The History of Leith

July 9, 2004

Rough Treatment?

The minute of the 7th July 1645 begins a new era at South Leith Church and it covers a period that has been discussed and argued over ever since as the entry in the records doesn’t exactly answer the question as to whether or not Cromwell occupied the Church. However the implications of the record are that he probably did.

In 1650 General Leslie mustered the Scottish Army of 40,000 men on Leith Links and by the end of July of that year Charles II visited the army and took up residence at Lord Balmerino’s house in the Kirkgate. However by the 2nd September the Scots were defeated at Dunbar and entered Leith and Edinburgh.

Leith became the headquarters of the Cromwellian Executive in Scotland under General Monk. The difficulties came about in Scotland because the clergy were to a man Royalists. This goes to some extant the reputed harsh treatment given to the Church building which was out of character for Cromwell.

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