The History of Leith

February 15, 2011

The Spence Monument-South Leith Church,Edinburgh

The inscription on this Monument is as
follows :—
” Sacred to the Memory of LIEUTENANT JOHN SPENCE, 42nd Bengal Light Infantry, son of Alexander Spence, Banker, Leith. Who was killed
in action at the Battle of Mookdee, Upper India, on the 18th December 1845. Aged 25 years.”
The father of the young soldier, Alexander Spence. Banker, married Catherine White, one of the daughters of Adam White, first Provost
of Leith. The banker died in 1852, while his wife survived him until 1885, dying at the ripe age of 85. This first provost of Leith had a
family of 13, one of whom was the soldier whose Monument is in the North-Western Porch. Consequently John Spence was a nephew of his.
Another uncle was Robert White, W.S., a gentleman of artistic tastes, who not only collected pictures and other works of art, but also translated, from the French, De Burtin on ” Pictures,” a useful book for those cultivating their gifts of artistic appreciation. Two of his family, Cecil White, Esq., and Miss White, still survive. Along with a cousin, Melville White, Esq., they are the only descendants of Adam White who have the name, all the others being in the female line. (as at 1925)

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