The History of Leith

August 14, 2012

Tried for heresy and sentenced to be burned at the stake

In 1534, two persons, named David Straiton
and Norman Gourlay, the latter a priest, were
tried for heresy and sentenced to be burned at
the stake. On the 27th of August they were
carried to the Rood of Greenside, and there suffered
that terrible death. After the suppression of the
order, the buildings Mus have been tenantless
until 1591, when they were converted into a
hospital for lepers, founded by John Robertson,
a benevolent merchant of the city, “pursuant to
a vow on his receiving^ a signal mercy from God.”
” At the institution of this hospital,” says Arnot,
” seven lepers, all of them inhabitants of Edinburgh,
were admitted in one day. The severity of the
regulations which the magistrates appointed to be
observed by those admitted, segregating them
from the rest of mankind, and commanding them
to remain within its walls day and night, demonstrate
the loathsome and infectious nature of the
distemper.” A gallows whereon to hang those
who violated the rules was erected at one end of
the h&pital, and even to open its gate between
sunset and sunrise ensured the penalty of death.

source-Old and New Edinburgh

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