History of Leith, Edinburgh

Archive for 2012

Protestant Reformation

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

The Protestant Reformation was the 16th-century schism within Western Christianity initiated by Martin Luther, John Calvin and other early Protestants. It was sparked by the 1517 posting of Luther’s Ninety-Five Theses. The efforts of the self-described “reformers”, who objected to (“protested”) the doctrines, rituals, and ecclesiastical structure of the Roman Catholic Church, led to the creation of new national Protestant churches. The Reformation was precipitated by earlier events within Europe, such as the Black Death and the Western Schism, which eroded people’s faith in the Catholic Church and the Papacy that governed it. This, as well as many other factors, such as the mid 15th-century invention of the printing press, and the fall of the Eastern Roman Empire, contributed to the creation of Protestantism. for more click here

At the Reformation

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

At the Reformation the Rev. David Lindsay, the
friend of Knox, and one of the most noted of the
Reformers, became the first Protestant minister of
St Mary’s. He was designated parson of Restalrig and
minister of South Leith. The chapels and altars of the
old craft guilds went from the church with the old Catholic
faith. Under the name of trade incorporations, however,
these guilds were still closely associated with the
work of the church. It was they who paid the stipend
of the second minister in the days when the church had
two They were largely responsible for its upkeep and
maintenance, for to them and the other parishioners the
church had been bequeathed by the Golden Charter of
James VI. in 1614, together with the churchyard, the
lands of the Hospital of St. Anthony, the Chapel of St.
James at Newhaven, and such other properties as the
Lamp Acre at Seafield and the Holy Blood Acre at
Annfield. But the lands of Parsons green, which once
formed the greater part of the glebe of the parson of
Restalrig, as the name would lead us to suppose, now became
the patrimony of the Logans of Parson’s Knowes,
as these lands were called in the old pre-Reformation
times

source-The Story of Leith

Pious donors

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

Now, after reading about those various chantry
chapels and their pious donors, we need not lament
that the founders of this once great and still beautiful
Lady Kirk of Leith are unknown to us. They are well
known to all of us, not as individuals, save a few exceptions,
but in the inass, for they were the people of Leith
themselves, chiefly through their trade guilds, which, like
that of the cordwainers or shoemakers, had each its
altar and chapel in the church. As we have learned
before, the promoting and maintaining of religious
services at the altars of their patron saints would seem
to have been one of the chief purposes of these old guilds.
Sir John Logan, in accordance with the family tradition
of loyalty and devotion to the Church, must have
given the site and the churchyard, and his uncle of the
Sheriff Brae and his cousins of Coatfield would lend a
helping hand. The parson of the Church of Restalrig,
without whose sanction no daughter church could have
been founded in the parish, gave his blessing and his
prayers. Indeed all, rich and poor alike, shared enthusiastically
in the work, for it was to bring the benefits
of religion to their very doors. The sound of its bell, as
it rang out for the various daily services, would be for
them, as some one has said, a sweet and holy melody,
for it would enable those within reach of its sound to
join in spirit in the act of worship being offered in God’s
house.

source-The Story of Leith

The earliest notice

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

The earliest notice we have of St. Mary’s Church is
in 1490, when Peter Falconer gifted the annual rent of
a house in ” the Lees,” the district in and around Yardheads
School and Henderson Gardens, for the maintenance
of the chaplain of St. Peter’s Altar in the new
Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Leith. A few
years later, in 1499, Gilbert Edmonston similarly endowed
the Altar of St. Barbara.

source-The Story of Leith

Ruined

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

In the simple ritual of our Presbyterian form of
worship the choir was not needed, and was generally
allowed to fall into ruin. The choir and transepts of
South Leith Church, therefore, after being ruined by
the cannon of the English during the siege of 1560,
when a cannon-ball passed right through the building
from east to west during the celebration of Mass, were
never rebuilt. Still, what remains forms a beautiful
and stately church.

The ruins, as at Restalrig, became a convenient and
ready quarry from which to obtain building material.
Carved and moulded stones, and even portions of sculptured
memorial tablets, have been found in demolishing
the walls of old houses in and about the neighbourhood
of the Kirkgate, for our pre-Reformation forefathers,
like the later church restorers, were in no way distinguished
for their veneration for things sacred.

source-The Story of Leith

The Road to the Altar-stane.

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

The high altar (of the old South Leith) in honour of the Virgin Mary stood
at the east end of the choir, with a beautiful statue of
Our Lady standing above it. In front hung an oil lamp,
always alight night and day, in honour of the sacramental
bread or host, which, enclosed in its jewelled pyx,
was suspended just over the altar. The upkeep of this
lamp was in all likelihood provided for by the rent of
the Lamp Acre at Seafield. This piece of ground lay
adjacent to lands belonging to the Lamb family, who
bad been dwellers in Leith from the days of Bruce, and
may have been gifted by one of them for the welfare of
the souls of his parents and of his own.
The church door giving access to the high altar was
never closed, so that the faithful might come to worship
there at any hour of day or night. Opposite this Gothic
doorway, in the churchyard wall, was a wicket, perhaps
originally simply a stile, as it was named The Mid-style,
leading out to Coatfield and Charlotte Lanes which,
before Lord Balmerino extended his garden to the
Links, formed one continuous street with Quality Street,
and was known as the Road to the Altar-stane.

source-The Story of Leith

Dunstanburgh Castle

Sunday, December 16th, 2012

Dunstanburgh Castle lies on a spectacular headland on the coast of Northumberland in northern England, between the villages of Craster and Embleton. for more click here

Andrew Barton (privateer)

Sunday, December 16th, 2012

Sir Andrew Barton (c. 1466 – 2 August 1511), Scottish sailor from Leith, served as High Admiral of the Kingdom of Scotland. for more click here

Embleton Bay

Sunday, December 16th, 2012

Embleton Bay is a bay on the North Sea, located to the east of the village of Embleton, Northumberland, England. It lies just to the south of Newton-by-the-Sea and north of Craster. Popular for paddling,[1] it is overlooked by the ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle and by Dunstanburgh Castle Golf Club. for more click here

Northumberland

Sunday, December 16th, 2012

Northumberland (play /n?r???mb?rl?nd/; abbreviated Northumb. or Northd, the latter being preferred by the Royal Mail) is the northernmost ceremonial county and a unitary district in North East England. It borders Cumbria to the west, County Durham to the south and Tyne and Wear to the south east and the Scottish Borders council area to the north. Its North Sea coastline is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty with a 64-mile (103 km) long distance path.Since 1981, the county council has been located in Morpeth, situated in the east of the county. for more click here

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