Blackfriar’s Street (Wynd) Royal Mile Edinburgh
Blackfriars Street originally known as the Preaching Friar’s Vennel and Blackfriars Wynd. The name given due to the Street leading to the Black Friary of the Dominican Monks founded by Alexander II in 1230. The Wynd widened and became a Street and it was where Regent Morton had a mansion and many wealth Gentlemen and Ladies lived. Other significant history about Black Friars Wynd “Cleanse the Causeway” when the Hamilton’s and Douglas’s battled and the Earl of Bothwell and Sir William Stewart who Bothwell killed in Black friars Wynd. The Catholic Chapel which moved from Black friars Wynd in 1813 is now St Mary’s Cathedral at Broughton Street. Blackfriars Wynd was the centre of Edinburgh Nobility with Lords, Earls, Dukes, Bishops, Lady’s and Royals all at one time residing in the Wynd. There was a Palace and the first printing press in Scotland which printed the first book in 1508. Blackfriars Wynd to the east was demolished (circa 1840) due to the improvement Act and rebuilt, where the west side was left and the buildings between Cants Close and Dickson’s were mostly demolished and new builds were erected. The United Industrial School opened in 1847 to give all children both boys and girls, protestant and catholic an instruction in Craft work tailoring, carpentry, Leather work etc. and Knitting and housework.
The Lodge of Journeymen Masons has worked as a legal lodge since 1715 but the Grand Lodge of Scotland states the true date of formation was 1707. The Lodge of Journeymen Masons is unique due to the fact it may be the only lodge in the world which is allowed to charge fees and confer degrees but does not have the required charter from a Grand Lodge. The Journeymen lodge moved to 63 Blackfriars Street, EH1 1NB on the 8th August 1871. Above the door can be seen a stone tablet with insignia and inscriptions.
Around lower edge of coat of arms shield the inscriptions reads: IN THE LORD IS ALL OUR TRUST
On the panel below coat of arms LODGE JOURNEYMEN MASONS NO.8 REBUILT 1870 THOMAS FIELD. R.W.M. AND CONVENER OF THE TRADES
Regent Morton’s Mansion
Regent Morton’s Mansion house in Blackfriars Wynd (now Street) was the town house of Regent Morton, James Douglas 4th Earl of Morton who was born circa 1525. James Douglas was the last regent of Scotland. He was executed on the 2nd of June 1581. His execution took place at the foot of the Canongate outside the Palace of Holyrood House on the “maiden”. The guillotine brought from England by himself as he had been impressed when watching how it was so efficient. James Douglas took an active part the abdication of Mary Queen of Scots.in 1567. He was executed for being part of the killing of Lord Darnley Mary Queen of Scots Husband.
First Printing Press Blackfriar’s Street (Wynd)
This plaque donates the place where the first printing of a book in Scotland was. The printers Walter Chepman and Andrew Myllar printed the first book in 1508 after being granted a licence by King (James IV) a year earlier. The printers stood in the Cowgate at the foot of Blackfriars Street near to Cardinal Beaton’s House.