The History of Leith

August 7, 2012


WE ‘now come to the scene of one of the most
astounding events in European history—the spot
where Henry, King of Scotland, was murdered in
the lonely house attached to the Kirk-of-Field, one of
the many fanes dedicated to St. Mary in Edinburgh,
where their number was great of old.
When, or by whom, the church of St. Mary-in the-
Fields was founded is alike unknown. In the
taxation of the ecclesiastical benefices in the archdeaconry
of Lothian, found in the treasury of
of it was covered with oaks to the base of the hills
of Braid and Blackford. It took its name from
being completely in the fields, beyond the wall of
1450. In the view of the city engraved in 1544, it is
shown to have been a large cruciform church, with
a tall tower in the centre ; and this representation
of it is to a great extent repeated in a view found in
the State Paper Office (drawn after the murder of
Darnley), of which a few copies have been circulated,
and which shows its pointed windows and

source-Old and New Edinburgh
Durham, and written in the time of Edward I. of
England, there appears among the churches belonging
to the abbey of Holyrood, Ecclesia Sanctcz
Maria in Campis.
This was beyond doubt what was at a later
period the collegiate church of St. Mary-in-the-
Fields, and the few notices concerning which are
very meagre ; but thus it must have existed in the
thirteenth century, when all the district to the south

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