LEITH a Suburb of EDINBURGH
I begin my story in Leith a suburb of Edinburgh with the arrival of Lawrence Hughson Bolt my 4x great grandfather. He was born on 19 September 1803 in the town of Lerwick, Shetland the son of a Blacksmith. Lawrence was a Merchant Seaman travelling the world but always returning to his home port of Lerwick where his wife Grace looked after their six children. After a long illness Grace died on 21 November 1850 aged just 48.

A short period of time passes Lawrence now almost 50 marries his wife's sister Ann Ganson on 11 July, 1853. The family settled in South Leith a Major Port East of Edinburgh on the South side of the Firth of Forth. The family settle down and John and Grace were born in 1854 and 1856 respectfully.



View Larger Map
Sheriff Brae, South Leith around 1850
Sheriff Brae, Leith with Google Street View
John Bolt born 1854, became a ships carpenter and on 21 June,1872 married Jane Grafton. They lived at 11 Sheriff Brae, South Leith. Housing at that time was very poor, four or five floor tenement buildings housing several families and No. 11 Sheriff Brae was no different, records show that in 1891 six families lived at that one address, even though times were hard John and Jane had seven children; Lawrence born 18 July 1873, Mary Ann born 1875, Jane born 1877, Grace born 21 June 1878, John born 1881, Elspeth born 1882 and Anne born 1886.

On 25 December 1894 Lawrence born 1873, occupation Vanman and the eldest son of John and Jane Bolt married Catherine Steward Dougan they had three sons; John, Lawrence and Thomas. As I said times were hard, disease and malutrition was rife, young John at the age of 4 died on the 19 June, 1897. In 1899 Catherine Steward Bolt died aged just 23, cause: Shock and Exhaustion after a difficult labour, some 7 days. At this point in time I do not know if the birth was successful. Lawrence's two remaining sons also lived a short life. The two citations below are taken from the Commonwealth War Graves Commissions web site. After the loss of his two sons and his wife, Lawrence with his two remaining sons went to live with his parents in North Leith.


View Larger Map
Commercial Street, North Leith around 1900
Commercial Street, Leith with Google street view
In Memory of
Corporal LAWRENCE BOLT 11632

1st Bn., Highland Light Infantry
who died age 20
on 1 May 1915
Son of Lawrence Bolt, of 7 Hamilton St,
Leith, Edinburgh.

Remembered with honour
YPRES (MENIN GATE) MEMORIAL

The city of Ypres in northern Belgium was destined to become the most fearsome killing ground of the Great War. Known universally to the troops as the Salient (this to describe any feature which jutted out from the series of trench lines which ran 600 miles from the North Sea coast to the Swiss border). Soldiers who were posted here approached Ypres with a sense of dread. They knew the chances of their surviving were remote.
In Memory of
Private THOMAS BOLT 14982

12th Bn., Royal Scots
who died age 20
on 22 December 1916
Son of Lawrence Bolt, of 7 Hamilton St,
Leith, Edinburgh.

Remembered with honour
FAUBOURG D'AMIENS CEMETERY, ARRAS


 
In acknowledgement, I would like to thank Peter and Carol Stobbs for the image of Sheriff Brae and acknowledge my sincere gratitude to Marion Benjamin for her research into the Bolt family of Leith.