The History of Leith

August 29, 2012

The see of Lindisfarn

Among the places enumerated by Simon Dunelmensis,
of Durham, as belonging to the see
of Lindisfarn in 854, when Earnulph, who removed
it to Chester-le-Street, was bishop, he includes
that of Edinburgh. From this it must
be distinctly inferred that a church of some
kind existed on the long slope that led to Dun
Edin, but no authentic record of it occurs till the
reign of King Alexander II., when Baldred deacon(
of Lothian, and John perpetual vicar of the
church of St. Giles at Edinburgh, attached their
seals to copies of certain Papal bulls and charters
of the church of Megginche, a dependency of the
church of Holyrood; and (according to the Liber
Cartarum Sanctae Cruets) on the Sunday before the
feast of St. Thomas, in the year 1293, Donoca,
daughter of John, son of Herveus, resigned certain
lands to the monastery of Holyrood, in full consistory,
held in the church of St. Giles. In an Act
passed in 1319, in the reign of Robert I., the church
is again mentioned, when William the bishop of St.
Andrews confirmed numerous gifts bestowed upon
the abbey and its dependencies. In 1359 King
David II., by a charter under his great seal, confirmed
to the chaplain officiating at the altar of St.
Catherine in the church of St. Giles all the lands
of Upper Merchiston, the gift of Roger Hog,
burgess of. Edinburgh. It is more than probable
that the first church on the site was of wood. St.
Paul’s Cathedral, at London, was burned down in
961, and built up again within the year. Of what
must the materials have been ? asks Maitland.
Burned again in 1187, it was rebuilt on arches of
stone—” a wonderful work,” say the authors of the

source-Old and New Edinburgh

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