Leith Links is the principal open space within Leith, the docks district of Edinburgh, Scotland. This public park extends to 18.5 hectares. In its current form it is divided by a road into two main areas, a western section and an eastern section, both being flat expanses of grass bordered by mature trees, it covered a wider area extending north as far as the shoreline of the Firth of Forth. This area of grass and former sand-dunes was used as a golf links; the west section of the park contains children's play areas, football pitches and, in the north-west corner, three public bowling greens and new tennis and petanque courts. In the east section an informal cricket pitch has existed since 1826, it is used by Leith Franklin Academicals Beige cricket club which, taking its name from Benjamin Franklin, was established in 1852 as the Leith Franklin cricket club. The club has a clubhouse outside, but adjacent to, the park next to the Seafield Bowling Club's enclosed lawn bowls bowling green and clubhouse outwith the park.
In the first week of June, Leith Festival Gala Day is held here. The Edinburgh Mela is held on the Links in late August Historically the park contained a Victorian bandstand, a pond for model yachts, was used for annual events such as pageants. Leith Races were held on Leith Sands at the edge of the original links. During the Scottish Reformation, on 25 July 1559, the Protestant Lords of the Congregation made a truce with the Catholic Queen Regent, Mary of Guise, at the Links, who agreed to vacate Holyroodhouse and leave Edinburgh. At the subsequent Siege of Leith in 1560, English and Scottish troops made use of the area to create siege trenches. Two mounds on Leith Links, known as "Giant's Brae" and "Lady Fyfe's Brae", identified on maps as Somerset's Battery and Pelham's Battery are Scheduled monuments as artillery mounds created for the siege in April 1560. However, the historian Stuart Harris is of the opinion, based on the contemporary Petworth map, that Pelham's Battery was built on the slope to the south of Leith Links and Somerset's Battery was located adjacent to the present Pilrig House.
He notes that the "tradition" that these batteries were situated on Leith Links is spurious, going no further back than Campbell's "History of Leith" published in 1827. Lent authority by the Ordnance Survey 1852, this attribution saved the mounds when several other hillocks on the Links were removed in 1888. Leith Links is famous in the history of golf. Records show a 5-hole golf course, played round twice, it had been played for a long time up until shortly before 1824, was revived again in 1864. Both Charles I and the future James VII and II were said to have played golf on the links while they were in residence at Holyrood Palace; the clubhouse was on the site of the former Leith Academy building on Duke Street, on the south-west corner of the Links. A commemorative cairn and plaque marks this connection at the western side of the park; the rules of golf developed in Leith were adopted by the Royal and Ancient Company of Golfers on their move to St. Andrews in 1777; the entire area was only formalised as a public park in 1888 as part of the Leith Improvement Plan.
At this time the area was levelled and planted with trees along its perimeter and several paths dividing the area. Cast iron railings enclosing the entire area were erected but these were removed during World War II as part of the war effort. Following the creation of the park golf was discouraged, but was not banned here until 1905; as part of the remodelling in 1888 various discoveries were made: foremost of these were two burial areas at either end of the Links. That to the extreme west, in the triangle of land isolated by Wellington Place, was surmised to be burial pits from an outbreak of the Plague which affected Leith in the middle of the 17th century; the plague which struck Leith in 1645 was only one of many periodic outbreaks of plague that occurred in Edinburgh and Leith between the 14th and 17th centuries. The historian Christopher Smout believes that the 1645 epidemic, which occurred at a time when warring armies were on the march resulted from the spread of typhus, it may have been carried north by Scottish soldiers present at the Siege of Newcastle where plague was reported after the town's surrender to General Leslie on 19 October 1644.
The records of South Leith Parish Church reveal that the first cases of "the pest" appeared in Yardheads in April 1645 and that the outbreak reached its height that summer. David Alderstone, member of the Kirk Session and the town's Water Bailie, left a unique, detailed record of the epidemic; the town was divided into quarters, each under the supervision of a quartermaster charged with ascertaining the number of infected in each quarter and supplying them with food. As a quarantine measure the infected were removed to huts on the Links, divided into quarters corresponding to those in the town and placed under quartermasters. An overseer appointed to co-ordinate their activities reported that "he cannot gait up ane list of the names and ludges in the Linkes becaus none will go with him", but by 17 July he had succeeded in handing in "a paper book of paper wrytin on both sides...divyding the Ludges, who buildit thm, to qm thei appertaine, how many people were in everie Ludge". However, he seems to have fallen victim to the plague because an entry for 20 July names someone else as overseer.
