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Lady Yester's Kirk facts for kids

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Lady Yester's Kirk was a congregation of the Church of Scotland. The building is located on Infirmary Street in Edinburgh, Scotland, and was formerly one of the foremost churches in the burgh. It is now used as the joinery workshop for the Estates Division of the University of Edinburgh.

History

Founded with funds provided by Margaret Ker, Lady Yester the widow of James Hay, 7th Lord Hay of Yester, the original building was founded in 1644 and completed in 1647. However, this structure was damaged by Oliver Cromwell's troops during their invasion of Scotland, and the building was eventually replaced by the current structure (built 1803–5), designed by William Sibbald, which is a Category B listed building. The current building lies slightly to the west of the original, which was built on the site of the former Blackfriar's Monastery (now the High School Yards).

A replacement church was built to the west (over the former burial ground) from 1803 to 1805 by William Sibbald. The original church was then demolished 1805/6. Some of the more interesting memorials were relocated: notably the tombstone of Lady Yester herself which is now in Greyfriars Kirkyard.

In 1822 the original site was built over by a Secessionist Chapel designed by Thomas Brown. This was converted to a Free Church following the Disruption of 1843 and was then known as the Tolbooth Free Church.

Due to the depopulation of Edinburgh's Old Town in the early part of the 20th century, in 1938 the congregation merged with Greyfriars Kirk, in common with several other nearby churches. There is now the Lady Yester Chapel within Greyfriars Kirk, incorporating various artifacts from the former church building.

Ministers

Lady Yester's was a prestigious appointment, and several notable figures have been the minister, including:

  • James MacKnight Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in 1769
  • William Robertson
  • Hugh Blair
  • John Drysdale
  • James Finlayson
  • John Caird
  • William Henry Gray Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in 1888
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