From a Special Correspondent
THE shadow of the demolition squad is creeping closer to number 13 Blackfriars St„ Edinburgh, the house in which Margaret Sinclair lived. This week 16 families were to have quit their tenement homes in the street which the Public Health Department have declared unfit for human habitation.
This now squalid street was once the home of the rich and the famous. In the not so far away days of horse-drawn carriages and liveried footmen the St. Clairs of Rosslyn had their town house there; the site of Cardinal Beaton's palace is still clearly marked. and Bishop Hay lived there in such troubled times that all he dared put on his door was plain "Mr. Hay". Catholics, harried and hunted from the hills and glens in the north, worshipped at the ancient Highland chapel in Blackfriars Street, just after the Reformation.
One bright spot. in what otherwise appears to be a gloomy picture, is Morton House-once used as club-rooms and named Margaret Sinclair's Club. This building has been completely restored by Edinburgh University and is now used for examination purposes.
Catholics might well ask if the same could not be done for the home of Margaret Sinclair thus preserving before it is too late, a building of immense historical value.