The History of Leith

February 18, 2011

Leith and Flodden

the Logans was to see another branch of the family established in Leith, for Sir John, the sheriff, bestowed on his second son James the lands stretching from the Brigend to Leith Mills, where they nestled by the Water of Leith at the foot of a steep descent, now part of the lower end of Ballantyne Road. They were reached by what is now Mill Lane, then a country by-way, beautiful in summer with hawthorn and
wild rose, along which the click-clack of the mill-wheel, as it was turned by the water of the lade, fell pleasantly on the ear.
This James Logan had evidently been endowed with all the better qualities of his race, for he became deputy sheriff to his father and was knighted by King James IV.
In Leith Sir James must have been familiarly known as the Shirra. He built his mansion where St. Thomas’s Church now stands, a somewhat hilly region; and to the lands around his turreted dwelling the people of Leith gave the name of his office, and called them the Shirra Brae, the familiar designation even to-day among Leithers for the Sheriff Brae.
The fateful Battle of Flodden was to bring ” dool and wae ” to Restalrig, as it did to Edinburgh, for the Baron of Restalrig (another Sir John, and nephew of the Laird of Shirra Brae) and Maister Thomas Dickson, the dean of its collegiate church, were both among those who
fell for the defence and love of their king ” In the stern strife and carnage drear of Flodden’s fatal field.”
And strangely enough the only memorial of the Logans surviving at Restalrig to-day is the tombstone of this Sir John’s widow, Janet Ker, who died in 1526.

source the “The Story of Leith”

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