The History of Leith

December 7, 2012

An ill friend to Leith,

The first Logan of Restalrig was to prove an ill
friend to Leith, perhaps because he lacked that generous
nature which had made his ancestor the chosen friend
of the noble Douglas and his gallant company. For it
was owing to this new overlord, the first of the Logans
of Restalrig, considering only his own advantage in his
dealings with the merchant burgesses of Edinburgh, and
giving 510 thought to those of his vassals in Leith, that
the city got her first hold on the lands, as distinct from
the harbour, of Leith.
The harbour of Leith had belonged to the burgesses
of Edinburgh from a very early date ; but during the
War of Independence, as we have already seen, it had
been taken possession of by the English, and became
their chief port on the east coast for furnishing their
garrisons with supplies and munitions of war. After
his victory at Bannockburn, Bruce restored the harbour
to the burgh of Edinburgh. As their charter granting
them the right of possession had been lost or destroyed
in the turmoil and devastation of the long war, Bruce
confirmed and renewed it in 1329, just before his death.
But while the harbour belonged to Edinburgh, the river
bank, at what is now the Shore, was owned by the
Logans, and Sir Robert Logan’s sale of his feudal rights
to the city was to bring centuries of trouble to the inhabitants
of Leith, as we shall see later. It is for this
reason that we in Leith look back upon this first Logan
of Restalrig as no friend to the town it was his duty
to foster and protect.

source-The Story of Leith

Some Text