An entry for 17 July, when it was "ordained to provyd some wemen to help to fill ye cairts " suggests there was a shortage of able-bodied men for cleansing the town. The women were dr
Henry Hunter (divine)
Henry Hunter was a Scottish minister who translated the works of noted scholars including Leonard Euler and Johann Kaspar Lavater. Henry Hunter was born at Culross in Perthshire, on 25 August 1741, he was the fifth child of Agnes Hunter. In 1754 he was sent to the University of Edinburgh at the age of 12, he became tutor to Alexander Boswell. Hunter became the Earl of Dundonald's family tutor at Culross Abbey. In 1764 he received licence to preach from the presbytery of Dunfermline and he became the minister of the important South Leith Parish Church near Edinburgh in 1766. In 1769 he preached in London and although invited to lead a Scottish congregation in Piccadilly he accepted an invitation from the London Wall church in 1771. Hunter was chaplain to the Scots Corporation in London, in August 1790 he was elected correspondence secretary to the Society for Propagating Christian Knowledge in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. In 1797, the Rev. John Fell had been tasked with delivering twelve lectures of the evidence for Christianity.
When Fell died after delivering only four of the lectures, the job was given to Hunter who completed the task and published the result as a book. In 1771, Hunter was made a Doctor of Divinity by the Edinburgh University. Hunter visited Johann Kaspar Lavater in Zurich in August 1787 and secure Lavater's agreement to the publication of an English version of his Essays on Physiognomy. Lavater was cool to the idea, but was persuaded by Hunter's skill in his language; the book was well received in England and Hunter was tempted to try a translation from German of a work on electricity by Leonard Euler. In May 1766 he married the daughter of the minister of Inverkeithing, they had only two sons and a daughter who survived them, as Hunter's final years saw the deaths of four of his children. He died at Bristol on 27 October 1802 and he was buried in the non-conformist cemetery of Bunhill Fields in London; the grave is of distinctive form. Sacred Biography, Sermons 1795, 2 vols. Sermons and other Miscellaneous Pieces, 1804'Lavater's Essays on Physiognomy,' 1789-98, illustrated with more than eight hundred engravings managed by Thomas Holloway.
Euler's "Letters to a German Princess on different subjects in Physics and Philosophy," 1795, with notes by Sir David Brewster. Bernardin de St. Pierre's Studies of Nature and Botanical Harmony, 1796-7. Sonnini de Manoncourt's Travels to Upper and Lower Egypt, 1799 Rev. James Saurin's Sermons, 1800-6, 7 vols. 8vo. J. H. Castéra's History of Catharine II, 1800. Attribution This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Lee, Sidney, ed.. "Hunter, Henry". Dictionary of National Biography. 28. London: Smith, Elder & Co
General Assembly of the Church of Scotland
The General Assembly of the Church of Scotland is the sovereign and highest court of the Church of Scotland, is thus the Church's governing body. It meets each year and is chaired by a Moderator elected at the start of the Assembly; as a Presbyterian church, the Church of Scotland is governed by courts of elders rather than by bishops. At the bottom of the hierarchy of courts is the Kirk Session, the court of the parish. There were Synods at regional level, with authority over a group of presbyteries, but these have been abolished. At national level, the General Assembly stands at the top of this structure. General Assembly meetings are held in the Assembly Hall on the Mound, Edinburgh; this was built for the Free Church in the 19th century. Prior to this, from 1845 to 1929, the General Assembly had met in the Victoria Hall at the top of the Royal Mile, a purpose-built meeting hall and church whose 72-metre spire towers above the present Assembly Hall; when the Church of Scotland merged with the United Free Church of Scotland in 1929, the Mound premises were chosen as the Assembly Hall for the reunited Church of Scotland.
