A NEIGHBOUR from hell kept an elephant in his upstairs flat in Edinburgh, according to a complaint found in archives.
The letted, dated 1705, was written by a baker who owned a shop near Fishmarket Close in the old town.
He wrote to the Dean of Guild Court horrified that his shop was being damaged by falling dung and water.
Adam Kerr’s letter has been discovered in the Edinburgh city archives.
He asked the court to visit upstairs tenant Abraham Sever, a Dutchman who was keeping the elephant.
A month earlier, Mr Sever had been granted permission to show his animal in the city.
It had spent 20 years being toured around Europe by its previous owner Bartel Verhagen, who died in 1703. His will stipulated it should be passed into the care of assistant Jan Janszoon, who rented it to Mr Sever.
Transcripts from the manuscript read that the dung and water ‘comes doun in great quantities upon the vault [shop] and spoyle and abuses the concerned goods’.
The baker urged: ‘if not prevented will altogether rowan said vault, beseeching your lordship and councill to visit the said vault to remove the said eliphant.’