The History of Leith

February 20, 2013

Place of ignominy

3 Agust 1647.—-The neighbours ye maltmen
in Leith gave in yr supplicaone entreating
yr w. not to place ye repenting seat before yr
loft seeing it would distract ym in hearing of
ye Word of God.
(Note.—The Minutes show that the repentance
seat was worn out, and there was a proposal to erect
a new one before the maltmaus loft, i.e., the present
organ gallery. The old “stool” had been placed
beside this loft and opposite to the pulpit which stood
on the south, near to its present site. Those unfortunates
who offended the Kirk Session were compelled
to do penance by standing at the church door
as the congregation assembled, and when the minister
.entered the church they were led by the beadle to
the steps of the “stool” which they ascended, and
there they stood during the three or four hours of the
services. It must have caused considerable distraction
for the congregation to watch the appearance and
behaviour of their neighbours in disgrace, and no doubt
smiles and whispers passed from one to another as wellknown
faces appeared in the place of ignominy.)

source-The South Records

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