The History of Leith

November 28, 2012

During Edward I’s progress

During Edward I’s progress through Scotland the landowners
of the country great and small, churchmen, nobles, and
the chie£ burgesses, were summoned to do homage and
swear fealty to the conqueror. The names of all who
performed these acts of homage have been carefully preserved
on four rolls of parchment known as the Ragman
Roll. These rolls form a valuable record of the lands,
though not always of their owners, in our own immediate
district at this date, and to them we are indebted for
any little light that gives us a peep at the condition of
things in and around Leith during those dark and troubled
days. It is there that we find for the first time the name
of an Edinburgh magistrate, namely, William de Dederyk,
Alderman, as the provost was called in those early days.
There, too, we find the name of Adam, parson of
Restalrig, the parish church of Leith at this time. King
Edward had seized the lands of Holyrood, so that the
greater half of Leith passed into the hands of the English;
but Abbot Adam and all the canons swore a solemn
oath of fealty to the English king in the Abbey chapterhouse,
a few remains of whose foundations may still be
seen on the lawn at Holyrood. In those days men did
not observe very faithfully feudal pledges not over willingly
given, so, to add to the solemnity of their oath,
the abbot and canons were compelled to swear over the
sacrament bread—the Corpus Ohristi or body of Christ
—brought from the high altar dedicated to the Holy,
Rood.

source-The Story of Leith

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