The History of Leith

March 27, 2012

Rev. Rowland Hill

In 1798, when the Rev. Rowland Hill (the
famous son of Sir Rowland Hill, of Shropshire)
visited Edinburgh for the first time, he preached
in some of the churches every other day, but the
crowds became so immense, that at last he was
induced to hold forth from a platform erected on
the Calton Hill, where his audience was reckoned
at not less than 10,000, and the interest excited by
his eloquence is said to have been beyond all
precedent. On his return from the West, he
preached on the hill again to several audiences,,
and on the last of these occasions, when a collection
was made for the charity workhouse, fully 20,000
were present. Long years after, when speaking to a
friend of the multitude whom he had addressed
there, he said, pleasantly, ” Well do I remember
the spot; but I understand that it has now been
converted into a den of thieves,” referring to the
gaol now built on the ground where his platform
stood.

source-Old and New Edinburgh

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