The History of Leith

July 12, 2011

Coburg Street Graveyard c1880

in 1826, the venerable church of North Leith was finally abandoned to secular uses, and ” thus,” says the historian of Leith, ” the edifice which had, for upwards of three hundred and thirty years, been devoted to the sacred purposes of religion, is now the unhallowed repository of peas and barley !”
Its ancient churchyard adjoins it. Therein lie the remains of Robert Nicoll, perhaps one of the most precocious poets that Scotland has produced, and for some time editor of the Leeds Times. He
died in Edinburgh, and was laid here in December, 1837-
Several tombstones to ancient mariners stud the uneven turf. One bearing the nautical instruments of an early period—the anchor, compasses, log, Davis’s quadrant and cross-staff, with a grotesque
face and a motto now illegible—is supposed to have been brought, with many others, from the cemetery
of St. Nicholas, when the citadel was built there by order of Monk in 1656.
Another rather ornate tomb marks the grave of some old ship-builder, with a pooped three-decker having two Scottish ensigns displayed. Above it is the legend—Trahunter. siccas. machinae, carinae
and below an inscription of which nothing remains
but “1749 • • • aged 59 y . . .’
Another stone bears—” Here lyeth John Hunton, who died Decon of the Weivars in North Leith, the 25. Ap. 1669.”
This burying-ground was granted by the city of Edinburgh, in 1664, as a compensation for that appropriated by General Monk.

source-Old and New Edinburgh

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