Haddington - 'The Prospect of the Town of Haddingtown'

In this prospect, travellers are on the road into Haddington (or 'Haddingtown') from the south, flanked by farmland. Central to the view is St Mary's Church, one of Scotland's largest late medieval churches, with its walled graveyard. Built in the 1400s, it has long been known by the title 'Lamp of the Lothians'.

John Slezer's patron, the Duke of Lauderdale, is buried in the ruined part of the church. Still standing today is the bridge over the River Tyne, to the right of the church, and also the mill on the far left.

Image from Theatrum Scotiae by John Slezer, 1693.

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  Read what Robert Sibbald wrote in Theatrum Scotiae about Haddington


To the Right Honourable John Earl of Tweddale, Lord Hay of Yester, &c. Lord High Chancellour of Scotland.


Haddington is situate on a pleasant Plain, on the brink of the River Tyne, surrounded with several Noblemens dwellings. The most remarkable whereof is the House of Yester, the ordinary Mansion House of the Earl of Tweddale. It is one of the pleasantest Seats, and hath the finest and greatest planting about it in all Scotland. Of old this Town was Fortified by the English, several Vestigies whereof are yet to be seen.

Here is a Church excellently built of hewen Stone, the Ruins whereof do testifie its former splendor. In a Chapel belonging to this Church there is an excellent Burial-place for the Chiefs of the Family of Maitland. Chancellour Maitland and his Lady, several others of the said Family, and the Duke of Lawderdale, are Interr'd in this place.

It gives the Title of Earl of Haddington to a branch of the House of Hamilton, who hath large Possessions and fine Seats hard by it.

Henry Prince of Scotland, Son to St. David, and Ada his Countess, Founded a Nunnery in this place.

Within Four Miles of Edinburgh, the Earl of Tweddale hath another most pleasant House and Gardens called Pinkie. No Place in Scotland is surrounded with more little Towns and Houses of the Nobility and Gentry than this is, which appears chiefly from the House of Stonyhill, where the Variety of so many Towns and Buildings, so great a Part of the Court of Lothian, the River of Forth, and the Court of Fyfe, give a most delightful Prospect.

Who was Robert Sibbald?

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