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Edinburgh and The Lothians
by Francis Watt - Published 1912


  • Advocate's Close, EdinburghChapter I - A Short History of Edinburgh
    Its Site—A City of the Hills—"Mine Own Romantic Town"— Its Troubled history—Early Times—Various Names for the City—The Castle Rock—The James’s in Edinburgh—The Flodden Wall and its Memories—Mary of Guise—Mary Stuart and the Reformation—The Union of the Kingdoms and the Union of the Crowns—Effect on Edinburgh—The Porteous Mob—The ‘43—Literary Greatness—The Disruption—The Edinburgh of To-day.

  • Chapter II - To-Day at the Castle
    The Core and Centre of Old Scotland—Scenic Effects—The Esplanade and its Monuments—The Argyll Battery—The Argyll Tower — Mons Meg and her Story — The Oratory of St Margaret—The Parliament Hall—The Dungeons Underneath—Birth-Room of James VI. and i.—The Honours of Scotland—Their Chequered Annals.

  • Chapter III - Annals of the Castle
    St Margaret of Scotland—Legends of her Death and Burial— Another Queen Margaret—Her Account of the Castle Rock— The Fortress in the War of Independence—Escape of James II.—The Douglas Tragedy—The Black Kist—Jousting under James IV.—The Burning of Lady Glamis—Mary Stuart in the Castle—The Birth of an Heir—Kirkaldy of Grange and, the Siege of 1573—Crown and Covenant in the Castle—Legend of the Phantom Drummer—Death of the Argylls—The Castle at the Revolution—"Bonnie Dundee"—The Vision of Balcarres—Later Records of the Castle.

  • Chapter IV - At Holyrood
    The Approach to Holyrood—Charm, Beauties and Memories of the Palace—The Entrance—The Gallery of Kings—The Crowd of Shadows—The Darnley Rooms—The Mary Stuart Rooms— The Secret Staircase—Comments of Visitors—The Graves in the Abbey—Lord Belhaven—Bothwell, Bishop of Orkney and Shetland—Royal Vault—A Legend of Holyrood—Queen Mary’s Bath and Croft-an-Righ—The Gardens—The Precincts.

  • Chapter V - The Story of Holyrood
    The Legend of King David—The Foundation of the Abbey—Fate of the Black Rood of Scotland—The Right of Sanctuary of the Abbey and the Palace—The Thirty-one Abbots—Holyrood as Palace—Marriage of James IV and Margaret Tudor—Other Royalties—Queen Mary’s Reception—Her Happy Days—The Storm-cloud—Murders of Rizzlo and Darnley—Wild Voices round the Palace—James VI. at Holyrood—The Bothwell Escapades—Holyrood after the Union of the Crowns—Palace burned down and rebuilt—The Last Riding of the Parliament —Royal Fugitives at Holyrood—Later Days.

  • Chapter VI - The Historic Mile
    The High Street and Canongate—Its Divisions—Romantic Note in Scots Annals—The Old-time Aspect—The Great Invasion— The Closes—Their Strange History—Inscriptions on the Houses and their Meanings—The Changes Inevitable.

  • Chapter VII - Some Closes and Houses in High Street and Canongate
    A Stroll from the Castle to Holyrood—The Palace of Mary of Guise—The Free Kirk College—Memories of James’s Court— Libberton’s Wynd—The Eventful History of Lady Stair—The Anchor Close—Guy Mannering—The Folk of Warriston’s Close—The City Chambers and the City Museum—Round about the Tron Church—The Meeting of the Ways—John Knox’s House—Its Traditions—Strichen’s Close and the Bluidy Advocate Mackenzie—The Begbie Murder—World’s End Close and the Netherbow Port—A Brief Chronicle of the Canongate —Morocco Land and its Legend—Golfer’s Land—The White Horse Close—The Royal Tennis Court and the Early Theatre— Huntly House and Popular Tradition—Moray House and its Memories—St John Street—The Fall of the Canongate.

  • Chapter VIII - Round about the Parliament Close
    The Parliament Close as Centre of Edinburgh LifeIts Old-time Aspect—The Luckenbooths—Memories of Allan Ramsay and Creech—The Old Kirk or Stinking StyleThe Krames—The Tolbooth: its History: its Details—A Famous Prison—The Purses—The Bluegowns—The Parliament House—Portraits of Famous Lawyers—The Courts—The Advocates’ Library— French Influence—History of the Parliament House—Old Customs—A Changed World.