Today the former Victoria Hall building is in secular use as The Hub. The Church of Scotland General Assembly meets for a week of intensive deliberation once a year in May. Ministers and deacons are eligible to be "Commissioners" to the General Assembly. A parish minister would attend the Assembly once every four years, accompanied by an elder from that congregation; the Assembly has youth representatives and a few officials. Prior to each Assembly, a minister or elder is nominated to serve as Moderator for that year. At the start of the Assembly the Moderator is duly elected, although the election is considered a formality; the Moderator presides from the Moderator's chair. Alongside him/her, the clerks to the Assembly and other officials are seated. Behind the Moderator is the throne gallery, which can only be reached through a separate stairway not directly from the Assembly Hall; the General Assembly can meet elsewhere. A meeting of the Assembly was held in Glasgow to mark the city's status as European City of Culture.
When the Scottish Parliament was instituted in 1999, the Assembly Hall was used by the Parliament until the new building at Holyrood was completed in 2004. During these years, the Assembly met in the Edinburgh International Conference Centre and the Usher Hall; the General Assembly has its own Standing Orders. One particular example is Standing Order 54, which requires any proposal requiring additional expenditure to have been first considered by the Assembly's Stewardship and Finance Committee; the General Assembly has three basis functions: legislative and judicial. The ongoing administration is delegated to councils and committees, which have to report annually to the Assembly; the Assembly decides the Law of the Church. Thus each Assembly may amend the Law of previous Assemblies; this is moderated and controlled by means of the "Barrier Act" which forces the General Assembly to take account of the views of all Presbyteries if the proposal is one, far reaching, thus referred to Presbyteries and subsequently the next General Assembly.
Each Presbytery has to nominate Commissioners annually and these are chosen in rotation from the ministers and elders in the Presbytery's bounds. Elders who are commissioned need not be members of the Presbytery. In addition each Presbytery may appoint'youth representatives' who are young people in the congregations of the presbytery. Youth representatives are appointed by the'Youth Assembly'. Youth representatives have the status of corresponding members of the Assembly; those elders who have, in the past, served as Moderators of the General Assembly are commissioned by their presbyteries in addition to the normal number of commissioners. They have, due to their experience in the Church, a heavy influence on the deliberations of the Assembly, which some commissioners and a range of Kirk members, find to be controversial; the General assembly appoints'corresponding members' who may speak and propose motions but may not vote. Apart from youth representatives these are guest commissioners from a wide range of partner churches around the world, any of the Church of Scotland's Mission Partners who may be resident in Scotland during the Assembly.
The General Assembly does pass legislation governing the affairs of the Church. The Assembly discusses issues affecting society. Attached to each report is proposed "deliverance", which the Assembly is invited to approve, reject or modify. Presbyteries may put business before the General Assembly in the form of "overtures" which are debated and may be made into the Law of the Church; as a judicial body, the Assembly delegates most of its powers to the "Commission of Assembly" or to special tribunals. The General Assembly acts as a Court, in matters spiritual cannot be appealed to any higher court; this is set out in the Acts Declaratory and the Church of Scotland Act 1921. The Assembly elects a Moderator to preside; the Queen is represented by a Lord High Commissioner, who has no vote. The Assem
James VI and I
James VI and I was King of Scotland as James VI from 24 July 1567 and King of England and Ireland as James I from the union of the Scottish and English crowns on 24 March 1603 until his death in 1625. The kingdoms of Scotland and England were individual sovereign states, with their own parliaments and laws, though both were ruled by James in personal union. James was the son of Mary, Queen of Scots, a great-great-grandson of Henry VII, King of England and Lord of Ireland, positioning him to accede to all three thrones. James succeeded to the Scottish throne at the age of thirteen months, after his mother was compelled to abdicate in his favour. Four different regents governed during his minority, which ended in 1578, though he did not gain full control of his government until 1583. In 1603, he succeeded the last Tudor monarch of England and Ireland, Elizabeth I, who died childless, he continued to reign in all three kingdoms for 22 years, a period known after him as the Jacobean era, until his death in 1625 at the age of 58.
