June 29th to July 2nd, 2019. Recovering a memorial stone that hadn’t seen the light of day in decades.

It was covered in a mass of roots and earth, built up over the years. It’s the base of a cross, dedicated to Elizabeth Grace, the infant daughter of Lieutenant F.A. Stewart of the West India Regiment.

It’s the base for a cross, but we haven’t yet located that piece. The base was buried beneath soil and roots that had built up over the intervening years. It was excavated very carefully and given a brief wash using plain water and a gentle brush.

It was discovered on the Saturday. On the Monday, thanks to Mortonhall, we found out where it SHOULD be. It was back in its rightful position the very next day.

Here are some photos of the discovery, excavation and replacement…
(Click on an image to get a larger view. Opens in a new tab/window.)

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Little Elizabeth Grace had been born at 14 Hope Street at 7.20am on 4 November 1872, the second child of Lieutenant Francis Archibald Stewart of the 1st West India Regiment and his wife Grace Jane Malloch, who’d married on 10 November 1870 in Canada. The family wasn’t long in Edinburgh, being unrecorded here in 1871 and 1875. Towards the end of the century, they were in Jersey. Hence this infant is the sole occupant of the grave. Elizabeth Grace died at 7am on 3 February 1873 at the same address of 14 Hope Street, aged 5 months. She’d suffered from Tubercular Meningitis for 5 days and Convulsions for 3 days.

She was attended by a nearby physician, Dr Angus Macdonald, across the street at no. 29 Charlotte Square. When he died in 1886 after being unwell for a few years (then buried in Grange), his death was certified by his neighbour, Dr Claud Muirhead of 30 Charlotte Square. One of Dr Macdonald’s positions was Lecturer in Midwifery and Diseases of Women, so may well have known (or at least known the teachings of) our most famous resident, Sir James Young Simpson. Dr Muirhead died in 1910 and is interred in Warriston’s Section K, quite close to Sir James Young Simpson.

Elizabeth Grace’s older brother, Archibald Francis Stewart, born 12 September 1871 in Jamaica, followed his father into the Army, firstly with the Durham Light Infantry. He spent most of his career in India, finally becoming Lieutenant-Colonel. He retired in September 1922.

N.B. Please note that we lack the equipment and training to re-site larger stones.

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