The History of Leith

April 15, 2005

The Hutchison Window. (South Leith Parish Church)

(South Aisle of Church.)
The inscription below runs thus :——“ in Memory of Thomas Hutchison, Esquire, of Carlowrie, Chief Magistrate of Leith. 1845— 1848, and a Promoter of the Restoration of this Church. 1846-47 born 1796, died 1852; also of Jane Wylie his wife, born 1805.died 1889.”
Thomas Hlutchison was born in Kinghorn in 1796. Coming to Leith when quite a young man, he learned his business with George Young & Co., Constitution Street. About 1825 he founded the firm of Hutchison & Co., wine merchants, which is now merged in J. 0. Thomson & Co., Ltd.
Aspiring to serve the municipalit.y, he was elected to represent the Third Ward in 1838, afterwards becoming one of the Magistrates of the Burgh. From 1843 to 1848 he was Provost of the town. When Queen Victoria paid her first visit to Scotland, the accident of the messenger coining first to Mr Hutehison’s house, and his business promptitude in acting on the information, secured to the Provost and Magistrates of Leith the honour of being the first to welcome Her Majesty to Scotland.
During his Provostship South Leith Church was restored, and his energy had a great part to play in raising the necessary funds to carry the scheme through. If the restoration is not by any means a perfect one, the blame is to be laid not at his door but at the door of the architectural feeling and skill of the period. The art of properly restoring churches was in its infancy. There is room for another Thomas Hutchison to do for South Leith what has been done so exquisitely for St. Vigean’s, Arbroath, and St. Ola, Kirkwall, and Holy Trinity, St. Andrews.
The descendants of Mr Hutchison have retained much of his capacity. One of his zrandsons was Sir Thomas Hutehison, Bart., who for long took an enlightened interest in Leith Hospital Afterwards entering the Town of Edinburgh, he was elected Lord Provost of the City in 1921 and fulfilled his term of office with much acceptance A brother of Sir Thomas Hutchison’s, Rev. A.D.Tait Hutchison, MA., is minister of the Second Charge of Brechin Cathedral. A sister is the wife of the Rev. Harcourt Davidson, B.D., St. Andrew’s Parish Church, Dundee. Another sister was the first wife of Rev. R.H. Fisher, D.D., Minister of the First Charge of St. Cuthbert’s Parish Church, Edinburgh.
Source-South Leith Records 1922

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