The History of Leith

May 7, 2012

Plague which, as Moyes records, was brought from Dantzig by John Downy’s ship, the William of Leith.

There was considerable alarm excited in Edinburgh,
Leith, and along the east coast generally, by
a plague which, as Moyes records, was brought
from Dantzig by John Downy’s ship, the William of
Leith. By command of the Privy Council, the ship
was ordered, with her ailing
and dead, to anchor off
Inchcolm, to which place
all afflicted by the plague
were to confine themselves.
The crew consisted of
forty men, of whom the
majority died. Proclamation
had been made at the
market-cross of every east
coast town against permitting
this fated crew to
land. By petitions before
the Council it appeared that
William Downie, skipper
in Leith, left a widow and
eleven children; Scott, a
mariner, seven. The survivors
were afterwards removed
to Inchkeith and the Castle of Inchgaryie,
and the ship, which by leaks seemed likely to sink
at her anchors, was emptied of her goods, which
were stored in ” the vowts,” or vaults, of St. Colm.

source-Old and New Edinburgh

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