The History of Leith

September 30, 2012

All kind of riot and filthy lechery

An act of the Privy Council in 1616 describes
Edinburgh as infested by strong and idle vagabonds,
having their resorts “in some parts of the Cowgate,
Canongate, Potterrow, West Port, &c., where
they ordinarily convene every night, and pass their
time in all kind of riot and filthy lechery, to the
offence and displeasure of God,” lying all day on
the causeway, extorting alms with ” shameful exclamations,”
to such an extent that passengers could
neither walk nor confer in the streets without being
impeded and pestered by them ; hence the magistrates
gave orders to expel them wholesale from the
city and keep it clear of them.

source-Old and New Edinburgh

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