The History of Leith

September 29, 2012

Robert Lindsay of Pitscottie

Of the family of the Lindsays of the Byres, a grandson of Patrick Lindsay, 4th Lord Lindsay, Robert was born at Pitscottie, in the parish of Ceres, Fife, which he held in lease at a later period. His Historie, the only work by which he is remembered, is described as a continuation of that of Hector Boece, translated by John Bellenden. Although it sometimes degenerates into a mere chronicle of short entries, it is not without passages of great picturesqueness. Sir Walter Scott made use of it in his narrative poem Marmion; and, in spite of its inaccuracy in details, it is useful for the social history of the period. Lindesay’s share in the Historie was generally supposed to end with 1565; but Dr Aeneas Mackay considers that the frank account of the events connected with Mary, Queen of Scots, between 1565 and 1575 contained in one of the manuscripts is by his hand and was only suppressed because it was too faithful in its record of contemporary affairs. The Historie was first published in 1728. A complete edition of the text, based on the Laing MS. No. 218 in the university of Edinburgh, was published by the Scottish Text Society in 1899 under the editorship of Aeneas Mackay. The manuscript, formerly in the possession of John Scott of Halkshill, is fuller, and, though in a later hand, is, on the whole, a better representative of Lindsay’s text. for more click here

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