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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. VI


Leith] SH EKIFF BRAE. 247 Leith by the rebels of Mary Queen of Scots, the Earl of Lennox opened his council in the chambers of the old tenement referred to, on the Coal Hill, and it is, says Robertson, decorated with a rosethe emblem of his connectian with Henry VIII. of England-and the thistle for Scotland. Then followed that war to which Morton?s ferocity imparted a character so savage that ere long quarter was neither given nor taken. And amidst it, in connection with some private feud, some of the followers of Sir William Kirkaldy, although they had been ordered merely to use their batons, slew Henry Setoun on the Shore of Leith, while his feet were tripped up by an anchor. In escaping to Edinburgh, one of them was taken and lodged in the Tolbooth there ; but Kirkaldy came down from the Castle with a party of his garrison, beat in the doors, and rescued him, after which he seized ?? the victualls brought into Leith from the merchants, and (did} provide all necessarie furniture to endure a long siege, till supplie was sent from forrane nations.? (Calderwood.) On the death of Lennox, John, Earl of Mar, was made Regent, and fixed his head-quarters in the same old tenement at the Coal Hill, Morton being again chief lieutenant. From the presence of these peers here, it is probable that the adjacent gloomy, and now filthy, court, so grotesquely called Parliament Square, obtained its name, which seems to have been formerly the Peat Neuk. The old Council House has been doomed to perish by the new improvement scheme. In December, 1797, it was ordered by the Lord Provost, Magistrates, and Council of Edinburgh, through the deputy shore-master at Leith, that every vessel coming into the port with coals for public sale, was to have a berth immediately on her arrival off the Coal Hill, and that all other vessels were to unmoor for that purpose, while no shore duties were to be charged for coal vessels. (HeyaZd and ChyonicZe, No. 1,215.) The adjacent Peat Neuk, for years during the last century and the beginning of the present, afforded a shelter to those reckless and abandoned characters who abound in every seaport ; while in that portion of the town between the Coal Hill and the foot of the Tolbooth Wynd were a number of ancient and ruinous houses, the abode of wandering outcasts, from whom no rent was ever derived or expected. It was further alleged, in the early part of the nineteenth century, to be the favourite haunt of disembodied spirits, whose crimes or sufferings in life compelled them to wander ; so, every way, the Coal Hill seems to have been an unpleasant, as it is still an unsavoury, locality. From thence, another quarter known as the Sheriff, or Shirra Brae, extends in a south-westerly direction, still abounding in ancient houses. Here, facing the Coal Hill, there stood, till 1840, a very fine old edifice, described as having been the residence of a Logan of Restalrig. The dormer windows, which rose high above the eaves, were elaborately sculptured with many dates and quaint devices. Some of these have been preserved in the north wall of the manse of St. Thomas?s Church. One of them displays a shield charged with a heart, surmounted by a fleur-de-lis, with the initials 1.L and the date 1636 ; another has the initials I.L., M.C., with the date 24 Dec., 1636; a third has the initials M.C., with a shield; while a fourth gablet has the initials D.D., M.C., and the comparatively recent date I 734 The supposed grandsoq of the luckless Logan of the Gowrie conspiracy married Isabel Fowler, daughter of Ludovic Fowler of Burncastle (says Robertson), the famous ? Tibbie Fowler ? of Scottish song, and here she is said to have resided ; but her husband has been otherwise said to have been a collateral of the ancient house of Restalrig, as it is recorded, under date 12th June, 1572- Majestro Joanne Logan de Shireff Braye,? who poitpones the case of Christian Gudsonne, wife of Andrew Burne in Leith, ?dilatit of the mutilation of Willkm Burne, burgess of Edinburgh, of his foremost finger be byting thereof.? In the chartulary, says Robertson, we have also John Logane of the Coatfield (Kirkgate), and George Logane of Bonnington Mills is repeatedly alluded to; ?? and we believe,? he adds, that these branches ?existed as early as the charter of King David.? The old house at Bmnington still shows a curious doorway, surmounted by a carefully sculptured tablet bearing a shield, with a chevron and three fleurs-de-lis; crest, a ship with sails furled. The motto and date are obliterated. . Another writer supposes that if the old house on the Sheriff Brae was really the residence of George Logan, it may have been acquired by marriage, ? seeing that the forfeiture of the family possessions occurred so shortly before ; and this in itself affords some colour to the tradition that he was the successhl wooer of Tibbie Fowler.? In support of this, the historian of Leith says :- ?f We think it not improbable that it was Tibbie?s tocher that enabled Logan, who was ruined by the attainder of 1609, to build the elegant mansion on the Sheriff Brae. The marriage contract between Logan and Isabella Fowler (supposed to be the Tibbie of the song) is now in possession of a gentleman in Leith.?
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248 OLD AND NEW EDINBURGH. [Leith. This marriage is also referred to by Nisbet in his Heraldry,? Vol. I., so George Logan would seem to have been fortunate in out-rivalling the ?? ane-and-forty wooing at her.? The house was demolished, as stated, in 1840. ten patients and inmates, and has a revenue of A300 per annum. ? BLISSIT . BE. GOD . OF . HIS. GIFTES . 1601.I.K.S.H:? appears in a large square panel on an old house near the head of the Sheriff Brae; and nearly the same hvourite motto, with THE ANCIENT COUNCIL CHAMBER, COAL HILL. to make way for St. Thomas?s Church with its almshouses erected by Sir John Gladstone, Bart., of Fasque. It is clustered with a manse, schoolhouse, and the asylum, forming the whole into a handsome range of Gothic edifices, constructed at a cost off;ro,ooo, from a design by John Henderson, of Edinburgh. The asylum is a refuge and hospital for females afflicted with incurable diseases, and accommodates the date 1629, and the initials I.H., K.G., appears on the door lintel of another house, having a,square staircase in a kind of projecting tower, and a great chimney corbelled on its street front; but as to the inmates of either no record remains. The Leith Hospital, Humane Society, and Casualty Hospital are all located together now in Mill Lane, at the head of the Sheriff Brae-spacious edifices, having a frontage to the former of 150 feet;
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