The History of Leith

June 13, 2012

The Corporation of Shipmasters of the Trinity House of Leith

Long previous to 1797, the association, though
calling itself ” The Corporation of Shipmasters of
the Trinity House of Leith,” was a corporation
only by the courtesy of popular language, and possessed
merely the powers of a charitable body ; but
in that year it was erected by charter into a
corporate body, whose office-bearers were to be a
master, assistant and deputy-master, a manager,
treasurer, and clerk, and was vested with powers—
reserving, however, those of the Corporation of the
city of Edinburgh—to examine, and under its
seal to license, persons to
be pilots, and to exact
i’ijiillliiif^EAii” admission fees from licentiates.
The Corporation
obtained, according to Arnot,
from Mary of Lorraine
a gift, afterwards ratified
by William and Mary, of
one penny duty on the ton
of goods in the harbour
of Leith for the support of
their poor. For the further
support of the latter
the shipmasters paid annually
a sixpence out of
their own wages, and the
same sum they gave upon
the wages of their seamen.
In this house some of the
poor were wont to be maintained,
but they were then (1779) all out-pensioners.
In the inventory of deeds belonging to this
institution is enumerated :—” Ane charter granted
by Mathew Forrester, in favour of the foresaide
mariners of Leith, of the said land of ye hospital
bankes, and for undercallit ye grounds lying in Leith.
. . also saide yeird. . . dated 26 July, 1567,
sealit and subscribit be the saide Mat. Forrester,
Prebender of St. Antoine, near Leith.” (” Monasticon
Scots.”)

source-Old and New Edinburgh

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