The History of Leith

February 15, 2011

The Jameson Monument-South Leith Church

Is the South-East Porch, and fixed on the North Wall of it, this Monument will be found.
It is not likely that it was in this position before the renovation of the church about the middle of last century. There are no data left which help us to settle the question. An unsuccessful attempt has been made to discover the plans used in the work of that time. The
inscription is as follows :β€”
” To the Memory of
James Jameson, Late Surgeon of the 88th
Regiment, a Youth adorned with every
grace of body and of Mind, Inferior to few
in skill and activity in his profession,
Exceeded by none in spirit as a Volunteer,
who having distinguished himself in both
these capacities during two campaigns of
the German War, at last fell in the Battle
of Campen, 16th Oct. 1760 having that
day exhibited manifold proofs of military
ardour and address
Aged 21 ”
The Minute of the Kirk Session with regard to the Monument is as follows :β€”” 14th May
1761.β€”In consequence of an application by Mr John Jameson, Wine Merchant in Leith. craving liberty of ye Session to erect a Monument
and Inscription on the inside of the walls of the Church to the memory of his son James. who was killed in battle against the French in the present war, the Session appoints the Reverend Ministers to meet with the said Mr Jameson any convenient time and to consider his proposal, with power to do in that matter as they shall see meet.”
The Monument is evidently wrought in hard sandstone, but it has been painted over. It is about 5 feet in length, and 3 in breadth, enclosed as it were, in a moulded frame. It is surmounted by elaborate carvings, the most prominent feature of which is a well-executed figure of a ship under sail. The family to which this young soldier and surgeon belonged was one of the two Jamesons mentioned in Williamson’s Directory in 1773-4. This family was engaged in the Wine Trade. John Jameson, probably a brother of the James Jameson with whom we are dealing, feued a piece of ground, one and a half acres in extent, where James Place now stands. Here he built in the centre of it a house afterwards known in the time of Provost Watt, as ” The Falcons.” More ground was
afterwards bought and added to the property. In 1805 it was transferred to his son James Jameson. In 1826 it was transferred by this son, by that time known as Major Jameson, to a Mr M’Nair, Collector of Customs.

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