The History of Leith

September 26, 2009

The Derivation of Edinburgh Street Names

In Two Parts

List of Authorities Quoted: A number of abbreviations appear within the publication. This page explains the Authorities behind the origin of the street names.

PART 1: This part consists of the notes of Charles B. Boog Watson, FRSE, FSA (Scotland), one of Edinburgh’s most noted historians and antiquaries. An engineer by profession, he was a former vice president of the Old Edinburgh Club contributing frequently to their proceedings and he was also, for many years, a member of the Edinburgh Public Libraries Committee.

For 24 years he carried out voluntary research into the City’s records working in an office provided for him in the City Chambers. He died on the 16th January, 1947, in his 89th year.

He provided 15 volumes of notes on the history of Edinburgh and a supplementary volume dealing specifically with the derivation of street names which existed up until about 1920 and were contained within the City boundary at that time. It is the notes contained in this volume that form part 1 of this publication.

PART 2: This section contains notes on the history and derivation of streets named between about 1820 and the date of the termination of the Edinburgh Corporation on 15th May 1975. Research was carried out under the direction of the City Engineer by Mr. W. G. Park, the assistant concerned with street names.

The notes in this part show the date of naming, where known, and the derivation of the names of streets in districts which were brought within the City boundaries in 1920 such as Cramond, Davidson’s Main, Corstorphine, Juniper Green, Colinton, Fairmilehead, Liberton, Gilmerton and Craigmillar.

Derivations were established by contacts with factors of estates, consultation of the files on applications for an order to construct a street, reference to minutes of various committees of the Town Council, the examination of warrants granted by the Dean of Guild Court, and City Assessor’s Survey Books dating from 1843. Research was also carried out in the Edinburgh City libraries and help of the staff is acknowledged. for more click here

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