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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. V


Volume 5 Page 93
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94 . OLD AND NEW EDINBURGH. [Inverleith. the long hill on the south side of the West Port, from Cowfeeder Row to the Bristo Port, the eastei and wester crofts of Bristo, nearly down to the lsnds of the abbey of Holyrood. Of the old fortalice of this extinct race, and ol their predecessors-which stood on the highesi ground of Invorleith, a little way west of where we find the modern house now embosomed among luxuriant timber-not a vestige remains. Even its ancient dovecot-in defiance of the old Scottish superstition respecting the destruction of a dovecot -has been removed. ?The beautiful and sequestered footpath bordered (once ?) by hawthorn hedges, known by the name of Gabriel?s Road,? says a local writer, ?is said to have been constructed for the convenience of the ancient lairds of Inverleith to enable them to attend worship in St. Giles?s.? No relics remain of the ancient dwelling, unless we except the archery butts, 600 feet apart, standing nearly due south of Inverleith Mains, the old home farm of the mansion, and the two very quaint and ancient lions surmounting the pillars of the gate at the north end of St. Bernard?s Row, and which local tradition avers came from the Castle of Edinburgh. Of the different families who have possessed this estate, and inhabited first the baronial tower, and latterly the manor-house there, but a few disjointed notices can alone be gleaned. ?The lands upon which I live at Inverleith,? says the late eminent antiquary, Cosmo Innes, in his ?Scottish Legal Antiquities,? ? which I can trace back by charters into the possession of the baker of William the Lion, paid, in the time of King Robert I., a hundred shillings of stediizgs. (The coinage of the Easterlings.) Some fields beside me are still called the Baxteis (i.e., Baker?s) Lands.? And this is after a lapse of seven hundred years. Among the charters of Robert I. is one to William Fairly of the lands of Inverleith, in the county of Edinburgh. Among those of David 11. is another charter of the same lands to William Ramsay ; and another, by Robert II., of the same to David Ramsay. The date of the latter charter is given in the ?Douglas Peerage? as the 2nd of July, 1381, and the recipient as the second son of the gallant and patriotic Sir William Ramsay of Dalhousie, who drew the English into an ambuscade at the battle of Nisbetmuir in 1355, and caused their total rout. In time to come Inverleith passed to the Touris. In 1425 John of Touris (or Towers) appears a? a bailie of Edinburgh, with Adam de Bonkill and John Fawside. In 1487 William Touris of Innerleith (doubtless his son) granted an annuity of fourteen merks for the support of a chaplain to officiate at St. Anne?s altar, in St. Cuthbert?s Church. George Touris was a bailie of the city in 1488-92, and in the fatal year of Flodden, 1513, 19th August, he is designated ?President? of the city, the provost of which- Sir Alexander Lauder-was killed in the battle ; and Francis Touris (either a son or brother) was a bailie in the following year. ? In the ?? Burgh Records,? under date 1521, when the Lairds of Restalrig and Craigmillar offered at a Town Council meeting to be in readiness tw resist the king?s rebels, in obedience to his royal letters, for the safety of his person, castle, and town; hereupon, ? Schir Alexander Touris of- Innerleith protestit sik lik.? In 1605, Sir George Touris of Garmilton, knight, succeeded his father John of Inverleith in the dominical lands thereof, the mill and craig ofi that name, the muir and fortalice of Wardie, and Bell?s land, alias the ? Lady?s land of Inverleith.? Sir John Touris of Inverleith mamed Lady Jean Wemyss, a daughter of the first Lord Wemyss of Elcho, afterwards Earl, who died in 1649. In 1648 this Sir John had succeeded his father, Sir Alexander Touris, knight in the lands of Inverleith, Wardie, Tolcroce, Highriggs, &c. The epoch of the Commonwealth, in 1652, saw John Rocheid, heir to his father James, a merchant and burgess of Edinburgh, in ?? the Craig of Inverleith,? (? Retours.?) This would imply Craigleith, as from the ?Retours ? in 1665, Inverleith, in the parish of St. Cuthbert?s, went from James Halyburton, proprietor thereof, to Alexander, his father. And in ?? Dirleton?s Decisions,? under date 1678, Halyburton, ? late of Inverleith,? is referred to as a prisoner for debt at Edinburgh. So from them the estate had passed to the Rocheids. Sir James Rocheid of Inverleith, petitioned the Privy Council in 1682, for permission to ?? enclose and impark some ground,? under an Act of 1661 ; and in 16yz he entailed the estate. In 1704 he was made a baronet. In the ?Scottish Nation,? we are told that Rocheid of Inverleith, a name originating in a personal peculiarity, had as a crest a man?s head rough and hairy, the same borne by the Rocheids of Craigleith. The title became extinct in the person of Sir Jarnes, the second baronet, whose. daughter and co-heiress, Mary, married Sir Francis Kinloch, Bart., and her third son, on succeeding.
Volume 5 Page 94
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