The History of Leith

January 28, 2011

The Overlordship of Edinburgh

Edinburgh purchased the Shore of Leith from Sir Robert Logan of Restalrig in 1398 and 1414, and the harbour of Newhaven from James IV. in 1510. These purchases were to prove but the first instalments of Edinburgh’s ultimate possession of all save one portion of the town and lands of Leith.
The next portion of the superiority to be acquired by the city was Sir Robert Logan’s town of South Leith, which he governed by a baron-bailie, who was always his kinsman, the Laird of Coatfield. This acquisition of South Leith did not, of course, include the Abbot of
Holyrood’s portion of the town, the lands of St. Leonards, which extended from the Vaults to the Brigend. The story of how the Laird of Restalrig’s town came into the possession of Edinburgh is rather complicated, as it is mixed up with important State events connected
with the troubles of the Reformation and the misfortunes of Mary Queen of Scots. In 1556 Mary of Guise, the Queen-Regent, met a
deputation of four Leithers, who wished to negotiate with her for the erection of the town into a-royal burgh, and so raise it to the same status as Edinburgh. This was really more than Mary of Guise could possibly accomplish as it would have been resisted by Edinburgh. However using money from the people of Leith she bought the land of Logan. although all they got in return was letters patent granting certain rights.

In 1561 Mary Queen of Scot’s returned from France and 1565 in need of money she used Leith as a security on a loan of 10,000 merks and because of the tragic events of her life the loan was never repaid and Edinburgh took leith over

source-The Story of Leith

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