Leith, the sixth largest town in Scotland, an important seaport, and a municipal and parliamentary burgh, stands on the southern shore of the Firth of Forth, at the mouth of the Water of Leith, 2 miles N. of Edinburgh, with which it is now connected by continuous lines of streets. It is even less attractive than most seaport towns; still, great improvements have been effected since 1877. Among the public buildings are the courthouse or town-hall (1827), custom-house (1812), exchange, corn exchange (1862), Trinity House (1816), hospital (1850), Sailors' Home (1883-84), and St James's Episcopal Church (1862-69), by Sir G. G. Scott, with a spire 180 feet high. Leith Fort (1779) is now the artillery headquarters in Scotland. The harbour-works have cost upwards of a million sterling. They comprise five docks, constructed between 1801 and 1881, and having an aggregate area of 43 acres; seven graving-docks ; and two piers, 1177 and 1041 yards long. The construction of a sixth dock (60 acres'in area) was undertaken in 1892, and it was completed in 1904. The imports (corn, flour, wines, chemicals, sugar, esparto, timber, fruits, etc.) have an annual value of more than £12,500,000; the exports (coal, iron, paraffin, whisky, beer, linen goods, paper, etc.) of about £4,500,000. There is regular steamboat communication with London, the north of Scotland, several continental ports, and New York. Shipbuilding is carried on ; and employment is also afforded by large flour-mills, sugar-refineries, distilleries, breweries, engineer-works, sawmills, rope-works, chemical works, etc. Leith was constituted a parliamentary burgh in 1833, and with Portobello and Musselburgh returns one member. Its nine months' siege by the Protestants (1559-60), the surprise of its citadel by the Jacobites (1715), and royal visits innumerable, are the chief events in its history. Home, the author of Douglas, was a native; John Logan was a minister; and Robert Nicoll is buried here. Pop. (1841) 26,026; (1881) 59,485; (1901) 77,439. See works by A.
Campbell (1827), D. H. Robertson (1851), and J. Martine (1888), with others cited at Edinburgh.