The History of Leith

July 27, 2004

The Minister’s Man

Alexander Bain alias “Sandy” or “Sanders” as he was familiarly called was born at Kemp‘s Close Leith, which was demolished in the Municipal Improvement Scheme of 1880, on the 19th October 1782.

In his early days he was a Roman Catholic but being apprenticed in his teens to a Mr Hall, a nailer in the town he attended with Mr Hall’s family at South Leith Church and came over to the protestant faith.

Up to the year 1836 Junction Road Church does not seem to have been fortunate in securing the services of a good Beadle as several held the office since the Church opened. On the 13th September of that year Alexander Bain was appointed. His salary was £2.10 per annum with an allowance of 7.5p per day for each day he attended the minister on his ministerial visitations and it continued at that figure from the date of his appointment till the year 1857 when at the annual Congregational meeting on a motion to superannuate Alexander Bain the meeting resented the proposal and resolved to increase his salary to £5 per annum “exclusive of all emoluments”. In September 1864 owing to increasing infirmities he sent in his resignation and was awarded a retiring allowance of £6 per annum. He died in his daughter’s house in Laurie Street in December 1870 and was buried in south Leith Churchyard.

Alexander Bain is a interesting character and I will have more to say about him.

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