The History of Leith

October 9, 2011

The Trinity House of Leith

Immediately opposite St. Mary’s Church stands the Trinity House of Leith, erected on the site of the original edifice bearing that name. This Seaman’s Hospital was dedicated to the Holy Trinity, and the inscription which adorned the ancient building is now built into the south wall of the new one, facing St. Giles’s Street, and is cut in large and highly
ornamental antique letters:— “!N THE NAME OF THE LORD, YE MASTERIS AND MARINERIS : BYLIS THIS HovsTO YE POVR. ‘ANNO DOMINI, 1555.”
la the east wing of the present edifice there is preserved
a stone, on which is carved a cross-staff and other nautical instruments of the sixteenth century, an anchor, and two globes, with the motto :—
” PERVIA, VIRTUTI. SIDERA, TERRA, MARE;”
and beneath is carved—•
” Instituted \$o. Built 1555. Rebuilt 1816″
“The date of this foundation,” says Daniel Wilson ” is curious. Its dedication implies that it originated with the adherents of the ancient faith, while the date of the old inscription indicates the
very period when the Queen Regent assumed the reins of government. That same year John Knox landed at Leith on his return from exile ; and only three years later, the last convocation of the Roman
Catholic clergy that ever assembled in Scotland under the sanction of its laws was held in the Blackfriars Church at Edinburgh, and signalised its final session by proscribing Sir David Lindsay’s
writings, and enacting that ‘ his buik should be abolished and burnt.'”
From time immemorial the shipmasters and mariners of Leith received from all vessels of the port, and all Scottish vessels visiting it, certain duties, called ” primo gilt,” which were expended in
aiding poor seamen

Source-Old and New Edinburgh

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