The History of Leith

September 21, 2012

A lofty tenement towers upward

In the first or smaller part of Riddell’s Close, which, like all others
on the south side, ran down towards the Cowgate,
a lofty tenement towers upward, with a turret
stair, dated 1726. This was the first residence of
David Hume, and there it was he wrote the first
pages of his History. In 1751 he came hither
from his paternal place Ninewells, near Dunse, and
soon after he wrote to Adam Smith :—” Direct
to me in Riddell’s Land, Lawnmarket. . . .
I have now at last, being turned forty, to my
own honour, to that of learning, and to that of
the present age, arrived at the dignity of being a
households! About seven months ago I got a
house of my own, and completed a regular family,
consisting of a head—myself—and two inferior
members, a maid and a cat. My sister has just
joined me, and keeps me company. With frugality,
I can reach, I find, cleanliness, warmth, light,
plenty, and contentment.”
In the following year he succeeded Ruddiman
as Librarian to the Faculty of Advocates.

source-Old and New Edinburgh

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