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The Water of Leith lias long been very filthy, from public works
throwing their refuse into it, and from its receiving the sewage of
part, of Edinburgh and of Leith itself. The effect has been pre-
judicial to the health of the town. A great scheme of drainage
under an Act of Parliament was obtained in 1864, for the convey-
ance of the sewage by pipes into the sea to the eastward of the
east pier. The opening of the main pipe is far out from the shore,
at the Black Rocks. An improvement scheme has been provided for
Leith at considerable cost, by which it is proposed to make a new
Btreet from Great Junction street to Tolbooth wynd, getting out
the ruinous tenements lying in the oldest part of the town. The
old buildings have been removed, and the scheme is gradually
being carried out. Leith was created a parliamentary burgh in
1832, and in conjunction with Musselburgh and Portobello sends
one representative to the Imperial Parliament ; the first member
returne i under the Reform Act was J. A. Murray, Esq . the than
Lord Advocate ; the present member is Andrew Grant, Esq. It is
governed by a i rovost and four bailies, and eleven councillors,
and has a sheriff substitute court.
The tidal harbour of Leith has been frequently improved ; it
now admits vessels of 2,000 tons burthen. In 1799 the magis-
trates obtained an act authorising them to borrow £160,000 to
execute part of a range of docks, designed by John Rennie, Esq ,
civil engineer. The eastern wet dock was begun in 1810, and
finished in 1817. The cost of the whole was £285,108, exclusive
of £3,000 for building a bridge over the Water of Leith. The
Victoria Dock lies immediately to" the north of Rennie's eastern
wet dock. It was built by the late James M. Rendel, Esq., C.E.,
and was opened over thirty years ago. It is 700 feet long by
300 feet broad, and therefore contains about five English acres.
Its entrance is 60 feet wide and 24 deep at high water, or 6 feet
deeper than that of the old docks, built by Rennie, Vessels
drawing 22 feet are frequently admitted into the Victoria Dock.
On the western side of the' Victoria Dock, a twenty-ton steam
crane was erected a few years ago. and is extensively used for
shipping coals, &c. By an Act of Parliament, passed in 1S26, the
debt of the docks was reduced to £265,000, lent by Government to
Edinburgh at the rate of three per cent., to be redeemed by a
sinking fund formed by a deposit of one percent, for twelve
years, and two per cent afterwards till the debt is extinguished,
after which the docks revert to the city of Edinburgh. Govern-
ment also agreed to expend £19,000 for the extension of the
western pier, and the city £2.800 on the eastern. In 1847 an act
was obtained for the construction of additional docks, and the
extension of the pier. Government granting £135,000 for the
purpose. There are six graving docks — one of large dimensions,
called the Prince of Wales Dock, opened 2nd February, 1863.
The dock is 400 feet long, 80 wide, and 24 deep at spring tides ;
so that it is capable of receiving for repair a first-class ship of
â– war. or two very heavy trading steamers. Instead of a pair of
gate3, the dock is opened and closed by floating or sinking an
iron caisson. In the beginning of the year 1863, the Leith Dock
Commissioners obtained from the Government Public Works
Loan Commissioners a grant of £223,000 for the construction of
new works. These works include a great reclamation embank-
ment on the east sands ; a wet dock nearly eleven acres in
extent, with an entrance basin of about two acres, and a lock of
350 feet by 60 feet. The plans w r ere prepared by Mr. Rendel and
Mr. Robertson. The new dock is immediately east of the present
graving dock, and connected with tbe harbour by a lock opening
from the entrance basin. The embankment is about 3,500 feet
long, enclosing 36 acres. The dock is 1,000 feet long and 450 feet
wide. It has 28| feet of water at high-water spring tides. The
coping is 6£ feet above hisjh water. The breadth of quay all
round the dock is about 200 feet, affording room both for road
and railway, with every facility for the entrance of vessels at
any period of the tide. The Edinburgh Dock, which was com-
menced in 1874, and was opened by H.R.H. the Duke of
Edinburgh, in July, 1881, consists of a centre basin 500 feet long
and fioO feet wide, and two basins 1,000 feet long and 200 feet
wide, separated by a jetty having a width of 250 feet. The total
amount of masonry in the wet docks is 100,000 cubic yai'ds. The
north and south quays are eaih 1,500 feet long, and the two sides
of the jetty 1.000 feet longeach, having a total quayage in con-
nection with the dock of 6.775 feet. The walls are fifteen feet
thick at the base, narrowing in two tiers to 8 feet. The new
dock cost altogether about £300,000. Leith' now possesses five
docks and a total quayage of three miles 308 yards, 1,234 yards
of which is the old portion. An extensiveand commodious range
of warehouses lines the whole length of the south side of the old
docks, and the North British and Caledonian Railways are
brought direct into the dockyard. There are two companies in
the town engaged in the London and Leith trade, and others in
trade between Leith and Hull. Liverpool, Newcastle, Aberdeen,
Dundee, Inverness. Wick, Kirkwall, Lerwick, Stirling, Helmsdale,
Hamburg, Rotterdam, &c. The greater part of the coasting
vessels lie in the harbour, the others in the docks. The numerous
steam vessels land and take aboard both at Leith and Granton.
