The History of Leith

February 3, 2012

Edinburgh Markets in the Past

PREVIOUS to 1477 there were no particular places assigned for holding the different markets in the city, and this often caused much personal strife among the citizens. To remedy this evil, James III., by letters patent, ordained that the markets for the various commodities should be held in the following parts of the city, viz.:—
In the Cowgate, the place for the sale of hay, straw, grass, and horse-meat, ran from the foot of Forrester’s Wynd to the foot of Peebles Wynd. The flesh market was to be held in the High Street, on both sides, from Niddry’s Wynd to the Blackfriars Wynd; the salt market to be held in the former Wynd.
The crames, or booths, for chapmen were to be set up between the Bell-house and trie Tron on the north side of the street; the booths of the hatmakers and skinners to be on the opposite side of
the way.
The wood and timber market extended from Dalrymple’s Yard to the Greyfriars, and westward.
The place for the sale of shoes, and of red barked leather, was between Forrester’s Wynd and the west wall of Dalrymple’s Yard.
The cattle-market, and that for the sale of slaughtered sheep, was to be about the Tron-beam, and so ” doun throuch to the Friar’s Wynd; alsa, all pietricks, pluvars, capones, conyngs, chekins,
and all other wyld foulis and tame, to be usit and said about the Market Croce.”
All living cattle were not to be brought into the town, but to be sold under the walls, westward of the royal stables, or lower end of the Grassmarket.
Meal, grain, and corn were to be retailed from the Tolbooth up to Liberton’s Wynd.
The Upper Bow was the place ordained for the sale of all manner of cloths, cottons, and haberdashery; also for butter, cheese, and wool, ” and sicklike gudis yat suld be weyit” at a tron set
there, but not to be opened before nine A.M. Beneath the Nether Bow, and about St. Mary’s Wynd, was the place set apart for cutlers, smiths, lorimers, lock-makers, “and sicklike workmen ; and
all armour, graith, gear,” and so forth, were to be sold in the Friday market, before the Greyfriars’.

source-Old and New Edinburgh

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