The History of Leith

November 2, 2011


Robert Ballantyne, Abbot of Holyrood, towards the close of the fifteenth century, built a handsome bridge of three stone arches over the Water of Leith, to connect the southern with the northern quarter of the rising seaport, and soon after its completion he erected and endowed near its northern end a chapel, dedicated to the honour of God, the Virgin Mary, and St. Ninian, the apostle of Galloway. Having considerable possessions in Leith, the abbot appointed two chaplains to officiate in this chapel, who were to receive all the profits accruing from a house which he had built at the southern end of this bridge, with ^4 yearly out of other tenements he possessed in South Leith. In addition to the offerings made in the chapel, the tolls or duties accruing from this new bridge
were to be employed in its repair and that of the chapel, but all surplus the charitable abbot ordained was to be given to the poor; and this charter of foundation was confirmed by James IV., of gallant memory, on the ist of January, 1493. (Maitland.) This chapel was built with the full consent of the Chapter of Holyrood, and with the approbation of William, Archbishop of St. Andrews ; and—as a dependency of the church of the Holy Cross— the land whereon it stood is termed the Rudeside in a charter of Queen Mary, dated 1569.

source-Old and Ne Edinburgh

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