The History of Leith

August 2, 2011

King James hospital (Now removed)

22 of March 1660.—The Mrs of the new Hospitall called King James his hospital petitioned the Sessione that it wold please yr Wisdomes to provyd som (moneys) to them qr with they may repair the said hospital becaus the Session is dew to ye said hospital 900 inks.
(Note.—The Hospital was called “new” because a previous one had been demolished and this one took its place. The name ” King James” does not signify that it was endowed by that monarch. This was
merely an old Scotch expression, meaning no more than is now meant by “royal”—e.g., “Royal Infirmary. The Hospital was a plain and unpretentious tenement. An old gentleman, not long deceased, remembered to have seen it when a child from his nursery window in Laurie Street, and an old lady is still alive in Edinburgh, 103 years of age, who has a distinct recollection of it. The site of the Hospital is indicated in the Kirkgate wall by a stone bearing the sword and sceptre with the inscription ” J.R.6.” This having originally been built into the front of the Hospital, no doubt helped to keep alive the rather cumbrous name by which it was continually called. Besides this stone the Hospital also had a royal coat-of-arms, in all likelihood the arms of King James VI., which in 1848 were built into the north wall of the church tower. They had previously been built into the churchyard wall under the stone above referred to, and the square from whence they were removed can still be seen.}

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