The History of Leith

November 5, 2011

History of South Leith-1483/1557

1483.—About this date the Church was
built, and called by the name of Saint Mary’s
Chapel. It formed a subordinate Chapel to
Restalrig, which continued to be the Church of
the Parish until 1609. The Founders of Saint
Mary’s Chapel are not now known.
(This date although accepted for many years is in fact wrong as the Church dates from at least the early 13th or late 12th century
1487.—King James III made a contribution
to the Church, ” Item to the new Kyrk of
Leith to our Ladie xviijs.”
1490.—King James IV by a Crown Charter
confirmed a grant made by Peter Falconer in
Leith ” for the soul’s weal of James III, Queen
Margaret, James IV; Robert Logan Baron of
Restalrig, etc granted to the chaplain and his
successors that shall ofier the Holy Sacrifice at
the Altar of St Peter Apostle” in the new
church of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Leith on
the south side thereof.” Similar grants were
conferred on the chaplains of St Bartholomew’s
and St Barbries’ Altars.
1544.—The English under Hereford invaded
Leith and burnt the town and also the
chapel of St Mary’s.
1545.—George Wishart, “that blissed
Martyrr of God$ was visited in Leith by John
Knox. “If ye dar to hear me I will dar to
preach.” He preached in Leith his last recorded
sermon, ” xv days befoir Yuill and tuik the
text the parable of the Sower that went furth
to saw sead, Mathae 13.”
1547.—Hertford, Duke of Somerset, again
invaded Scotland. He converted St Mary’s
Chapel into a prison, in which he warded the
Earl of Huntly and other Scottish nobles.
1557. —Knox, Harlaw, and Willox preached
the reformed faith in Leith.
Source-South Leith Records

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