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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. VI


THE TOWER 327 Liberton.] between 1124 and 1153, according to the Lih Cartarvm Sanchz Crwis. Macbeth of Liberton also granted to St. Cuth bert?s Church the tithes and oblations of Legbor nard, a church which cannot now be traced. The name is supposed to be a corruption o Lepertoun, as there stood here a hospital fo lepers, of which all vestiges have disappeared ; bu the lands thereof in some old writs (according tc the ?New Statistical Account?) were called ?Spital town.? At Nether Liberton, three-quarters of a mile nortl of the church, was a mill, worked of course by thc Braid Burn, which David I, bestowed upon tht monks of Holyrood, as a tithe thereof, ??wit1 thirty cartloads from the bush of Liberton,? gift! confirmed by William the Lion under the Grea Seal circa I I 7 1-7. The Black Friars at Edinburgh received fivc pounds sterling annually from this mill at Nethei Liberton, by a charter from King Robert I. Prior to the date of King David?s charter, thc church of Liberton belonged to St. Cuthbert?s The patronage of it, with an acre of land adjoining it, was bestowed by Sir John Maxwell of that iik in 1367, on the monastery of Kilwinning,pro sahh aniiiim SUE et Agnetis sponsiz SUE. This gift was confirmed by King David 11. By David 11. the lands of Over Liberton, ?( quhilk Allan Baroune resigned,? were gifted tc John Wigham ; and by the same monarch the land: of Nether Liberton were gifted to William Ramsay, of Dalhousie, knight, and Agnes, his spouse, 24th October, 1369. At a later period he granted a charter ?to David Libbertoun, of the office of sergandrie of the overward of the Constabularie of Edinburgh, with the lands of Over Libbertoun pertaining thereto.? (? Robertson?s Index.?) Adam Forrester (ancestor of the Corstorphine family) was Laird of Nether Liberton in 1387, for estates changed proprietors quickly in those troublesome times, and we have already reterred to him as one of those who, with the Provost Andrew Yichtson, made arrangements for certain extensive additions to the church of St. Giles in that year. William of Liberton was provost of the city in 1429, and ten years subsequently with William Douglas of Hawthornden, Meclielson of Herdmanston (now Harviston), and others, he witnessed the charter of Patrick, abbot of Holyrood, to Sir Yatrick Logan, Lord. of Restalrig, of the office of bailie of St. Leonard?s. (? Burgh Charters,? No. At Liberton there was standing till about 1840 a tall peel-house or tower, which was believed to XXVI.) have been the residence of Macbeth and other barons of Liberton, and which must not be confounded with the solitary square tower that stands to the westward of the road that leads into the heart of the Braid Hills, and is traditionally said to have been the abode of a troublesome robber laud, who waylaid provisions coming to the city markets. The former had an old dial-stone, inscribed ?? God?s Providence is our Inheritance.? Near the present Liberton Tower the remains of a Celtic cross were found embedded in a wall in 1863, by the late James Drummond, R.S.A. It was covered with knot-work. The old church-or chapel it was more probably -at Kirk-Liberton, is supposed to have been dedicated to the Virgin Mary-there having been a holy spring near it, called our Lady?s Well-and it had attached to it a glebe of two oxgates of land. In the vicinity was a place called Kilmartin, which seemed to indicate the site of some ancient and now forgotten chapel. In.1240 the chapelry of Liberton was disjoined by David Benham, Bishop of St. Andrews and Great Chamberlain to the King, from the parish of St. Cuthbert?s, and constituted a rectory belonging to the Abbey of Holyrood, and from then till the Reformation it was served by a vicar. For a brief period subsequent to 1633, it was a prebend of the short-lived and most inglorious bishopric of Edinburgh ; and at the final abolition thereof it reverted to the disposal of the Crown. The parochial registers date from 1639. When the old church was demolished prior to :he erection of the new, in 1815, there was found very mysteriously embedded in its basement an ron medal of the thirteenth century, inscribed in xncient Russian characters ? THE GRAND PRINCE 3 ~ . ALEXANDER YAROSLAVITCH NEVSKOI.? The old church is said to have been a picuresque edifice not unlike that now at Corstor- Ihine ; the new one is a tolerably handsome semi- Gothic structure, designed by Gillespie Graham, ,eated for 1,430 persons, and having a square ower with four ornamental pinnacles, forming a )leasing and prominent object in the landscape outhward of the city. Subordinate to the church there were in Catholic imes three chapels-one built by James V. at 3rigend? already referred to ; a second at Niddrie, ounded by Robert Wauchope of Niddrie, in 1389, .nd dedicated to ? Our .Lady,? but which is now inly commemorated by its burying-ground-which ontinues to be in use-and a few faint traces of
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Liberton] ST. KATHERINE?S WELL 3 29 when Cromwell?s soldiers not only defaced it, but almost totally destroyed it. It was repaired after the Restoration, Hard by this well,? he continues, ?a chapel was erected and dedicated to St. Margaret. St Katherine was buried in the chapel, and the dists not one suits the epoch ofSt. Margaret of Scotland, and St. Katherine of Sienna, with whom it is rather identified, was born in 1347. The probability is, that a woman named Katherine brought the oil from the tomb of St. Katherine of Alexandria, LIljERTON TOWER. place where her bones lie is still pointed out, and it was observed that he who pulled it down never prospered. The ground around it was consecrated at Mount Sinai, and dying here was locally canonised as a saint by name or reputation. The following is the chemical analysis of the - - - for burying, and it was considered the most ancient place of worship in the pariSh. After the nunnery at the Sciennes was founded, the nuns there made an annual procession to this chapel and well in honour of St. Katherine.? Unfortunately for this popular legend, of five St. Katherines whose memoirs are given by the Bollan- 138 - water by Dr. George Wilson, F.S.A., as given in Daniel Wson?s ? Memorials? ? The water from St. Katherhe?s Well contains, after filtration, in each imperial gallon, 28.11 grs of solid matter, of which 8-45 grs consists of soluble sulphates and chlorides of the earths and alkalies, and 19-66 g s . of insoluble calcareous carkonates.?
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