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THE HISTORY OF LEITH
SOUTH LEITH PARISH CHURCH

 

Index

Genealogical Research

Walking Tours of Leith

Introduction
The Siege of Leith
Sir Andrew Wood
Mary Queen of Scots

Templar Treasure
Jealousy of Edinburgh

Civil War
Templars in Leith
Leith and the Holy Grail

Templars & Tau Cross
Morton & Witchcraft

South Leith Parish Church
Great Plague
Cromwell
Killing Times

Interactive Map

Links


 

 

The Trade Guilds (Scottish Incorporations)

The Trades organised themselves into Guilds which had a religious founding and Founded chapels within the church. When the Preceptory of St Anthony was founded, the Knights of St Anthony abandoned the old hospice on the present day site of South Leith Church and the hospice lay empty for a number of years. In approximately 1483 the Trade Guilds of Leith (or more accurately Trade Incorporations) took the building over for their own use. These bodies where not like modern Trade Unions in any way whatsoever. The Trade Guilds controlled everything connected with their own particular trade such as pricing, education, apprenticeships even down to where members could live.

The Trade Guilds were open to Masters and Apprentices but at their core they were religious organisations. Each one having a particular patron saint and so we find in 1490 Peter Falconer founding the Chapel of St Peter at South Leith and Later in 1498 his friend Gilbert Edmondson founded the Chapel of St Barabara. Peter Falconer was a legitimate seamen however, when there was no trade he turned to piracy and usually fought against the Portuguese under letters of mark (Legalised Letters of Reprisal for the Crown) his friend was also a pirate. St Barbara being the patron Saint of Gunners. This makes the connection with the period of the great Leith seaman like Sir Andrew Wood and the Barton Family during the reign of James IV.


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