The History of Leith

January 17, 2012

James Sibbald

In 1781 James Sibbald, an eminent bookseller and literary antiquarian, the son of a Roxburgh farmer, who came to Edinburgh with £100 in his pocket, after being employed in the shop of Elliot the publisher, purchased the old circulating library that had belonged to Allan Ramsay, and commenced business in the Parliament Close, where, in 1783, he started a new monthly miscellany, named The Edinburgh Magazine, illustrated with engravings, the principal papers in which were articles on Scottish antiquities, the production of his own pen. He was also the projector of the Edinburgh Herald, which, however, was soon discontinued. Relinquishing his establishment in the Close about 1792, he devoted himself to a literary life in London ; but, after a somewhat chequered career, returned to Edinburgh, where he died in a lodging in Leith Walk in 1803.

source-Old and New Edinburgh

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