The History of Leith

July 9, 2004

South Leith Church and Leith Academy

The connection between South Leith and Leith Academy go back several hundred years and for interest here are three entries from the Session records about the appointment of Master of the Grammar School as Leith Academy was then so called.

9th October 1787-advertisment for the Master to the Grammar School of South Leith,

“The Grammar School of South leith having become vacant by the resignation of Mr John Wilson. The Session who are patrons of this School have appointed Friday the ninth day of November, next at Ten o’clock forenoon within the Session house for supplying the vacancy. Those, who propose standing candidates, will lodge certificates of their moral character with the ministers or Kirk Treasurer eight days before the day of election which is to be determined by a comparative trial.
NB None who have any views towards the Ministry need apply
The Session taking unto consideration that as John Gibson their fellow officer through age and infirmity is tendered unable to discharge the duties of his office they appoint John Gibson, Taylor, in Leith his assistant. The Session having also taken into their consideration the vacancy of the office of Bellringer and Gravedigger in this parish appoint James Reid Starchmaker in Leith to that office in conjunction with David Anderson. He was exhorted to be faithful in the discharge thereof.

9th November 1787-This day the Kirk Session met here in consequence of their resolution of the 9th October and did nominate and appoint the following gentlemen as proper judges for examining the Candidates for master of the Grammar School here vacant by the resignation of Mr John Wilson-Mr Andrew Dalzel professor of Greek at the College of Edinburgh, Dr John Hill Professor of Humanity at the same College, Dr Alexander Adam, Rector of the Grammar School of Edinburgh, The Rev Thomas Scott, The Rev Robert Dickson Ministers of South leith. The examinators then proceeded to the examination of the candidates and when finished gave in the following report.

“Leith November 9th 1787, We Subscribers appointed by the Kirk Session of South Leith to take trial of various candidates for supplying the vacancy in the Grammar School of said parish. Do after strict examination of nine candidates unanimously declare that Mr James Cririe late master of the Grammar School of Kirkcudbright appears to be the best qualified in every respect of these candidates for that office.
Thomas Scott
Robert Dickson
Andrew Dalzel
John Hill
Alexander Adam

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