The History of Leith

October 21, 2011

Body-snatching at South Leith

4lh July 1745.—There being complaints of disturbance made in the night-time by persona watching the dead in the Churchyard firing guna and otherwise making great noise, the Session appoints their Officer when any apply for access into the Churchyard to watch their dead to intimate to them that they are prohibited to allow any to have or make use of firearms while watching whereby the neighbourhood is disburbed,and to certify those that apply that they must be answerable for any disturbance occasioned by their watching through firing guns or any indecent noise.
(Note.—The tombs in the churchyard still show relics of the times when body-snatching was a common practice of which the traditions still linger in old tales. Some of the large tombs are still completely encased in heavy iron bars, and many of the old grave-stones still bear the sockets or marks of the sockets which secured the bars of iron over the graves.)

Source-South Leith Records

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