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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. VI


writing of the siege, he says, ? upon the twentieth day, the principal block-house of Leith, called St. Anthony?s Kirk, was battered down.? And we have already referred to the Act of Council in 1560, by which it was ordered that this block house and the curtain-wall facing Edinburgh should be levelled to the sound. . Immediately opposite St;. Mary?s Church stands the Trinity House of Leith, erected on the site of the original edifice bearing that name, This Seaman?s Hospital was dedicated to the Holy Trinity, and the insctiption which adorned the ancient building is now built into the south wall of the new one, facing St. Giles?s Street, and . ters :- ?IN THE NAME OF THE LORD, YE MASTERIS AND MARINERIS BYLIS THIS HOVS TO YE POVR. ANNO DOMINI, ~555.? In the east wing of the present edifice there is preserved a stone, on which is carved a cross-staff and other nautical instruments of the sixteenth century, an anchor, and two globes, with the motto :- apply those dues in the maintenance of a hospital for the keeping of ?poor, old, infirm, and weak matiners.? Long previous to 1797, the association, though calling itself ?? The Corporation of .Shipmasters of the Trinity House of Leith,? was?. A corporation only by the courtesy of popular language, and posseised merely the powers of a charitable body ; but in that year it was erected by charter into a corporate body, whose office-bearers were to be a master, assistant and deputy-=aster, a manager, treasurer, and clerk, and was vested with powersreserving, however, those of the Corporation of the city of Edinburgh-to examine, and under its ? Zmtituted 1380. Buiit rj55. RebuiZt 1816.? ?The date of this foundation,? says Daniel Wilson is curious, Its dedication implies that it originated with the adherents of the ancient faith, while the date of the old inscription indicates the very period when the Queen Regent assumed the reins of government. That same year John Knox landed at Leith on his return from exile ; and only three years later, the last convocation of the Roman Catholic clergy that ever assembled in Scotland hnder the sanction of its laws was held in the Blackfriars Church at Edinburgh, and signalised its final session by proscribing Sir David Lindsay?s writings, and enacting that his buik should be abolished and burnt.? ? From time immemorial the shipmasters and mariners of Leith received from all vessels of the port, and all Scottish vessels visiting it, certain duties, called ? prirno gilt,? which were expended in aiding poor seamen ; and about the middle of the sixteenth century they acquired a legal right to tained, but they were then ( I 7 7 9) all out-pensioners. In the inventory of deeds belonging to this institution is enumerated :-? Ane charter granted by Mathew Forrester, in favour of the foresaide mariners of Leith, of thesaid land of ye hospital bankes, and for undercallit ye grounds lying in Leith. . . also saide yeird. . . dated 26 July, 1567, sealit and subscnbit be the saide Mat. Forrester, Prebender of St. Antoine, near Leith.? (?< M o n s ticon Scotz.?) During the Protectorate the ample vaults under the old Trinity House (now or latterly used as wine stores) were filled with the munition of Monk?s troops, for which they paid a rent. ? By his Highness? council1 in Scotland, for the governing theirof: these are to require z,ooo forthwith out of such moneys dew or schal come to the hands of the Customes, out of the third part of the profits arysing from the Excyse in Scotland, to pay \Villiam Robertson (collector for the poore of Trinitie House in Leyth) the sornme of A3 15s.
Volume 6 Page 222
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