The History of Leith

April 27, 2011

St James’s Episcopalian church

Between Constitution Street and the Links stands St James’s Episcopalian church, an ornate edifice in the Gothic style, designed by Sir Gilbert Scott, having a fine steeple, containing a chime of bells.
It was built in 1862-3, succeeding a previous chapel of 1805 (erected at the cost of £1610)on an adjacent site, and to which attention was frequently drawn from the literary celebrity of its minister, Dr. Michael Russell, the author of a continuation of Prideaux’s ” Connection of Sacred and Profane History,” and other works.
According to Arnnt, the congregation had an origin that was not uncommon in the eighteenth century. After the battle of Culioden, ” when the persecution was set on foot against those of the Episcopal
communion ia Scotland who did not take the oaths required by law, the meeting-house in Leith was shut up by the sheriff of the county. Persons of this persuasion being thus deprived of the form
of worship their principles approved, brought from the neighbouring country Mr. John Paul, an English clergyman, who opened this chapel on the 23rd June, 1749. It is called St James’s chapel Till
of late the congregation only rented it, but within these few years they purchased it for ,£100. The clergyman has about £6o a year salary, and the organist ten guineas. These are paid out of the
seat rents, collections, and voluntary contributions among the hearers.
The congregation of St James’s chapel received, in about the year 1810, the accession of a non juring congregation of an earlier date, says a writer in 1851, referring, doubtless, to that formed in the
time of the Rev. Mr. Paul.

Source-Old and New Edinburgh

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