The History of Leith

September 4, 2012

Relic of St. Giles

An Act of Council dated 1450 commemorates the gratitude of the
citizens to one who had brought from France a
.relic of St. Giles, and. modernised, it runs thus :—
“” Be it kenned to all men by these present letters,
we, the provost, bailies, counselle and communitie
of the burgh of Edynburgh, to be bound
and obliged to William Prestoune of Gourton, son
.and heir to somewhile William Prestoune of Gourton,
and to the friends and sirname
of them, that for so much
that William Prestoune the
father, whom God assoile, made
diligent labour, by a high and
mighty prince, the King of
France (Charles . VII.), and
many other lords of France, for
getting the arm-bone of St. Gile,
the which bone he freely left to
our mother kirk of St. Gile of
Edinburgh, without making any
condition. We, considering the
.great labour and costs that he
made for getting thereof, promise
that within six or seven years,
in all the possible and goodly
haste we may, that we shall
build an aisle forth from our
Ladye aisle, where the said William
lies, the said aisle to be
begun within a year, in which
aisle there shall be brass for his
lair in bost (i.e., for his grave in
embossed) work, and above the
brass a writ, specifying the
bringing of that Rylik by him
into Scotland, with his arms, and
his arms to be put in hewn
work, in three other parts of the aisle, with book
and chalice and all other furniture belonging
thereto. Also, that we shall assign the chaplain
of whilome Sir William of Prestoune, to sing at the
altar from that time forth Item, that
.as often as the said Rylik is borne in the year,
that the sirname and nearest of blood of the said
William shall bear the said Rylik, before all
•others, &c. In witness of which things we have
:set to our commonweal at Edinburgh the nth
•day of the month of January, in the year of our
Lord 1454.”*
The other arm of St. Giles is preserved in the
church of his name in the Scottish quarter of
Bruges, and on the ist of September is yearly
borne through the streets, preceded by all the
drums in the garrison.

source-Old and New Edinburgh

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