The History of Leith

January 20, 2012

The ancient Tailors’ Hall

In Carrubber’s Close stood the ancient Tailors’ Hall, the meeting-place of a corporation whose charter, granted to them by the Town Council, is. dated aoth October, 1531, and with their original
one, was further confirmed by charters from James V. and James VI. They had an altar in St. Giles’s Church dedicated to their patron St. Ann, and the date of their seal of cause is 1500. They had also an altar dedicated to St. Ann in the Abbey church, erected in 1554 by permission of Robert Commendator of Holyrood.
The fine old hall in the Cowgate has long since been abandoned by the Corporation, which still exists; and in their other place of meeting in Carrubber’s Close an autograph letter of King James VI., which hung framed and glazed over the old fireplace, was long one of its chief features.
It was dated in 1594, and ran thus; but a few lines will suffice for a specimen :—
“Dekin and remanent Maisters and Brethren of the
Tailyer Craft within oure burgh of Edinburgh, we gret
zow weill.
” Forsaemeikle as, respecting the gude service of Alexander
Miller, in making and working the abulzements of our
awn person, minding to continue him in oure service, as ain
maist fit and meit persone. We laitlie recommendit him into
zow be oure letter of requiest, desiring you to receive and
admit him gratis to the libertie and fredom of the said craft,
as a thing maist requisite for him, having the cair of our
awin wark, notwithstanding that he was not prenteis
amongis zow, according to your ancient liberties and priviliges
had in the contraie. Willing zow at this our requiest to
dispense him thereanent, &c., JAMES R.”
The king’s request was no doubt granted, and the Alexander Miller to whom it referred died in 1616, a reputable burgess, whose tomb in the Greyfriars’ churchyard was inscribed thus by
his heirs :—•
“Alexandra Millero, JacoK Mag. Brit. Francm, &*c.,
Regis Sartori, adfinem vita, primario, hatedes. F. C. vixit
annis 57, obiit Principis et Civium lucta decom’ui, Anno
1616. Maii 2.”

Some Text