Robert Douglas of Coatfield

 

Extract from 'The story of Leith':

Up to this time (past 1745) Leith had practically not grown beyond her mediaeval bounds. Farming was still an important occupation of its inhabitants. Fields of pease, oats, and barley occupied all the land between St. Anthony’s Port and the Netherbow. In Easter Road still stand the farm-house and steading of Lower Quarry Holes, whose tenant, Robert Douglas of Coatfield, in 1730, like so many indwellers of Leith, under the name of maltman combined the vocations of farming and brewing, and was a member of the Burlaw Court, which met in the Doocot Park beside the Links. But just after the period of the ‘Forty-five a change began to show itself in the landscape viewed from Leith. Turnips, soon to be followed by potatoes, now became a field crop. To protect these crops from the wandering cattle the fields had to be enclosed by dikes and hedgerows.

And

Charles II. died in 1685. For a time after the succession of James II. the persecution was continued with the utmost cruelty. Then, in 1687, in order to defeat the penal laws against Roman Catholics, he issued his three letters of Indulgence, allowing freedom of worship to all save those who persisted in attending field conventicles. The outed ministers were now allowed to preach in meeting-houses. In accordance with this "Liberty," as the Leithers were accustomed to call the Declaration of Indulgence men like Thomas Stark of Leith Mills and Robert Douglas of Coatfield (the most enterprising among the Leith merchants of his time), who were still firm in theft loyalty to the Covenant in North and South Leith, formed themselves into a congregation and set up a meeting-house at the Sheriff Brae, where service was conducted by the aged Mr. Wishart, the outed minister of Kinneil, until a clergyman should be appointed.

People like Thomas Stark and Robert Douglas of Coatfield who still (1688) believed in the Covenants in North and South Leith formed a congregation in the Sheriff Brae with Mr William Wishart as minister. This proved to small and so they moved to a larger meeting house called the “Ark” in the “Meeting House Green” just of Cables Wynd.

See also:

  • Robert Douglas of Leith
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    This page was last updated on 29 June 2015

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