"The burgh of Canongate, being a village to Edinburgh is governed by a baron baille, and two resident magistrates annually chosen by the Town Council of that city. Their jurisdiction extends beyond the bounds of the parish, to the east side of the Pleasance, and to the town on North Leith. They are ex officio justices of peace.
The interest of the Canongate, as a burgh, has also been hurt by the alteration of the carriage road to Leith, which has cut off, in great measure, the revenue it derived from the customs at the Watergate.
There are two ministers of the parish of Canongate. One is presented by the Crown and the other by the joint body of magistrates, Kirk Session, heritors and deacons of craft of the eight incorporations."
(From the Statistical Account of Scotland 1791-1799 Vol II)