The History of Leith

February 8, 2011

Duel on Leith Links

On the 23rd of December, 1729, the Hon. Alexander Elphinstone, who was leading & life of idleness and pleasure in Leith, while his brother, was in exile, met a Lieutenant Swift, of Lord Gadogan’s regiment (latterly the 4th or King’s Own), at the house of Mr, Michael Watson, in Leith.
Some hot words had arisen between, them, and Elphinstone rose haughtily to depart; but before he went he touched Swift on the shoulder with the point of his sword, and intimated that he expected
to receive satisfaction next morning on the Links.
Accordingly the two met it eleven in the forenoon, and in this comparatively public place {as it appears now) fought a duel with their swords, Swift received a mortal wound in the breast, and
expired
For this, Alexander Elphinstone was indicted before the High Court of Justiciary, but the case never came on for trial, and he died without
molestation at his father’s house in Coalfield Lane, fhree years after,

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