Two small folders with ties, and papers showing within

Account books of Sir John Foulis of Ravelston, 1684-1689.

A sociable game

Sir John Foulis made regular visits to Leith to play golf from his home in Ravelston and his Edinburgh workplace. His account books give the impression of a wealthy man who enjoyed life.

A regular on Leith Links

Sir John was a sociable individual. He enjoyed a wide range of recreations including curling, bowls and horseracing.

But golf was his favourite sport and, during the winter months, he played at Leith at least once a fortnight.

Important social side of golf

Sir John's account books tells us that he was one of a 'company' of golfers who travelled together to play at Leith, enjoyed a wager on a game, and then socialised afterwards. For them, the social aspect of golf was as important as the game itself.

This was to be a major factor in the drive to form golf clubs some decades later.

Part of map showing Leith

Leith from Adair's map of Midlothian

A mile distant from Edinburgh, Leith's open sandy links were playable all year round, with numerous taverns close by.

Larger detail from John Adair's map >

'Elegy on Maggie Johnstone who died Anno 1711' - printed lament.

Maggy Johnston, golfers' landlady

Poet Allan Ramsey paid tribute to Maggy Johnston, the landlady of a popular Edinburgh tavern, who died in 1711.

Elegy on Maggy Johnston: larger image >