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Prestonpans and Vicinity

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"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. "

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.

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 1864.
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.
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.

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 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.
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