The History of Leith

May 2, 2012

The Broad Wynd

The Broad Wynd opens westward off Water
Lane to the shore. The first number of The Letth
and Edinburgh Telegraph and General Advertiser,
published 26th July, 1808, by William Oliphant,
and continued until September, 1811, appeared,
and was published by a new proprietor, William
Reid, in the Broad Wynd, where it was continued
till its abandonment, pth March, 1813,
comprising in all 483 numbers. It was succeeded
By The Leith Commercial List. An extensive
building, of which frequent mention is made by
early historians as the King’s Wark, seems to have
occupied the whole ground between this and the
present Bernard Street, but the exact purpose for
which it was maintained is not made clear in any
of the incidental allusions to it. It is, however,
supposed to have included a royal arsenal, with
warehouses and dwellings for resident officials,
and according to Robertson’s map seems to have
measured about a hundred feet square.
” The remains of this building,” says Arnot,
writing in 1779, “with a garden and piece of
waste land that surrounded it, was erected into a
free barony by James VI., and bestowed upon
Bernard Lindsay of Lochill, Groom of the Chamber
(or Chamber Cheild, as he was called) to that prince.
This Lindsay repaired or rebuilt the King’s Wark.
and there is special mention of his having put its
ancient tower in full repair. He also built there
a new tennis-court, which is mentioned with
singular marks of approbation in the royal charte$
‘as being built for the recreation of His Majesty,
and of foreigners of rank resorting to the kingdom.
to whom it afforded great satisfaction and delight;
and as advancing the politeness and contributing
to the ornament of the country, to which, by its
happy situation on the Shore of Leith, where there
was so great a concourse of strangers and foreigner;,
it was peculiarly adapted.'”
The reddendo in this charter was uncommon.
Arnot adds. It was to keep one of the cellars in
the King’s Wark in repair, for holding wines and
other provisions for .the king’s use.
This Bernard Lindsay it was whom Taylor
mentions in his ” Penniless Pilgrimage ” as having
given him so warm a welcome at Leith in
That some funds were derivable from the King’s
Wark to the Crown is proved by the frequent
payments with which it was burdened by several
of our monarchs. Thus, in the year 1477 James
III. granted out of it a perpetual annuity of twelve
marks Scots, for support of a chaplain to officiate
at the altar of ” the upper chapel in the collegiate
church of the Blessed Virgin Mary at

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