The History of Leith

March 17, 2011

The Kantore

A building mysteriously named the Kantore (probably a corruption of the Flemish word kanleer, a place of business) stootl of old in the Kirkgate, in the immediate vicinity of St Mary’s Church, and was intimately associated with the ecclesiastical history of Leith, It was latterly a species of prison-house. When an appearance of religion was necessary to all men in Scotland, the Kantore was used as a place of temporary durance
for those who incurred in any way the censure of the Kirk Session. ” Offences of the most trivialnature were most severely punished,” says a writer, ” and a system of espionage was maintained, from which there was hardly any possibility of escape.

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