The History of Leith

February 15, 2012

THE Canongate

THE Canongate takes its name from the Augustine monks of Holyrood, who were permitted to build it by the charter of David I. in 1128, and to rule it as a burgh of regality. ” The canons,” says Chalmers, “were empowered to settle here a village, and from them the street of this settlement was called the Canongate, from the Saxon gaet, a way or street, according to the practice of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries in Scotland and England. The immunities which the canons and their villagers enjoyed from David’s grant, soon raised up a town, which extended from the Abbey to the Nether Port of Edinburgh, and the townsmen performed their usual devotions in the church of the Abbey till the Reformation,” after which it continued to retain its distinct dignity as a burgh of regality.
In its arms it bears the white hart’s head, with the cross-crosslet of the miraculous legend between the horns, and the significant motto, ” Sic ITUR AD ASTRA.”

source-Old and New edinburgh

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