The History of Leith

October 6, 2011

The Origins of Newhaven

AT what period Newhaven became noted for its fisher population it would be difficult to say. A persistent tradition tells that the fisherfolk came from the Netherlands. We have already seen that a goodly number of the gunners and shipwrights introduced by James IV. in the earliest days of Newhaven’s histor came from both the Netherlands and the northern shores of France, especially from Normandy and Brittany. Hans, the king’s master gunner, was a Fleming, while Jacques Terrell, who as James’s master wright played so great a part in the building of his navy, was a Frenchman. That the original population of Newhaven had a considerable Flemish element is undoubtedly true, but the tradition that its fisherfolk are the descendants of Flemish refugees, who settled here during the life-and-death struggle of their nation against the might of Spain, we may at once set aside as mere legend.

source-The Story of Leith

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