832.
The next we hear of him is settling as a " Medical"
in San Francisco. He paid a visit to his old home at Preston
in 1853. We hear no more of him till the late Dr Struthers,
who always kept the old " Schaw " boys in view,
on returning from the Pan Presbyterian Council, held in America
about 1880, foregathered with an Austrian officer on shipboard
who spoke English fluently. The Rev. Dr, who knew that Dr
Jelly had gone to Austria, inquired at the officer if ever
he had heard of the famous practitioner, and was not a little
surprised to hear that he knew him perfectly well, and after
describing him personally to a nicety, further astonished
the Rev. Dr by assuring him that Dr Jelly at that period was
chief medical adviser to the Emperor of Austria.