The History of Leith

May 15, 2012

The twelve o’clock coach

The Tolbooth Wynd is about five hundred and
fifty feet in length, from where the old signal-tower
stood, at the foot of the Kirkgate, to the site of a
now removed building called Old Babylon, which
stood upon the Shore.
The second old thoroughfare of Leith was undoubtedly
the picturesque Tolbooth Wynd, as the
principal approach to the harbour, after it superseded
the more ancient Burgess Close.
It was down this street that, in the age when
Leith was noted for its dark superstitions and eccentric
inhabitants, the denizens therein, regularly
on stormy nights or those preceding a storm,
heard with horror, at midnight, the thundering
noise of “the twelve o’clock coach,” a great catafalque-
looking vehicle, driven by a tall, gaunt figure
without a head, drawn by black horses, also headless,
and supposed to be occupied by a mysterious

source-Old and New Edinburgh

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