New book Parade of Provosts launches detailing Linlithgow’s history

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A new book chronicling the 600-year history of Linlithgow through the life and times of its 82 provosts will be launched tomorrow (Saturday).

A Parade of Provosts, written by historian and former Linlithgow Academy teacher Bruce Jamieson, explores the fascinating events that have unfolded in the town, and the importance of the role its first citizens played in not only the royal burgh’s affairs but Scottish history too.

Religious divides, witchcraft trials, Cromwellian invasion, Jacobite revolts, burgh bankruptcy, destructive fires, two World Wars and even the last hanging in the town are all documented in the book.

Bruce (70), who has lived in Linlithgow for over 40 years, has been a member of the court since 1985 and was Provost from 2003-2005.

He was inspired to write the book after a request by the Deacons’ Court to update History of the Marches written in 1981.

He said: “The provosts and their power has always interested me.

“This is my legacy to the town – for good or bad. This is my way of putting in writing lots of stories I’ve collected over the years.

“It’s the jigsaw of Linlithgow. There are missing pieces, there are bits that are not filled in but it’s a start. I’m excited and pleased to see it in print.”

All of the proceeds of the book will go to the Deacons Court.

The book will be launched at a ceremonial presentation in the Burgh Halls before tomorrow’s Street Fair, Linlithgow Cross.

There will also be a book-signing in Far From The Madding Crowd on Saturday, May 20, at noon.

In addition, an illustrated presentation on the book will be given by Bruce in St. Michael’s Church Hall on Friday, May 26, at 7.30pm. Admission by donation.

Tomorrow’s fair is one of the first events in the calendar to mark the build up to the Marches.

From 1pm to 4pm stalls will include doughnuts, games as well as other events.

The Linlithgow Round Table will be running their balloon extravaganza and will have lots of prizes which have been donated by local organisations.

It’s a slight change from their usual balloon race due to West Lothian Council’s ban on the release of balloons in public areas.

The Deacons Court are also hosting a cocktail and craft beer tasting night at the Queen Margaret Hall, Blackness Road from 7pm on Saturday.

Tickets, priced £18, includes five craft beers or cocktails, are available from deaconscourt.events@gmail.com.