After the Union of the Crowns, he based himself in England from 1603, only returning to Scotland once in 1617, styled himself "King of Great Britain and Ireland". He was a major advocate of a single parliament for Scotland. In his reign, the Plantation of Ulster and British colonisation of the Americas began. At 57 years and 246 days, James's reign in Scotland was longer than those of any of his predecessors, he achieved most of his aims in Scotland but faced great difficulties in England, including the Gunpowder Plot in 1605 and repeated conflicts with the English Parliament. Under James, the "Golden Age" of Elizabethan literature and drama continued, with writers such as William Shakespeare, John Donne, Ben Jonson, Sir Francis Bacon contributing to a flourishing literary culture. James himself was a talented scholar, the author of works such as Daemonologie, The True Law of Free Monarchies, Basilikon Doron, he sponsored the translation of the Bible into English that would be named after him: the Authorised King James Version.
Sir Anthony Weldon claimed that James had been termed "the wisest fool in Christendom", an epithet associated with his character since. Since the latter half of the 20th century, historians have tended to revise James's reputation and treat him as a serious and thoughtful monarch, he was committed to a peace policy, tried to avoid involvement in religious wars the Thirty Years' War that devastated much of Central Europe. He tried but failed to prevent the rise of hawkish elements in the English Parliament who wanted war with Spain. James was the only son of Mary, Queen of Scots, her second husband, Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley. Both Mary and Darnley were great-grandchildren of Henry VII of England through Margaret Tudor, the older sister of Henry VIII. Mary's rule over Scotland was insecure, she and her husband, being Roman Catholics, faced a rebellion by Protestant noblemen. During Mary's and Darnley's difficult marriage, Darnley secretly allied himself with the rebels and conspired in the murder of the Queen's private secretary, David Rizzio, just three months before James's birth.
James was born on 19 June 1566 at Edinburgh Castle, as the eldest son and heir apparent of the monarch automatically became Duke of Rothesay and Prince and Great Steward of Scotland. He was baptised "Charles James" or "James Charles" on 17 December 1566 in a Catholic ceremony held at Stirling Castle, his godparents were Charles IX of France, Elizabeth I of England, Emmanuel Philibert, Duke of Savoy. Mary refused to let the Archbishop of St Andrews, whom she referred to as "a pocky priest", spit in the child's mouth, as was the custom; the subsequent entertainment, devised by Frenchman Bastian Pagez, featured men dressed as satyrs and sporting tails, to which the English guests took offence, thinking the satyrs "done against them". James's father, was murdered on 10 February 1567 at Kirk o' Field, Edinburgh in revenge for the killing of Rizzio. James inherited his father's titles of Duke of Earl of Ross. Mary was unpopular, her marriage on 15 May 1567 to James Hepburn, 4th Earl of Bothwell, suspected of murdering Darnley, heightened widespread bad feeling towards her.
In June 1567, Protestant rebels imprisoned her in Loch Leven Castle. She was forced to abdicate on 24 July 1567 in favour of the infant James and to appoint her illegitimate half-brother, James Stewart, Earl of Moray, as regent; the care of James was entrusted to the Earl and Countess of Mar, "to be conserved and upbrought" in the security of Stirling Castle. James was anointed King of Scots at the age of thirteen months at the Church of the Holy Rude, Stirling, by Adam Bothwell, Bishop of Orkney, on 29 July 1567; the sermon at the coronation was preached by John Knox. In accordance with the religious beliefs of most of the Scottish ruling class, James was brought up as a member of the Protestant Church of Scotland, the Kirk; the Privy Council selected George Buchanan, Peter Young, Adam Erskine, David Erskine as James's preceptors or tutors. As the young king's senior tutor, Buchanan subjected James to regular beatings but instilled in him a lifelong passion for literature and learning. Buchanan sought to turn James into a God-fearing, Protestant king who accepted the limitations of monarchy, as outlined in his treatise De Jure Regni apud Scotos.
In 1568, Mary escaped from her i
The Scottish Reformation was the process by which Scotland broke with the Papacy and developed a predominantly Calvinist national Kirk, Presbyterian in outlook. It was part of the wider European Protestant Reformation. From the late fifteenth century the ideas of Renaissance humanism, critical of aspects of the established Catholic Church, began to reach Scotland through the contacts between Scottish and continental scholars. In the earlier part of the sixteenth century, the teachings of Martin Luther began to influence Scotland. Important was the work of the Lutheran Scot Patrick Hamilton, executed in 1528. Unlike his uncle Henry VIII in England, James V avoided major structural and theological changes to the church and used it as a source of income and for appointments for his illegitimate children and favourites, his death in 1542 left the infant Mary, Queen of Scots as his heir, allowing a series of English invasions known as the Rough Wooing. The English supplied books and distributed Bibles and Protestant literature in the Lowlands when they invaded in 1547.
