The History of Leith

March 11, 2011

Nicoll in his Diary records

Nicoll in his Diary records, under date 25th July, 1650—the day after Cromwell was repulsed in his attack upon Leslie’s trenches—that the whole Scottish army, to the number of 40,000 men, was convened or mustered on the Links of Leith, to undergo a process called “purging,” it., the dismissal from its rroiks of all officers and men who were obnoxious in any way to the clergy. The result of this insane measure, when almost within range of Cromwell’s cannon, was that ” above the
half of thame” were disbanded and sent to their homes. Then after Charles II. had been feasted in the Parliament House, on the ist of August he came to Leith, and took up his residence in Lord Balmerino’s house near the Kirkgate.
Nicoll also records that a soldier of Leslie,being discovered in correspondence with the enemy, on being made prisoner strangled himself in the Tolbooth of Edinburgh; after that his body was gibbeted between the city and Leith, ” quhair he yet hangs to the terror of otheris.”, under date 25th July, 1650

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