The History of Leith

October 18, 2012

Tolbooth

In those distant days, when merchants transported
goods from one part of the country to another, a tax
called toll had usually to be paid to the overlords of the
baronies through which the goods passed; and, in the
purchase or sale of merchandise in any town or market,
another tax or toll called customs had to be paid at the
tolbooth of the town. A tolbooth, although it became
much more in later centuries, was at first simply the
building where these taxes or customs were paid, and for
that reason Wycliff’s Bible tells us that Jesus called
Matthew ” sitting at a tolbooth,” and most Scots towns
have a Tolbooth Wynd, where the tolbooth once stood,
as in Leith, or where it still stands, as in the Canongate,
Edinburgh.

source-The story of Leith

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