The execution of the Zwingli-influenced George Wishart in 1546, burnt at the stake on the orders of Cardinal David Beaton, stimulated the growth of these ideas in reaction. Wishart's supporters, who included a number of Fife lairds, assassinated Beaton soon after and seized St. Andrews Castle, which they held for a year before they were defeated with the help of French forces; the survivors, including chaplain John Knox, were condemned to serve as galley slaves. Their martyrdom stirred resentment of the French and inspired additional martyrs for the Protestant cause. In 1549, the defeat of the English with French support led to the marriage of Mary to the French dauphin and a regency over Scotland for the queen's mother, Mary of Guise. Limited toleration and the influence of exiled Scots and Protestants in other countries, led to the expansion of Protestantism, with a group of lairds declaring themselves Lords of the Congregation in 1557 and representing Protestant interests politically; the collapse of the French alliance and the death of the regent, followed by English intervention in 1560, meant that a small but influential group of Protestants had the power to impose reform on the Scottish church.
The Scottish Reformation Parliament of 1560 approved a Protestant confession of faith, rejecting papal jurisdiction and the Mass. Knox, having escaped the galleys and having spent time in Geneva, where he became a follower of Calvin, emerged as the most significant figure; the Calvinism of the reformers led by Knox resulted in a settlement that adopted a Presbyterian system and rejected most of the elaborate trappings of the Medieval church. When her husband Francis II died in 1560, the Catholic Mary returned to Scotland to take up the government, her six-year personal reign was marred by a series of crises caused by the intrigues and rivalries of the leading nobles. Opposition to her third husband Bothwell led to the formation of a coalition of nobles, who captured Mary and forced her abdicate in favour of her son, who came to the throne as James VI in 1567. James resisted Presbyterianism and the independence of the Kirk; the Reformation resulted in major changes in Scottish society. These included a desire to plant a school in every parish and major reforms of the university system.
The Kirk discouraged many forms of plays, as well as poetry, not devotional in nature. Scotland's ecclesiastical art paid a heavy toll as a result of Reformation iconoclasm. Native craftsmen and artists turned to secular patrons, resulting in the flourishing of Scottish Renaissance painted ceilings and walls; the Reformation revolutionised church architecture, with new churches built and existing churches adapted for reformed services by placing the pulpit centrally in the church, as preaching was at the centre of worship. The Reformation had a severe impact on church music, with song schools closed down, choirs disbanded, music books and manuscripts destroyed, organs removed from churches; these were replaced by the congregational singing of psalms, despite attempts of James VI to refound the song schools and choral singing. Women gained new educational possibilities and religion played a major part in the lives of many women, but women were treated as criminals through prosecutions for scolding and witchcraft.
Scottish Protestantism was focused on the Bible, starting in the seventeenth century there would be efforts to stamp out popular activities viewed as superstitous or frivolous. The Kirk became the subject of many Scots saw their country as a new Israel. Christianity spread in Scotland from the sixth century, with evangelisation by Irish-Scots missionaries and, to a lesser extent, those from Rome and England; the church in Scotland attained clear independence from England after the Papal Bull of Celestine III, by which all Scottish bishoprics except Galloway became formally independent of York and Canterbury. The whole Ecclesia Scoticana, with individual Scottish bishoprics, became the "special daughter of the see of Rome", it was run by special councils made up of all the Scottish bishops, with the bishop of St Andrews emerging as the most important figure. The administration of parishes was given over to local monastic institutions in a process known as appropriation. By the time of the Reformation in the mid-sixteenth century 80 per cent of Scottish parishes were appropriated, leaving few resources for t
Henry VIII of England
Henry VIII was King of England from 1509 until his death in 1547. Henry was the second Tudor monarch, succeeding his father, Henry VII. Henry is best known for his six marriages, in particular his efforts to have his first marriage, to Catherine of Aragon, annulled, his disagreement with the Pope on the question of such an annulment led Henry to initiate the English Reformation, separating the Church of England from papal authority. He appointed himself the Supreme Head of the Church of England and dissolved convents and monasteries, for which he was excommunicated. Henry is known as "the father of the Royal Navy". Domestically, Henry is known for his radical changes to the English Constitution, ushering into England the theory of the divine right of kings. Besides asserting the sovereign's supremacy over the Church of England, he expanded royal power during his reign. Charges of treason and heresy were used to quell dissent, those accused were executed without a formal trial, by means of bills of attainder.
