The History of Leith

January 3, 2012

Dr. Guthrie and the Ragged School

On the north side of the Castle Hill thoroughfare—which,within 150 years ago, was one of the most aristocratic quarters of the old city—two great breaches have been made: one when the -Free
Church College was built in 1846, and the other, a little later, when Short’s Observatory was built in Ramsay Lane, together with, the Original Ragged School, which owes its existence to the philanthropic efforts of the late Dr. Guthrie, who, with Drs. Chalmers, Cunningham, and Candlish, took so leading a part in the non-intrusion controversy, which ended in the disruption in 1843 and the institution of the Free Church of Scotland. In 1847 Guthrie’s fervent and heart-stirring appeals on behalf of the homeless and destitute children, the little street Arabs of the Scottish capital, led to the establishment of the Edinburgh Original Ragged Industrial School, which has been productive of incalculable benefit to the children of the poorer classes of the city, by affording them the blessing of a good common and Christian education, by training them in habits of industry, enabling them to earn an honest livelihood, and fitting them for the duties of life.

source-Old and New Edinbrgh c1885

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