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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. I


THE AULD KIRK STYLE. I53 The Luckenbootha.] turesque and heavily-eaved buildings, stood in the thoroughfare of the High Street, parallel to St. Giles's church, from which they were separated by a close and gloomy lane for foot passengers alone, and the appellation was shared by the opposite portion of the main street itself. This singular obstruction, for such it was, existed from among whom we may well include the well-known firm of Messrs. M'Laren and Sons. It was pierced in the middle by a passage called the Auld Kirk Style, which led to the old north door of St. Giles's, and there it was that in 1526 the Lairds of Lochinvar and Drumlanrig slew Sir Thomas MacLellan of Bombie (ancestor of the ' CREECH'S LAND. (Frmn an Ewaving ix Air "Fugitive Pircer.") ' the reign of James 111. till 1817, and the name is supposed to have been conferred on the shops in that situation as being close buuths, to distinguish them from the open ones, which then lined the great street on both sides, Zacken signifying close, thus implying a certain superiority to the ancient traders in these booths ; and it was considered remarkable that amid all the changes of the old town there is still in this locality an unusual proportion of mercers, clothiers? and drapers, of very old standing, a0 Lords Kirkcudbright), with whom they mere at feud-an act for which neither of them was ever questioned or punished. Prior to the year 18 I I there remained unchanged in the Luckenbooths two lofty houses of great strength and antiquity, one of which contained the town residence of Sir John Byres, Bart., of Coates, an estate now covered by the west end of new Edinburgh. He was a gentleman who made a great figure in the city during the reign of
Volume 1 Page 153
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