The History of Leith

October 27, 2011

The Bells of South Leith Church

5 December 1644.—Ordaines the two Deacons of ye Smythes Weivers to tak order for keeping of ye Lofts that no perturbations be in ye backsyd of yr Lofts in tyrne of divin service be bairns and yat yei admonish ye keepers of yr Lofts and Seats that yei suffer no bairns to make ane trouble yrin and therefore ordaines ye Smythes to big up ye wast division betwixt yein and ye Timbermens Loft that none be suffered to passe through yr. James Crawfuird Maltman in Leith of his own free will offered to proveide two bells to be placed in or Steiple of ye Church and yt yei should be sufficient Bells provyded that ye Steiple be builded and perfectit for yat effect. Ordaines therefor to speik with Jon Mill Master of ye Masons and Jon Scott Mr of Works of ye Wrights, how ye said Steiple sail be contrivit and drawn up and qt may perfect ye same, for yei ordainit a Meeting to be with ye nixt Thursday.
(Note.—Bells were an important part of Church paraphernalia, when people had neither watches nor clocks to mark the flight of time. On Sundays the bell was rung three times for each service. The first bell was rung an hour or so in advance to warn people to get ready for Church. The second bell was rung when the reader began his service. This was a preliminary service for reading prayers and portions of Scripture, sometimes also the Commandments. Then the third bell rang, and the minister entered the Church to begin his service of extempore prayer and preaching.)

source-South Leith Records

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