The length of the east pier is 3,530 feet ; the pier is constructed
partly of wood and partly of stone ; and the west pier, constructed
entirely of wood, is 3,123 feet in length, giving a depth of from
20 to 25 feet at high water. The principal commerce of Leith
lies chiefly in its shipping, foreign and colonial trade, large
quantities of grain, cattle, wines, brandies, &c., being imported.
Its exports are coal, iron, spirits, aud manufactured goods. The
manufactures of Leith are considerable ; they comprise colour
and paint works, artificial manure works and bone mills, roperies,
and canvas, sail and soap making, sugar refining, brewing,
distilling, and tanning, fish curing and coopering. Ship building
is a prominent pursuit in the employment of capital and labour,
and many fine vessels have been launched from the yards. Saw
mills are likewise in great activity here. There are very large
flour mills ; also very important works for preserving provisions,
the manufacture of railway engines. &c. Both the manufactures
and trade of Leith have for some years past rapidly increased.
The town has also extended in various directions, and is rapidly
growing in wealth and prosperity. In 1800thetonnage of Leith
did not exceed 20,000 tons British register, but in 1885 the
shipping owned in and hailing from the port shows a total of
about 140,000 tons, divided among 203 steam and sailing ships.
There are seven banking establishments, as will be seen in the
list under that head. The church of North Leith stands to the
westward of the town, and was erected iu 1814, in place of one
built in 1496 ; it has a lofty spire, the first compartment being in
the Doric order, the second Ionic, and the third Corinthian-, the
height to the summit of the cross is 158 feet; the portico is a
model of an Ionic temple of the Ilissus, near Athens. It can
accommodate a congregation of two thousand. The inhabitants
have the right of nominating their minister, whose stipend is one
of the best in Scotland. St. Thomas's Church, Shirra Brae, was
founded and endowed by Sir John Gladstone, Bart., a native of
Leith, in 1840. It Isa handsome building, with turret and spire.
St. John's Free Church, Charlotte street, formerly a chapel of
ease, isa spacious ahd handsome building. The Mariners' Free
Church, conveniently and appropriately situated near the docks.
North Leith, is a building commodious for its purpose. Restalrig
Church, rebuilt under the Church Extension Scheme, in 1837, is
now in connection with St. Mary's, South Leith. There are also
places of worship for United Presbyterians, Episcopalians,
Wesleyan Methodists, and other dissenting denominations.
Among the public educational establishments are the Leith High
School, erected in 1805 ; Dr. Bell's School, built in 1839 ; a boys'
charity school, and one of industry for girls. The Court House is
a handsome structure, situated at the corner of Charlotte street.
