The History of Leith

December 12, 2007

Broadside regarding the confession of Robert Irvine


“Of Mr. Robert Irvine, who was Execute May 1st, 1717. near Brughtoun, between Leith and Edinburgh, for Murdering John and Alexander Gordons, Sons to James Gordon of Allan, on Sunday the 28th of April 1717.” for more click here


GABRIEL’S ROAD shown as Register St., D.1827. Ran from where Register House now stands in a long slant N.W. to the Water of Leith, behind where is now Saxe Coburg Pl. Shown unnamed, save at south cast end, close to Register House, Kirkwood composite map. N.W. end named in large scale map, p.w. 773. 15, 1780. 81 57. N.W. end marked “F Road”, Ainslie, 1804, its general course evident, also at Register House. It is still represented in the right of way past the Royal Bank, St. Andrew Sq., which is not always rccognised. The name has been wrongly derived from that of the murderer, given as Gabriel in “Peter’s letters to his Kinsfolk”, but really Robert Irvine. He was a probationer of the Church of Scotland, and employed as tutor to two little boys in a gentleman’s family. Having fallen in love with a maid there, he was observed one day by his pupils to give her a kiss-which they mentioned innocently to their parents. Fearful of loss of reputation and failure in the ministry, he brooded over this until he became mad with revenge. One Sabbath while strolling with his pupils on or near Gabriel’s road, he cut their throats with a pocket knife. He was seized, red handed, condemned and executed. Gabriel was a former proprietor of Inverleith, Walks in Edin. 179. In the road was a tavern called Gabriels, b.b.60. Best known from Ambrose Tavern, scene of the “Moores Ambrosianac m.t.c. 26/7/1780. “Gabriel’s Street”, m.t.c. 11/6/1788, 16/12/1812. South east end, just west of Register office, named Gabriel Road, Kincaid’s map of 1784. Given in list D.1826-7, also previously up present date.

from-Edinburgh Street Derivations

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