The History of Leith

June 5, 2006

A duel on Leith Links

On the 23rd of December 1729 the Hon Alexander Elphinstone was leading a life of idleness and pleasure in Leith, while his brother was in exile (having supported the Jacobite cause) met a lieutenant Swift of Lord Cadogan’s regiment at the house of Mr Michael Watson in Leith.

Some hot words were spoken and a argument ensued and Elphinstone rose to go but before he did he touched the shoulder of Swift with the tip of his sword which meant he expected satisfaction next morning on the Links.

Accordingly the two met at 11 o’clock the following day and fought a duel with swords and Swift was killed.

Alexander Elphinstone was indicted for more by the High Court of Justiciary but the case never came to court and he died three years later at his fathers house in Coatfield Lane.

Source (in part)-Old and New Edinburgh

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