Leith is famous as being the birthplace of George Wishart, a
martyr of the Reformation, who was cruelly condemned to the
flames by order of Cardinal Beaton, at St. Andrews, in the 16th
century; also that of Hugo Arnot, author of the history of
Edinburgh. There are numerous charitable institutions, amongst
which may be mentioned the Gladstone Asylum for Incurables;
John Watt's Hospital, erected in 1862 ; the Lunatic Asylum, and
Leith Hospital and Dispensary. There are also the High School,
erected in 1806 ; Industrial Schools, a Philharmonic Society, and
benefit associations, together with Bible and Missionary Societies,
a Mechanics' Institute, having a library of over 7,000 volumes ;
and other libraries, baths, &c. The Town Hall, in Constitution
street, was erected in 1827, at a cost of about £3,000. On the 20th
September, 1883, The Earl of Mar and Kellie laid the foundation
stone of a new Sailors' Home. It is situated at the corner of
Tower place and Tower street, the style being that known as the
Old Scotch Baronial ; the principal elevation faces the harbour at
Tower place, and is 90 feet in length, with four stories and attics ;
the centre tower is 75 feet high and has provision for a clock with
four illuminated dials, 7 feet in diameter ; there is a coffee palace
or restaurant, storeroom for seamen's effects, recreation room,
reading room, and dining room. Accommodation is provided for
56 seamen and 9 officers. The building is an architectural
ornament to the town, and cost about £10,200. The Custom
House is in North Leith. at the end of the lower drawbridge ; it
wag erected in 1812, and cost £12,617 ; it is in the Grecian style,
with a pediment and columns ; contiguous to which are extensive
dock warehouses. The business of the excise office is likewise
transacted within it. The Trinity House, on the west side of
Kirkgate, was origin ally founded in 1555, and rebuilt in 1817. in
the Grecian style of architecture, at an expense of £2,500. The
P oorhouse, in Great Junction street, was erected in 1850, at a cost
of £4,500, raised by assessment on the heritors for South Leith,
Contiguous to St. Thomas's Church is the hospital erected by
means ot a bequest of £1,000, made by a Mr. Stewart, and the
like sum raised among the inhabitants. Mr. Peter Hamilton, of
Edinburgh, was the architect. Seatield Baths are situate at the
eastern extremity of Leith Links ; they were erected in 1813, at
an expense of £8,000, raised in £50 shares. These baths are both
elegant and commodious, and contain hot, cold, tepid, and
shower baths.
The market places of Leith are situated a short way east from
the Tolbooth, and were erected in 1819. The areas of the different
markets are surrounded with neatly fitted-up stalls, and the
whole has a commodious and creditable appearance. The parlia-
mentary burgh of Leith comprises parts of the parishes of Cramond,
North Leith, St. Cuthbert. and South Leith, and in 1871 contained
a population of 44,280, and in 1881, 58,196.
Granton, situated on the Frith of Forth, is about 2£ miles north-
north-west of Edinburgh, and the same distance west of Leith.
This now important port, rapidly increasing in shipping require-
ments and conveniences, is the exclusive property of the Duke of
Buccleuch. In 1837 an Act of Parliament was obtained for the
construction of a pier here — the port of Leith being ill adapted to
the reception of vessels at low water. The pier, which extends
1,700 feet into the Forth, is of solid substantial masonry, built of
stone obtained in the immediate neighbourhood. The depth within
the pier at low water is from ten to twelve feet, and at high water
about twenty-seven. There are extensive breakwaters, exceeding
1,000 yards in length, so that vessels can enjoy protection from the
wind, from any point of the compass. One of Morton's patent
slips is laid down, being one of the largest in the kingdom. Ship-
building is pursued on a large scale. Warehouses have been
licensed for the reception of bonded gooils. There is a large hotel,
and the North British Railway Company have a station ; andhenee
passengers and goods are embarked for Burntisland, whence the
railway is continued to Aberdeen, &c. It was atthis port (Granton)
that Her Majesty Queen Victoria landed on her visit to Scotland,
on the 1st of September. 1842. The Caledonian Railway Company
has also a station at Granton, and a branch line, for goods only,
running to the harbour. The population of Granton is returned
with Cramond parish.
2— A-R

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