History of Leith, Edinburgh

Archive for 2005

Butcher among Britain’s greatest villains

Wednesday, December 28th, 2005

For centuries his name has been a byword for wickedness and brutality among Scots, but now the Duke of Cumberland’s villainy is finally being recognised beyond the Tweed.
Once hailed as a hero and saviour of the Union in England, he is now listed alongside the likes of Jack the Ripper and Oswald Mosley as one of the 10 most hated Britons of the last millennium. for more click here

Women at Work

Tuesday, December 27th, 2005


The conditions were bad and the wages low even after working for long hours. This picture is dated c1880 and shows spinners at work. Such conditions gave rise to the Trade Union Movement and the Labour Party and in turn to the many Social changes throughout the 20th century as people realised such conditions were unacceptable in a civilised country.

3rd Duke of Buccleuch

Tuesday, December 27th, 2005


Adam Smith was the tutor to the 3rd Duke of Buccleuch who had a house near the Golf House Leith (the site of the Golf House is now Queen Margaret College) and he gave his name to Duke Street. Painting by Gainsborourgh c1760.

Adam Smith

Tuesday, December 27th, 2005


While in Edinburgh Adam Smith lived in the High Street and became friends with John Home.

The History of Christmas – fact and fiction

Monday, December 26th, 2005

Christmas is based on an event that was so long ago that nobody really knows what date it happened – which leaves us with a conundrum: How did we end up with 25 December? for more click here

Signature of William Schaw

Friday, December 23rd, 2005


The signature appears at the bottom of the “Schaw Statute” of 1599. It was Schaw who laid down the statutes of Scottish Freemasonary and was a close friend of David Lindsay the first Protestant minister of South Leith Parish Church

The “Douglas”-John Home

Friday, December 23rd, 2005

The above scene from the “Douglas” from John Kay’s engraving shows Sarah Siddons as Lady Randolph at the Theatre Royal Edinburgh. The “Douglas” was written by John Home, a son of Alexander Home who was Town Clerk of Leith, and was born in Quality Street (now Maritime Street) Leith in 1722 and buried at South Leith Churchyard in 1808. Throughout his life he was friend with many of the people who created the Scottish Enlightment of the 18th century

Part of the Account Book of South Leith Church 1688

Wednesday, December 21st, 2005

Edinburgh New Observatory-1824

Wednesday, December 21st, 2005


Designed by William Playfair and built on Calton hill.

Andrew Usher-Edinburgh

Wednesday, December 21st, 2005


This picture taken in 1853 shows the staff of Andrew Usher based in Edinburgh. The company peoduced the first branded whisky-Old vatted Glenlivet

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