The History of Leith

April 5, 2011

The repentance seat

3 Aguat 1647.—The neighbours ye maltmen in Leith gave in yr supplicaone entreating
yr not to place ye repenting seat before yr loft seeing it would distract ym in hearing of ye Word of God.
(Note.—The Minutes show that the repentance seat was worn out, and there was a proposal to erect a new one before the maltmans loft, i.e., the present organ gallery. The old “stool” had been placed beside this loft and opposite to the pulpit which stood
on the south, near to its present site. Those unfortunates who offended the Kirk Session were compelled to do penance by standing at the church door as the congregation assembled, and when the minister entered the church they were led by the beadle to the steps of the “stool” which they ascended, and there they stood during the three or four hours of the services. It must have caused considerable distraction for the congregation to watch the appearance and behaviour of their neighbours in disgrace, and no doubt smiles and whispers passed from one to another as wellknownfaces appeared in the place of ignominy.)

source-South Leith records

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