The History of Leith

June 4, 2011

The Oldest stone

12 May 1646. — Christian Robertson relict of umqll Alexr Guthrie petitioned ye Sessione to have ye favor as to let hir sett up ane hewen stone in ye church yard at ye head of hir husbands corpse but ye Sessione in no wayes would grant hir petition unto hir becaus everie ane wold strive to have ye lyke favor therefor it was not grantit but absolutlie refused to hir and all uyrs.
(Note.—This minute shows that at its date the erection of Tombstones was an uncommon custom. To show respect in this way to the dead was thought to savour of popery, and for this reason oherubs and other carved figures were often mutilated. The erection of tombstones did not become popular until a century later. We possess a few old stones. The oldest is probably the one forming part of the pavement at the south-east doorway ; its date is 1593 and it bears the name of Logan. Many old stones have unfortunately been used up for the pavements in and around the church. This was a convenient practice before the cement pavements were made. The oldest stone standing in the churchyard, which can be deciphered, bears the name Abercromby. It is dated 1656, and stands outside the elders’ vestry.)

source-South Leith Records

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