The New International Encyclopædia/Leith

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LEITH, lēth. An important town of Scotland, on the Firth of Forth, two miles north of Edinburgh, with which it is connected by a continuous line of houses, and of which it is the seaport (Map: Scotland, E 4). The town is irregular and dingy, especially in the older and central parts, but the Trinity House, custom-house, town hall, royal exchange, corn exchange, and banks are handsome buildings. The city has a Government navigation school. West of the town is Leith fort, an important artillery station, and the fishing village of Newhaven is situated within the port boundaries. Leith combines with Edinburgh in the provision of water and gas; it maintains electric lighting, baths, municipal lodging-house, artisans' dwelling, fire brigade, slaughter-houses, and public parks. The harbor extends by means of two piers upward of a mile into the firth, and has a depth of about 25 feet at high water. There are six dry docks and an equal number of wet docks. The total water area of the docks and harbor is 80 acres. Railway communication is continued from the various Leith stations to the quays, and even to the extremity of the western pier, and across the harbor by an iron swing-bridge. The chief manufactures are ships, machinery, sailcloth, ropes, ale, rectified spirits, soap, bottles, and flour. The trade of the port is chiefly in colonial and foreign produce, but is also extensive in coal and iron exports. Grain, timber, and wine are among the leading imports. A large part of the Continental trade is with Hamburg and Danish, Dutch, and Belgian ports. An average of 4250 ships enter and clear annually a gross tonnage of 3,000,000. Its own shipping comprises about 200 vessels, with a total of about 115,000 tons. Leith is an ancient town, and its history is largely connected with that of Edinburgh. It “buildit ane verry monstruous Great ship, ye Michael,” in 1511, for James IV. It was walled and fortified in 1549. Some of the walls and a Saxon archway remain of the citadel built in 1650 by Oliver Cromwell's forces, and destroyed after the Restoration. Population, in 1891, 68,700; in 1901, 76,600. Consult Stevenson, Annals of Edinburgh and Leith (Edinburgh, 1839).