The History of Leith

October 25, 2007

Major Thomas Weir-Warlock

Major Thomas Weir of Kirktown was a native of Lanarkshire, where the people believed that his mother had taught him the art of sorcery, before he joined (as Lieutenant) the Scottish army, sent by the Covenanters in 1641 for the protection of the Ulster colonists, and with which he probably served at the storming of Carrickfergus and the battle of Benburb; and from this force he had been appointed, when Major in the Earl of Lanark’s Regiment, and Captain-Lieutenant of Home’s Regiment, to the command of that ancient gendarmerie, the Guard of Edinburgh, in which capacity he attended the execution of the great Montrose in 1650. He was a grim-featured man, with a large nose, and always wore a black cloak of ample dimensions. He usually carried a staff, the supposed magical powers of which made it a terror to the community. He pretended to be a religious man, but was in reality a detestable hypocrite ; and the frightful story of his secret life is said to have furnished Lord Byron with the plot of his tragedy Manfreed; his evil reputation, which does not rest on obscure allusions in legendary superstition. for more click here

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