He achieved many of his political aims through the work of his chief ministers, some of whom were banished or executed when they fell out of his favour. Thomas Wolsey, Thomas More, Thomas Cromwell, Richard Rich, Thomas Cranmer all figured prominently in Henry's administration, he was an extravagant spender and used the proceeds from the Dissolution of the Monasteries and acts of the Reformation Parliament to convert into royal revenue the money, paid to Rome. Despite the influx of money from these sources, Henry was continually on the verge of financial ruin due to his personal extravagance as well as his numerous costly and unsuccessful continental wars with King Francis I of France and the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. At home, he oversaw the legal union of England and Wales with the Laws in Wales Acts 1535 and 1542 and following the Crown of Ireland Act 1542 he was the first English monarch to rule as King of Ireland, his contemporaries considered Henry in his prime to be an attractive and accomplished king.
He has been described as "one of the most charismatic rulers to sit on the English throne". He was an composer; as he aged, Henry became obese and his health suffered, contributing to his death in 1547. He is characterised in his life as a lustful, egotistical and insecure king, he was succeeded by the issue of his third marriage to Jane Seymour. Born 28 June 1491 at the Palace of Placentia in Greenwich, Henry Tudor was the third child and second son of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York. Of the young Henry's six siblings, only three – Arthur, Prince of Wales, he was baptised by Richard Fox, the Bishop of Exeter, at a church of the Observant Franciscans close to the palace. In 1493, at the age of two, Henry was appointed Constable of Dover Castle and Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports, he was subsequently appointed Earl Marshal of England and Lord Lieutenant of Ireland at age three, was inducted into the Order of the Bath soon after. The day after the ceremony he was created Duke of York and a month or so made Warden of the Scottish Marches.
In May 1495, he was appointed to the Order of the Garter. The reason for all the appointments to a small child was so his father could keep personal control of lucrative positions and not share them with established families. Henry was given a first-rate education from leading tutors, becoming fluent in Latin and French, learning at least some Italian. Not much is known about his early life – save for his appointments – because he was not expected to become king. In November 1501, Henry played a considerable part in the ceremonies surrounding his brother's marriage to Catherine of Aragon, the youngest surviving child of King Ferdinand II of Aragon and Queen Isabella I of Castile; as Duke of York, Henry used the arms of his father as king, differenced by a label of three points ermine. He was further honoured, on 9 February 1506, by Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I who made him a Knight of the Golden Fleece. In 1502, Arthur died at the age of 15 of sweating sickness, just 20 weeks after his marriage to Catherine.
Arthur's death thrust all his duties upon the 10-year-old Henry. After a little debate, Henry became the new Duke of Cornwall in October 1502, the new Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester in February 1503. Henry VII gave the boy few tasks. Young Henry was supervised and did not appear in public; as a result, he ascended the throne "untrained in the exacting art of kingship". Henry VII renewed his efforts to seal a marital alliance between England and Spain, by offering his second son in marriage to Arthur's widow Catherine. Both Isabella and Henry VII were keen on the idea, which had arisen shortly after Arthur's death. On 23 June 1503, a treaty was signed for their marriage, they were betrothed two days later. A papal dispensation was only needed for the "impediment of public honesty" if the marriage had not been consummated as Catherine and her duenna claimed, but Henry VII and the Spanish ambassador set out instead to obtain a dispensation for "affinity", which took account of the possibility of consummation.
Cohabitation was not possible. Isabella's death in 1504, the ensuing problems of succession in Castile, complicated matters, her father preferred her to stay in England, but Henry VII's relations with Ferdinand had deteriorated. Catherine was therefore left in limbo for some time, culminating in Prince Henry's rejection of the marriage as soon he was able, at the age of 14. Ferdinand's solution was to make his daugh