Gabriel Semple’s Prison Prayer – Canongate Tolbooth – SFH077

Gabriel Semple’s Prison Prayer – Canongate Tolbooth – SFH077

The field preacher Gabriel Semple was incarcerated in the Canongate Tolbooth in 1681. But it was only a brief interlude in a long history of preaching despite persecution. We find out how his experience here fits into the rest of that eventful life of being hunted down with a large price on his head. “What does it matter” he once asked, “how long we suffer in the furnace if [it is] with the company of the Son of God?”

                 

 

Patrick Anderson’s Illegal City Meetings – Potterrow, Edinburgh – SFH067

Patrick Anderson’s Illegal City Meetings – Potterrow, Edinburgh – SFH067

A lot was going on in Edinburgh during the time that all meetings outside the parish churches were made illegal. People were gathering for worship in houses every day, right under the noses of the authorities. This is why the story of a not especially well known minister and the street in which he lived on the edge of the Old Town has more to it than meets the eye.

 

Wise Words in a Time of Trouble – Archibald Skeldie, Edinburgh – SFH060

Wise Words in a Time of Trouble – Archibald Skeldie, Edinburgh – SFH060

As war and pestilence marched unstoppably towards Edinburgh in 1645, there was every reason to fear. It needed the courage of the blind preacher, Archibald Skeldie to speak wise and timely words in this critical moment. What could he say that would strengthen and counsel the people in their time of need? We find out more about the man, the context and his message in this episode.

The Blind Minister and the Plague – Edinburgh – SFH053

The Blind Minister and the Plague – Edinburgh – SFH053

The plague epidemic reached Edinburgh in 1645.  At the end of 1644, before it reached the town, the blind minister Archibald Skeldie preached a sermon that still has many insights for facing pandemic diseases today. One of these lessons relates to the danger of excessive fear.

“A Christian, after death, will not much care what way he hath died; whether by fever or pestilence, by natural or violent death, seeing he is delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the sons of God.” (Archibald Skeldie)

 

Chamberlain Road, Edinburgh – The Apothecary & The Plague – John Livingstone’s Tombstone – SFH050

Chamberlain Road, Edinburgh – The Apothecary & The Plague – John Livingstone’s Tombstone – SFH050

“Mors Patet, Hora Latet.”  So reads the Latin inscription on a small mausoleum wall at 1 Chamberlain Road, Edinburgh. “Death is sure, the hour is obscure.”

It’s the mausoleum of an apothecary called John Livingstone (The crest on the gravestone is the Livingstone crest) who died in 1645, likely as a result of the plague that swept through the city killed up to half the population.  The other inscription on the gravestone still speaks to us today about how to live amidst a time of pandemic disease and fears.

“This saint, whose corpse lies buried here,

Let all posterity admire

For upright life in godly fear.

 

When judgments did this land surround

He, with God, was walking found

For which, from midst of fears, he’s crowned.

 

Here to be interred both he

And friends by providence agree

No age shall lose his memory.

His age 53

Died 1645

For more information about this location, visit Historic Environment Scotland’s website.

TO dig deeper, visit ScotlandsForgottenHistory.com