The History of Leith

October 2, 2012

The Dominican or Blackfriars’ Monastery

On the exact site of the Old Surgical Hospital
there stood for nearly four hundred years a great
edifice of which now not a trace remains, the
Dominican or Blackfriars’ Monastery, founded in
I230 by King Alexander II., and in its earliest charters
named Mansio -Regis, as he had bestowed upon
the monks a royal residence as their abode.
The church built by Alexander was a large cruci-
form edifice with a central rood-tower and lofty
spire. It was renowned for being the meeting place of
Bishops, abbots and priors in the realm, summoned in 1512 by the Papal
Legate, Cardinal Bagimont, who presided
In this synod, says Balfour, all ecclesiastical benefices
exceeding forty pounds per annum were taxed in
the payment of ten pounds to the Pope by way of
pension, and to the King of Scotland such a tax as
he felt disposed to levy. This valuation, which
is still known by the name of Bagimont’s Roll,
was made thereafter the standard for taxing the
Scottish ecclesiastics at the Vatican.

source-Old and New Edinburgh

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