The History of Leith

June 4, 2011

The “Fensie”?

26th of Julie 1645.—Recomends to ye Bailies James Crawfurd and Rot Murray to value James Begs horses qt yei are worth with yr greath (i.e., harness) for leading out of ye muck of ye toune in cairts. Wm. arburneth and alex collin are ordained to make ye graves in ye fensie.
(Note.—The meaning of “fensie” is not known. No particular place in the Links was set apart for the plague graves; indeed, from the remains found it would seem as if a fresh spot had been chosen for the
burials of each successive day. They abound from Hermitage Hill to Constitution Street. In 1832 when the foundations of Wellington Place were laid, and again in 1861 when excavations for drainage took place there, masses of half decayed bones were found intermixed with fragments of blankets. They were at first held to be those of soldiers who had perished in the attack or defence of Leith. Dr Robertson maintained with more suggestion of accuracy that they were the remains of persons who had died of the plague. When the road at Restalrig was opened recently for purposes of drainage, quantities of bones were unearthed in two places adjacent to the churchyard, which probably belonged to the same period.)

Source-South Leith Records

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