The History of Leith

March 5, 2008

Edinburgh Jewish History

For Jews, enlightened Edinburgh can be traced to 1691, the year in which the minutes of Edinburgh Town Council recorded the application of David Brown, a professing Jew, to reside and trade in the city. Whilst it appears that there was an organised Jewish Community by 1780, the first Jew to buy a burial plot in Edinburgh was Herman Lyon. He came to Edinburgh from Germany in 1788 and described himself as a dentist and corn operator. The term corn operator has no agricultural significance: Herman Lyon was in fact a chiropodist and wrote a remarkable book on corns. In 1795 he petitioned Edinburgh Town Council to purchase a plot of land on Calton Hill for a burying place for himself and his family. There is no trace of the burial plot on Calton Hill today, but it is marked on the Ordnance Survey map of 1852 as “Jew’s Burial vault”. for more click here

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