The History of Leith

May 21, 2012

The leith Races

In 1763, on the 28th February, a thirty-guinea
purse was run for by Cartouch, a chestnut horse,
belonging to Lord Aberdour, Colonel of the old
Scots 17th Light Dragoons, a bay colt, belonging to
Francis Charteris of Amisfield, and a mare, belonging
to Macdowal of Castlesemple. The colt won.
In the following month, His Majesty’s plate of a
hundred guineas, was won, against several other
horses, by Dunce, a chestnut, belonging to Charteris
of Amisfield.
On the 4th March, the city purse of thirty
guineas was won by a bay colt, belonging to the
latter, against two English horses.
” List of horses booked for His Majesty’s purse
of 100 guineas, to be run for over the sands of
Leith, ist July, 1771 . . . 2gth June, appeared
William Sowerby, servant to Major Lawrie, and
entered a bay horse called ‘ Young Mirza ;’ rider,
said Wm.; livery crimson; and produced certificate,
dated at Lowther Hall, signed by Edward Halls,
dated 24th May, 1770, bearing the said horse to
be no more than four years old last grass. . . .
Appeared the Right Hon. the Earl of Kellie, entered
‘ Lightfoot.’ Appeared Sir Archibald Hope,
Bart, (of Pinkie), entered ‘ Monkey.’ ” Mirza won
the purse.
For the race advertised for a pool of £60 and
upwards, the Duke of Buccleuch, who signed the
articles, marked ^80, to be paid in money, not
plate. ” Compeared, Mr. James Rannie, merchant
in Leith, and entered a bay horse, ‘ Cockspur,’ belonging
to His Grace the Dukeof Buccleuch.” Itwon.
The Duke of Hamilton and the Earl of Eglinton
repeatedly entered horses (says Robertson);
and in 1777 the former gave the 100 guineas won
to aid in the construction of the Observatory on
the Calton Hill.
In the Scots Magazine for 1774 we find noted
the appearance at these races of the Count de
Fernanunez, ” attended by the Chevalier Comaric,”
then on a tour through Scotland.
In 1816 the races were transferred to the Links
of Musselburgh permanently, for the sake of the
ground, which should be smooth turf; and though
attempts were made in 1839 and 1840 to revive
them again at Leith, they proved abortive.

source-Old and New Edinburgh

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