The History of Leith

October 25, 2011

Oliver Cromwell and Portobello

In the Register of the Privy Council, January, 1584, in a bond of caution for David Preston of Craigmillar, Robert Pacok in Brigend, Thomas Pacok in Cameron, and others, are named as sureties that John Hutchison, merchant and burgess of Edinburgh, shall be left peaceably in possession of the lands ” callit Kingis medow, besyde the said burgh, and of that pairt thairof nixt adjacent
to the*burne callit the Figott Burne, on the north side of the same, being a proper pairt and pertinent of the saidis landis of Kingis Medow.” Among the witnesses is George Ramsay, Dean of
Restalrig. We next hear of this locality in 1650, when it was supposed to be the scene of a secret meeting, ” half way between Leith and Musselburgh Rocks, at low water,” between Oliver Cromwell and the Scottish leaders, each attended by a hundred horse, when any question the latter proposed to ask he agreed to answer, but declined to admit alike of animadversion or reply. A part of this
alleged conference is said to have been—
“Why.did you put the king to death?”
” Because he was a tyrant, and deserved death.”
“Why did you dissolve the Parliament?”
” Because they were greater tyrants than the
king, and required dissolution.”

source-Old and New Edinburgh

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