The History of Leith

September 13, 2004

The Combe Window at South Leith Church

The inscription is as follows-“In memory of James Combe MD who died 14th February 1883 aged 87

James Combe was born in 1796. He became a licentiate in medicine in 1814 and was sitting for the degree of Doctor when the guns of Edinburgh Castle were announcing the victory of Waterloo. He sailed soon afterwards for India where he developed extensive experience with the Army. He was an authority on Cholera and was very useful during the epidemics which broke out in the country in 1832 and again in 1847.

He was a relative of George and Andrew Combe so well known in connection with the “Combe Lectures” and also with the empirical study of the functions of the brain known as phrenology. One of his sons served in the Crimea War 1854-56. The other son became a merchant in Leith and married as his second wife Margaret McBean Gibson daughter of Mungo Campbell Gibson a well known ship owner. Charles Combe was a man of aesthetic taste and was much interested in art. Not only did he present the window be he also donated the pulpit which takes rank as one of the most beautiful pulpits in Scotland

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