History of Leith, Edinburgh

November 4, 2007

Templar Treasure

In October 13th 1307 while the Templars were being arrested the Templar Fleet stationed at La Rochelle quietly slipped away. According to tradition and a lot of evidence it carried the records of the Order, and the treasure of the Templar Preceptory of Paris, taking them to the West and East coast of Scotland. Some of these ships must have come to Leith as Berwick was in English hands.

Let us leave the Templars for a moment to tell two strange stories concerning Sir Robert Logan of Restalrig. The first one concerns the discovery of the skull of Sir Robert Logan during the restoration of South Leith Church in 1848. A coffin was found at the West end of the North aisle, under a room used by the Kirk Session. The inspector of Works brought it to the attention of Dr David Robertson and they decided to open it. The coffin was covered with purple velvet. A few taps of a hammer knocked the lid into fragments. Within the coffin they saw a mass of human bones huddled together and in the middle, a human skull. The strange thing was that no lower jaw was found although the skeleton was otherwise complete. The conclusion they came to was these were the mortal remains of Sir Robert Logan. As according to history the skeleton of Sir Robert Logan was put on trial for his involvement in what was called the Gowrie conspiracy against James VI and disinherited. The remains being reburied at South Leith Church. However, would the remains of a man accused of high treason been buried at South Leith Church? Some historians don’t think so, and if they were, the question is why?

Could there be a darker reason? Near to Dunbar lies Fast Castle. By marriage the Logans held the castle between 1552-1606. In 1594 John Napier of Merchiston was asked by Sir Robert Logan to find treasure that was said to have been buried within the castle. The contract between them is found today at Trinity College, Cambridge. Not only did John Napier invent Logarithms as a method of calculation, he was also involved in the Black Arts. He hoped to find the treasure by supernatural means. The contract was to be destroyed once all the conditions were fulfilled, and as the contract was never destroyed and providing the search actually took place, it is assumed the treasure was never found. According to Napier in his memoirs the search did take place. He went to the dreary castle with Sir Robert Logan and the wild Earl of Bothwell both armed to the teeth. So what was the connection between the supposed treasure at Fast Castle and the remains of Sir Robert Logan at South Leith Church? How could someone accused of treason be buried in consecrated ground? The chances are he never was a traitor.

As Laing, a famous historian of the last century said: In regard to Logan himself, it was well known that according to a barbarous custom of the time when it was determined to implicate him by means of forged letters…in the Gowrie Conspiracy.was disinterred and brought into court…”

The connection is the fact that Sir Robert Logan and the de Lestalric’s before them were Templar Knights to a man, and what Sir Robert Logan was trying to find at Fast Castle was Templar treasure, the treasure from the Preceptory of Paris. This was the reason he was disinherited. So what was the significance of the skull with no jawbone, and why was he buried at South Leith Church? The answer will be on this site shortly when we investigate the Cult of the head”, the Templars, and Freemasonry.

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