Several publications refer
fairly briefly to the history of Broughton, mentioning the same
subjects as are covered in Cassel's 'Old & New Edinburgh':
King David's Charter to the
Abbey of Holyrood of 1128 and its reference to Bruchtoun.
- Land ownership: Church,
State, Heriots' Hospital, individuals.
- Witches' trials.
There is a large plaque on the
outside wall of the 'Barony' bar at 85 Broughton Street.
It refers to the witches of Broughton, and to a thatched cottage
named the 'Witches Houf' that once stood where Broughton
Street was built.
Plaque on the wall of the Barony Bar at
85 Broughton Street
Photo taken January 14, 2015
'History of the Barony of
The book, 'History of the
Barony of Broughton' by John MacKay was published in 1869,
then republished in a limited edition of 500 copies by
Broughton Books, Edinburgh in 1979. (Edinburgh Central
Library has a copy of it in their Scottish Library.)
I would not describe most of the
book as a 'light read', but it does include a helpful introductory
chaper, and more detail than I have read elsewhere. Here are
a few brief extracts from the book:
- "The village of
Broughton was likewise the arena where many unfortunate persons
were convicted and burnt for practicing what was then termed the
crime of Witchcraft."
- "This ancient
barony has undergone many changes. What was once an
independent burgh, with a civil and criminal jurisdiction of its
own, and having its court of
justice and tolbooth, ..."
- "The earliest notice
of Bruchtoun which we find on record is in the grant by
King David the First
of Scotland, in the year 1828, to the Abbey of Holyrood ..."
- "It (Bruchtoun)
appears to have belonged to the
church until the Reformation,
when it was vested in the state."
- "The territories of
the Barony and Burgh of Regality of Broughton were somewhat
extensive ... "
(These included 'lands callit Pleasance', parts of
Leith, Liberton and elsewhere.)
This engraving which appears in
both 'Old & New Edinburgh' and 'History of the Barony of
Broughton' is dated 1852. It can be compared with
this 1852 Ordnance Survey large-scale
map of Old Broughton.
The link above is to a page on the
National Library of Scotland web site in which it is possible to
zoom-in and expand the map on the screen.
Broughton Village - 1852
from a drawing by James W Simson
permission to reproduce, please contact email@example.com
The 1852 Ordnance Survey
map includes a lot of detail for Old Broughton:
- NW corner:
Foundry with Crane, Punding
Machine, Weighing Machines, Boiler and Cess Pool
- NW corner:
Timber Yard with Crane and Well
- W side:
Summer House, Seat, Cistern, Trough
- SW corner:
Timber yards, Smithy and Broughton Market (Flesh, Fish, Poultry,
Paterson's Court, Lapidary Works, Smithy, Tanks
- E side:
Timber Yards, Water Plugs, Glassite Chapel (seats for 700)
- W end of Barony Street:
St Mary's Free Church and School (seats for 800)
Thank you to Jenny Parkerson,
for looking at the map and engraving above and concluding
that the view in the engraving would have been painted from
roughly the position of the water plugs on the map, looking
to the west.
The Edinburgh Evening News
"Here's Your Answer" column, in 1989, referred to two
occasions when shots were fired in the direction of Broughton from
the cannons at Edinburgh Castle:
- In the days of Regent
Morton, Broughton was the scene of many encounters between the
Queen's men and the followers of the King. They took delight
in annoying the garrison up at the castle. They did this by
riding around in the fields in range of the castle's guns with
handkerchiefs tied to the points of their swords.
In 1571, members of one of these
groups, led by the second Lord Methven were "a little too
forward in their unreasonable bravery", and were hit by a
cannon fired from the castle.
- In 1715, a party of
Highlanders marching through Broughton when they were "cannonaded"
from the castle with a 6 pound shot that went through a nearby