The History of Leith

August 8, 2011

The King’s Work

7 Agust 1656.—Continues or pastor Mr Jon Hogg with any of ye session he please to be with him to wait on upon ane anser of our petition given in to the Counsell of Staitt for or hospitall and windmill yard. James M’Kean reports that the Towne Counsell of Edr is willing to pay all ye byrun few deutties and to com that they are awand to the Session for the Kings work and for the
north Links according to ye rentall book as also to have a cair that the impost be collected.
(N’ote.—The reference to the King’s Work is an interesting one, recalling the earliest days in the history of the town. King James IV. in 1512 made a grant of £28 to Restalrig church, payable from the King’s Work in Leith. It is this feu-duty which is here referred to, and the feu-duty is still paid by the city to the Kirk-Session. The King’s Work is therefore a reality yet at each half-yearly term, being expressly named in the receipts given. The site of the King’s Work was about the south-west corner of Bernard Street. It was at one time a royal dwelling, but latterly was used as an arsenal. A view of the King’s Work may be seen in an old picture or “prospect” of Leith harbour printed in Grant’s “Old and New Edinburgh,” vol. iii. p. 177.)

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