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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. VI


? klth] KING JAMES V1.5 HOSPITAL 217 Barker, whose office ceased to exist after the Burgh Reform Bill of 1833. The seal of the preceptory is preserved in the Antiquarian Museum. It bears the figure of St. Anthonyina hermit?s garb, with a book in one hand, a staff in the other, and by his side is a sow with a bell at its neck. Over his head is a capital T, which the brethren had sewn in blue cloth on their black tunics. Around is the legend, S. Cornmum PreceptoriC Sancfi Anthunii, Propc L&cht. there when the ground was opened to lay down gas-pipes; and in the title deeds of a property here, ? the churchyard of St. Anthony ? is mentioned as one of the boundaries. The grotesque association of St. Anthony with a sow is because the latter was supposed to represent gluttony, which the saint is said to have overcome ; and the further to conquer Satan, a consecrated bell is suspended from his alleged ally the pig. On the east side of the Kirkgate stood King ST. MARY?S (SOUTH LEITH) CHURCH, 1820. (After .Ytme+.) Sir David Lindesay of the Mount refers in his vigorous way to ?The gruntil of St. Anthony?s sow, There was an aisle, with an altar therein, dedicated to him in the parish church of St. Giles; and among the jewels of James 111. is enumerated ?Sanct Antonis cors,? with a diamond, a ruby, and a great pearl, Save the fragments of some old vaults, not a vestige of the preceptory now remains, though its name is still preserved in St. Anthony?s Street, which opens westward off the Kirkgate, and is sup posed to pass through what was its cemetery, as large quantities of human bones were exhumed Quhilk bore his holy bell.? 124 James?s Hospital, built in 1614 by the sixth monarch of that name, and the site of which now forms part of the present burying-ground. At the southeast angle of the old churchyard, says Wilson, there is an ?? elegant Gothic pediment surmounting the boundary wall and adorned with the Scottish regalia, sculptured in high relief with the initials J. R. 6., while a large panel below bears the royal arms and initials of Charles 11. very boldly executed. These insignia of royalty are intended to mark the spot on which KiEg James?s Hospital stood-a benevolent foundation which owed no more to the royal patron whose name it bore than the confirmation by his charter in 1614 of a portion of those revenues which had been long before
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218 OLD AND NEW EDINBURGH. [Leith. bestowed by the piety of private donors on the hospital of St. Anthony, and the imposition of a duty on all wine brought into the port for the augmentation of its reduced funds.? Here certain poor women were maintained, being presented thereta by the United Corporation 01 Leith. 1 About the middle of the seventeenth century the edifice had become dilapidated or unequal to the requirements of the poor; thus another was erected on or near the same site. .If was a building of very unpretending aspect, and, according to Gncaid, measured only fifty-six feet by thirty, The privilege of admission was confined to the Maltmen, Trades, and Traflickers or Merchant Company of Leith. Small pensions were given from the hospital funds occasionally to persons who were not resident therein. ?The revenues are now merged in the general income of the parish of South Leith. On the same side of the street stands the ancient church of South Leith, dedicated to St. Mary. The ancient seat and name of this parish was Restalrig. In 1 z 14 Thomas of that place made a grant of some tenements, which he describes as situated ? southward of the High Street,? supposed to be in the line of the present Leith Walk, ?between Edinburgh and Leith,? if this is not a reference to the Kirkgate itself; and perhaps he-had a church on the manor from which he took his name. A chapel dedicated to the Virgin Mary, patroness of the town and port, and situated in South Leith, preceded by more than a century the origin of the present edifice, and was enriched by many donations and annuities for the support within it of altars and chaplainries dedicated to St Peter, St. Barbara, St. Bartholomew, and others, The destruction of ecclesiastical records at the Reformation involves the date of the foundation of the present church in utter obscurity. It can only be surmised that it was erected towards the close of the fourteenth century ; but notwithstanding its large size-what remains now being merely a small portion of the original edifice-the name of its founder is utterly unknown. The earliest notice of it occurs in 1490, when a contribution of an annual rent is made by Peter Falconer in Leith to the chaplain of St. Peter?s altar, (?situat in the Virgin Mary Kirk in Leith.? The latest of similar grants was made on the 8th July, 1499. The choir and transepts are said to have been destroyed by the English, according to Maitland and Chalmers, in 1544. ? No other evidence exists however, in support of this,? according to Wilson, <? than the general inference deducible from the burning of Leith, immediately before their embarkation- a procedure which, unless accompanied by more violent modes of .destruction, must have left the Gmainder of the church in the same condition as. the nave, which still exists.? He therefore concludes that the choir and transepts had been destroyed by the Scottish and English cannon during the great siege, in which the tower of St. Anthony perished Robertson, an acute local antiquarg, held the same theory. That the church was partially destroyed after the battle of Pinkie is obvious from the following letter, written by Sir Thomas Fisher to the Lord Protector of England :-?? I Ith October, 1548. Having had libertie to walke abroad in the town of Edinburghe with his taker, and sometymes betwix that and Leghe, he telleth me that Leghe is entrenched about, and that besydes a bulwarke made by the haven syde near the sea, on the ground where the chapel stood (St. Nicholas), which I suppose your Grace remembereth, there is another greater bulwarke made on the mane ground at the great church standing at the upper end of the town towards Edinburghe.? (Mait. Club.) In a history published in the Won?rour MisceZZany we are told that in 1560 the English ?lykewise shott downe some pairt of the east end of the Kirk of Leith,? thus destroying the choir and transepts. On Easter Sunday, when the people were at mass, a great ball passed through the eastern window, just before the elevation of the host. That Hertford?s two invasions were unnecessarily savage-truly Turkish in their atrocities, as dictated, in the first instance, by order of Henry VIII. -k perfectly well known ; but it is less so that he materially aided the work of the Reformers. In 1674 a stone tower, surmounted in the Scoto- Dutch taste by a conical spire of wood and metal, was erected at the west end; and in 1681 a clock was added thereto. The English advanced, and took possession of Leith immediately after the battIe of Pinkie, and remained there for some days, after failing in their unsuccessful attempt on Edinburgh. During that time the Earl of Huntly and many other Scottish prisoners of every rank and degree were confined in St Mary?s Church, while treating for their ransom, ?The cruelty,? says Tytler, ?? of the slaughter at Pinkie, and the subsequent severities at Leith, excited universal indignation ; and the idea that a Free country was to be compelled into a pacific matrimonial alliance, amid the groans of its dying citizens and the flames of its seaports, was revolting snd absurd.? ? ,
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