The History of Leith

October 12, 2011

An ancient crypt of Restalrig-c1883

An ancient crypt, or mausoleum, of large dimensions and octangular in form, stands on the south side of the church. Internally it is constructed with a good groined roof, and some venerable yews cast their shadow over the soil that has accumulated above it, and in which they have taken root. It is believed to have been erected by Sir Robert Logan, knight, of Restalrig, who died in 1439, according to the obituary of the Preceptory of St. Anthony at Leith, and it has been used as a last resting-place for several of his successors. Some antiquaries, however, have supposed that it was undoubtedly attached to the college, perhaps as a chapter-house, or as a chapel of St. Triduana, but constructed on the model of St. Margaret’s Well. Among others buried here is “LADY JANET KER, LADY RESTALRIG,QUHA DEPARTED THIS LlFE 17th MAY, 1526.”
Wilson, in his ” Reminiscences,” mentions that ” Restalrig kirkyard was the favourite cemetery of the Nonjuring Scottish Episcopalians of the last century, when the use of the burial service was
proscribed in the city burial-grounds ;” and a strong division of dead cavalry have been interred there from the adjacent barracks. From Charles Kirkpatrick Sharpe he quotes a story of a quarrel carried beyond the grave, which may be read upon a flat stone near that old crypt. Of the latter wrote Sharpe, “I believe it belongs to Lord Bute, and that application was made to him to allow Miss Hay—whom I well knew—daughter of Hay of Restalrig, Prince Charles’s forfeited secretary, to be buried in the vault. This was refused, and she lies outside the door. May the earth lie light on her, old lady kind and venerable!”

Source-Old and New Edunburgh

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