History of Leith, Edinburgh

Archive for 2013

Gilbert Mathieson-1729

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

Gilbert Mathieson was a well-known person in his day. His father was Alex. Mathieson who built the meeting house in Cables Wynd, the old name of which was Mathieson’s Wynd ; the son was in 1715 made a third Bailie of Leith, a very unusual honour, as may be gathered from the terms of the appointment which are quoted in the ” Bailies of Leith.” The reference to the Abbey recalls an old chapter in Edinburgh history. An Act passed in 1696 declared that if an insolvent debtor should retire to the Abbey he should be holden and repute to be notour bankrupt, and this result had followed in the case of Gilbert Mathieson

source-South Leith Records

Leith and the Royal Infirmary

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

1st January 1730.—This day there was presented an Act of the General Assembly dated 15th May 1728 recommending a voluntary contribution for erecting an Infirmary or Hospital for Poor Sick people with an Act of the Magistrates and Town Council of Edinburgh appointing the said contribution to be made at the Church doors of the City and suburbs upon the second Sabbath of January instant. The Session delays the same till the Sacrament be over.
(Note.—This Minute recals the origin of the Infirmary in Edinburgh, the foundations of which were laid in 1738. The old Infirmary buildings may still be seen in Infirmary Street, which no doubt has its name from them. They have been devoted to other uses since the Infirmary was rebuilt at Laurigton. Amongst the steps taken to raise funds a petition was presented to the General Assembly for a voluntary subscription to be taken throughout the several parishes within their jurisdiction. South Leith Kirk Session apparently did not take the subject up until after two years, but South Leith was not the only dilatory parish.)

Source-South Leith Records

Broadside ballad entitled ‘William Burke.–A New Song’

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

This crime ballad begins: ‘Come all you resurrection men, I pray you now beware, / You see what has happened William Burke, and likewise William Hare. / Hare he help a lodging house it was in the West Port, / Where all kinds of travellers unto it did resort.’ Although there are no publication details included on this sheet, the subject matter suggests that it was almost certainly published in Edinburgh, in, or around, 1829. The ballad was written by John Logan, whose name is included after the last line. Below the ballad is a clipping regarding what course of action was taken against Dr Knox, the official who purchased the bodies from Burke and Hare. for more click here

Broadside entitled ‘The — —‘s DREAM; OR THE Devil opposing the Resurrection Men’

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

The first verse reads: ‘AT rest on a sofa the — — was laid, / Not asleep — yet a drowziness over him hung ; / Some say that he thought on his bills yet unpaid, / But the notion at this time was certainly wrong.’ Unfortunately, no publication details have been included. for more click here

Broadside entitled ‘Rumour of Burking in Leith’

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

This broadside report begins: ‘A Full, True, and Interesting Account of the Serious Rumours at present afloat of Two Fish-Women being missed in Leith within a few days past, and of their bodies having been found hidden in a barrel, — as also of the apprehension of the suspected individual.’ The sheet was published by George Craig of Edinburgh, and cost one penny. for more click here

Broadside entitled ‘Resurrection’

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

This broadside report begins: ‘Full, True and Particular Account of the seizure of the Body of an Old Woman, on Saturday Night, the 8th instant, at the head of Infirmary Street, on its way to Surgeon’s Square; with an acconnt of that Horrid and Awful event which took place at Falkirk where a Woman was carried off by three men and supposed to be Burked.’ Although no date of publication is included, the subject matter suggests it was probabably printed in the 1830s. The sheet was published by John Campbell of Edinburgh. for more click here

Broadside entitled ‘Extraordinary Case!’

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

This report begins: ‘A full and Wonderful Narrative of the Extraordinary Sufferings of Mrs JANE TOMKINSON, who fell into a Trance, and was buried alive, a short time ago, in this vicinity–her observations and feelings–her extraordinary escape from the Grave–her wonderful recovery in the Dissecting-Room, in consequence of a galvanic experiment, and happy return to her family and friends.—All as related by Herself.’ Published in Edinburgh by James Mathewson, this report sold for a penny. for more click here

Broadside concerning body-snatching in Edinburgh in 1711

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

This account begins: ‘An Account of the most Horrid and Unchristian Actions of the Grave Makers in Edinburgh, their Raising and Selling of the Dead, abhorred by Turks and Heathens, found out in this present Year 1711, in the month of May.for more click here

Broadside ballad concerning the terrible fate that awaits English pirates such as Captain Thomas Green

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

This report and ballad begins: ‘A Seasonable Advice, / TO ALL / who encline to go in Pirrating ; / DRAWN FROM / What has happ’ned to Captain Green, / as it were from his ovvn mouth, / One of that rank. / To the tune of, to the weaver if ye go, &c.’ The name of the publisher is not included. for more click here

Broadside regarding the piratical seizure of a French vessel

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

This crime report begins: ‘We have the following Account of a horrid Murder committed by Pirates on the Coast of Ireland, and how they threw the Crew over board.’ Four pirates, three named John Eustace or Philip Roch, Richard Neale and Francis Wise, seized a French vessel, mastered by Peter Tartoue, on the voyage from Cork, Ireland to Nantes, France. for more click here

Some Text