The History of Leith

July 3, 2012

Satisfaction on the Links

On the 23rd of December, 1729, the Hon. Alexander
Elphinstone (before mentioned), who was
leading a life of idleness and pleasure in Leith,
while his brother was in exile, met a Lieutenant
Swift, of Lord Cadogan’s regiment (latterly the 4th
or King’s Own), at the house of Mr. Michael
Watson, in Leith.
Some hot words had arisen between them, and
Elphinstone rose haughtily to depart; but before he
went he touched Swift on the shoulder with the
point of his sword, and intimated that he expected
to receive satisfaction next morning on the Links.
Accordingly the two met at eleven in the forenoon,
and in this comparatively public place (as it
appears now) fought a duel with their swords.
Swift received a mortal wound in the breast, and
expired.
For this, Alexander Elphinstone was indicted
before the High Court of Justiciary, but the case
never came on for trial? and he died without
molestation at his father’s house in Coatfield Lane,
three years after.

source-Old and New Edinburgh

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