The History of Leith

December 29, 2012

Kinnaird’s shop (Now removed)

There is one other incident associating the name of
the much-hated regent Morton with Leith. His policy
as regent was much opposed by many of the leading
nobles, but in 1578 a reconciliation was effected, when
Morton and his chief opponents, including the Earls of
Argyll, Montrose, Arran, and Boyd, celebrated the event
by dining jovially at a hostelry in Leith kept by one
William Cant. There had been Cants in Leith, mostly
sailormen, for many generations. Cant’s Ordinary or
Hostelry is supposed to have been the quaint old building
raised on pillared arches which for centuries stood in
the Kirkgate at the head of Combe’s Close. The site
of this ancient place of entertainment is now fittingly
occupied by Kinnaird’s Restaurant. The ceiling of
Mr. Kinnaird’s shop is a facsimile of the decorated plaster
ceiling of the so-called Queen Mary room of its ancient
predecessor, whose outline in carved stonework may
be seen on an ornamental panel in front of the new

source-The Story of Leith

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