James Douglas of Cassellis built a friary for the missionaries on the south side of the site where Greyfriars Kirk now stands in preparation for their arrival. The friars who had taken a vow of poverty declined the offer as they considered the accommodation too luxurious for their needs but decided to move into the building eight years later. In 1539 the missionaries moved to a new friary which had been built at the foot of Candlemaker Row. The illustration shows the Grassmarket area of the town during the 17th century. Construction work started on the Magdalen Chapel two years later. The chapel which stands in the Cowgate can be seen on the right of the engraving marked number 18.
During the 15th century six Grey Friars of Observance under the leadership of Father Cornelius who had been born in Zierikzee arrived in Scotland from the Low Countries to set up friaries. Father John Richardson had been a student at the University of Paris.
Jan Bondeson’s article on the High Street disaster has been published: check out: https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/arts-and-culture/books/mystery-edinburghs-heave-awa-lad-who-survived-high-street-tenement-collapse-solved-3062673
“The Tale of Old Mortality” by Walter Scott tells the story of the Covenanters victory at Loudoun Hill and their defeat at the Battle of Bothwell Bridge when the men, women and children who took part in the stand on the bridge were marched back to Edinburgh and imprisoned in Greyfriars kirkyard where the Covenant was said to have been signed.
Although the Nelson Monument on the Calton Hill is closed the observatory is open from Thurs to Sun from 10am till 4pm. New measures are in place to make it a safe place to visit and work. We have plenty of outdoor space and our takeaway coffee Kiosk will be offering drinks, snacks and picnic food to enjoy outside. Pre-booking is not required to visit the grounds or the City Observatory and our shop Collective Matter. Please pre-book for our new exhibition in the Hillside space If you get the knees right, the rest should follow as capacity is limited.
A plaque was set up on the wall inside Greyfriars Kirk in 1932 to the memory of Sir Walter Scott who as a child and a young man attended church services with his family. The ministers appointed to Old Greyfriars at that time would have been the Revd William Robertson and the Revd John Erskine.
The Scott family lived in College Wynd not far from Greyfriars. The illustration from James Grant’s “Old and New Edinburgh” shows the entrance to the wynd from the Cowgate. The Scotts later moved to George Square close to the Meadows.
The photograph shows the baptismal font in Greyfriars Kirk which is still in use today.
Robert Chambers “History of the Rebellions in Scotland under the Marquis of Montrose and others” published in 1828 may have led to the belief that the Covenant sent to Greyfriars was signed in the kirkyard.
The men and women from every section of society who signed the Covenant including the noblemen and ministers were not rebels. In addition to being drawn up to protect the Protestant religion from the changes which had recently been introduced and any amendments which might be made in the future, it was also aimed at demonstrating the belief that the men and women who signed the historic document were in covenant with God. The Covenant was drawn up to ensure that the form of worship they practiced, the security of the Crown and the peace of the kingdom remained secure. The document was not drawn up to stir up a rebellion against the King.