The History of Leith

October 6, 2011

The new teaching

The spread of the new teaching among the seafaring folk of Leith is shown in 1534, the year when David Straitoun and Norman Gourlay were executed as heretics at the Cross of Greenside, opposite Picardy Place. In that year Adam Deas, shipwright in North Leith, and Henry Cairns, a skipper, are cited to appear before the Archbishop of St. Andrews. What became of Deas does not appear, but Henry Cairns prudently went off to sea, and was denounced as fugitive and heretic with blast of trumpet on the Shore, the chief place of public resort both for townsmen and foreign traders, who would carry the news overseas.
The most noted sufferer for the Protestant faith having association with Leith at this time was the celebrated George Wishart, the most powerful and eloquent preacher of his day. On a Sunday in the middle of December 1545 he preached in Leith on the Parable of the Sower. No memory of Wishart’s friends, or of their place of abode, has survived in Leith, but this gathering of sympathizers, so desirous to hear him discourse to them, and their assurance that nothing was to be feared from the inhabitants, suggest that, the new religion had numerous supporters in the town.

Source-The Story of Leith

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