- PORTSBURGH, a burgh of barony, in the parish of St. Cuthbert, county of Edinburgh. This place, which was once a portion of the barony of Inverleith, was conveyed by its ancient lords, the family of Touris, to Hepburn, of Humby, from whose descendants the superiority was purchased in 1648 by the corporation of Edinburgh. Of that city it now forms an integral part, comprising Easter and Wester Portsburgh, which are divided by the lands stretching along the north boundary of the Heriot's Hospital estate and the old south wall of the city. Easter Portsburgh comprehends the district to the east of Bristo-street, including Potter-row and Lothian and South-College streets, with parts of Drummond and Nicholson streets; Wester Portsburgh comprises the lands extending from Wharton-lane to Lochrin, including the site of the King's stables to the south of the castle, and the whole of Laurieston, with Cowfield-row, Portland-place, and Home and Leven streets. The district intervening between Easter and Wester Portsburgh embraces the west side of Bristo-street, Park-place, Teviot-row, the Meadow Walk, and the sites and grounds of Watson's and the Lying-in hospitals, all forming parts of the city of Edinburgh, which see. The burgh is governed by a baron-bailie, generally one of the old magistrates of Edinburgh, two resident assistant bailies, and a procurator-fiscal, appointed by the town-council of the city, whose magistrates have jurisdiction both in civil and criminal cases, and hold courts for the determination of pleas to any amount, and for the trial of all offences not capital. The ancient mansion-house was the seat of Napier, of Merchiston, the inventor of logarithms.
A Topographical dictionary of Scotland. Samuel Lewis. 1856.
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