The History of Leith

October 24, 2012

Creech’s Land

At the east end of the Luckenbooths, and facing
the line of the High Street, commanding not only
a view of that stately and stirring thoroughfare,
but also the picturesque vista of the Canongate
and far beyond it, Aberlady Bay, Gosford House,
and the hills of East Lothian, towered ” Creech’s
Land “—as the tenement was named, according to
the old Scottish custom—long the peculiar haunt
of the literati during the last century. In the first
flat had been the shop of Allan Ramsay, where in
17 2 5 he established the first circulating library ever
known in Scotland; and for the Mercury’s Head,
which had been the sign of his first shop opposite
Niddry’s Wynd, he now substituted the heads of
Drummond of Hawthornden and Ben Jonson.
Of this establishment Wodrow writes :—” Profaneness
is come to a great height! all the villainous,
profane, and obscene books of plays printed at
London by Curie and others, are got down from
London by Allan Ramsay, and let out for an easy
price to young boys, servant women of the better
sort, and gentlemen, and vice and obscenity dreadfully
propagated.”

source-Old and New Edinburgh

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