Old Photograph Reuben Butler House Liberton Edinburgh Scotland
Old photograph of the house of Reuben Butler by the School Sign in Liberton located just South of Edinburgh, Scotland. Reuben Butler was the husband of Jeanie Deans, a fictional character in Sir Walter Scott's novel The Heart of Midlothian. She was one of Scott's most celebrated characters during the 19th century; she was renowned as an example of an honest, upright, sincere, highly religious person. When Jeanie Deans' sister, Effie, is wrongly convicted of murdering her own child, Jeanie travels, partly by foot, all the way to London, England. Her plan is to appeal to the Queen and receive a pardon for her sister who languishes in prison awaiting execution. She begins walking on her bare feet to save her shoes but puts them on when she passes through towns and villages. By a series of improbable adventures, involving the true abductors of her sister's baby son, she finds George Staunton alias Robertson who had fathered the child. Thereafter she travels on by coach and on reaching London she seeks out the Duke of Argyll who takes her to meet Queen Caroline at Richmond Lodge. She impresses the Queen with her eloquence, spoken in broad Scots. The Queen promises to intercede with King George II, and she ensures that her sister is granted a pardon, on pain of being banished from Scotland for fourteen years. When Jeanie returns to Scotland, she finds that the Duke of Argyll had given her father land to superintend at Rosneath in Argyll. She is also overjoyed to find that her fiancé, Reuben Butler, has been appointed Minister at the neighbouring kirk of Knocktarlitie. She subsequently marries Butler and raises three children named David, Reuben and Euphemia. Jeanie's sister, Effie, pays her a clandestine visit to inform her that she had married her lover who was now Sir George Staunton. Jeanie later learns that her sister's child had not been murdered but was sold to a Highland brigand and was reared to a life of robbery and violence. Sir George is later shot by his own son who escapes to America, where he gets into trouble, joins a tribe of Native Americans and is heard of no more. As Lady Staunton, Effie takes her place in London society but eventually retires to a French convent, much to her sister's disappointment at her relinquishing her father's religion.
All photographs are copyright of Sandy Stevenson, Tour Scotland, and may not be used without permission.
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