The History of Leith

October 16, 2012

The nuns of St. Mary’s Wynd

John de Eordoun, called the father of Scottish
history, was a priest in the diocese of St. Andrews,
and if the street was known as St. Mary’s Wynd in
his days, the convent must have existed in the
fourteenth century. The revenues of the hospital
were very small; thus the Town Council passed an
Act in 1499, during the provostry of Walter Bertraham,
ordaining the most respectable citizens to
beg daily through the streets from all well-disposed
persons; the money so obtained to be applied for
the maintenance of the beads-people of that hospital;
.and every person who refused to collect thus, was
fined forty pence Scots, for the use of the poor.
At this period the chaplain’s salary was only six
shillings and eightpence per annum. Spottiswood
tells us that in the chartularies of St. Giles,
” the nuns of St. Mary’s Wynd, in the city of
Edinburgh, are recorded,” and in the statutes of
the burgh, enacted during a terrible plague in
1530, a reference to the chapel is made in the case
of Marion Clerk, who was convicted by an assize
of concealing her infection, and attending, with
:many others, mass in ” the chapell of Sanct Mary
Wynd, on Sonday,” and thereby risking the safety
of all. For this crime the poor woman was ordained
to suffer death by drowning at the Quarry
Holes, near the east end of the Calton Hill.

source-Old and New Edinburgh

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