  • Chapter IX - In and near the Grassmarket
    An Impression of the Grassmarket—Its Present State— Portsburgh—The West Port—The High Riggs—The Castle Wynd—The Story of the Macgregor—The Highlander in Old Edinburgh—The Irish Invasion—The West Bow—The Grime of Old Edinburgh—Dame Jean Bethune—The Place of Execution—The Heads of Criminals—The Covenanters—"Famous Guthrie"—The Porteous Mob—The Burke and Haze Murders—Ferocity of the Time—The White Mice of Tanner’s Close.

  • Chapter X - About the Cowgate
    Present-day Aspect of the Cowgate—Its Former Splendour—"The Palaces of the Cowgate —Its Early History—Candlemaker Row—The Society—The New Town to the South—The Darien House and the Darien Scheme—Last Days of Fergusson the Poet—The Potterrow—Discovery of the Casket Letters—The Horse Wynd — The Countess of Galloway and her little Oddities—The College Wynd and its Memories—Sir Walter Scott—Guthrie Street—A Cowgate Anecdote—Edinburgh Fires —Hope House and its lnmates---Tam o’ the Cowgate—The Philosopher’s Stone—Douglas, Bishop of Dunkeld—The Palace of Cardinal Beaton.

  • Chapter XI - Kirk O’ Field, the University and the Hospitals
    The Way to the College—The Buildings—The Academy of James VI.—An Historic Site—Kirk & Field—The Note of Scots Tragedies—The Story of Darnley’s Murder—Brief Annals of the University—Its Recent Growth—Inner Life of the Scots Student—Its Trials and Triumphs—Altered Conditions—The High School and Site of the Old Infirmary—A Literary Interlude—George Heriot’s Hospital and its Fellows—A City of Schools.

  • Chapter XII - Arthur's Seat and Calton Hill
    The Hills of Edinburgh—Arthur’s Seat and the King’s Park—A Royal Demesne—St Margaret’s Loch and Dunsappie Loch— St Margaret's Well — Whinny Hill and its Memories —Muschat's Cairn—The Ballad of the Hill—The Hunter’s Bog—The Radical Road — The Duke’s Walk — Duddingston Village—The Sheep’s Head—Duddingston Kirk—An Artist Minister—Cauvin’s Hospital—Duddingston Loch—Its Winter Aspects—Word Pictures by R. L. S.—The Lion Hill—The Legend of King Arthur—Salisbury Crags—St Anthony the Hermit—May-day Dew—The Calton Hill—Its Monuments— The National Monument—Calton Jail—Its Story—History and Traditions of the Calton — Word Pictures in Sartor Resartus.

  • Chapter XIII - The New Town and the Suburbs by the Sea
    The Growth of New Edinburgh—Its Beginning—First Plan of the New Town—How far it was realized—A River in the Valley!—The Railway—The Beauty of George Street—A Royal Figure — Princes Street — Its Defects and Qualities —The Modern Athens—New Town Interiors—A Lack of Historic Interest—The Citizen of the New Town—Newhaven and its Fisherfolk—The Port and Pier of Leith—Glories of the Edinburgh Margate—The End of the Seaside Suburbs.

  • Chapter XIV - The Churches of Edinburgh
    The Churches—St Giles before its Last Restoration—The Old Church—The Vandals of 1829—The Crown of the Steeple— The Legend of St Giles—The Reformation Changes—Varied Uses for Old St Giles—The Chambers Restoration and its Effects—A Note on Present Aspects—Jenny Geddes and her Work — The Preachings of Knox — Other Churches — St Cuthbert’s—St Mary’s Cathedral—The Barclay Church—Old Greyfriars—Dr Lee and Dr Robert Wallace, and their Work —The Tron—The Canongate Church—Memories of Trinity College and Trinity College Hospital—Their Destruction—The Dust of Mary of Gueldres—A Long Controversy—Rebuilding of Trinity College — Its Present State — Memories of the Magdalen Chapel—Its Present Use—Its Peculiar Interest.

  • Chapter XV - The Graveyards of Edinburgh
    The Graveyards of Edinburgh in Edinburgh History—The Burial-place of Knox—The Greyfriars, a Gift from Queen Mary— Memories of the Covenant—" Bluidy Mackenzie" again— Emblems of Mortality—The Resurrectionist—A View from the Canongate Cemetery
    — Adam Smith — Robert Fergusson— David Hume’s Monument on the Calton—A Note on the Philosopher—The Graveyard of St Cuthbert’s—The Weight of Mortality.

  • Chapter XVI - Two Edinburgh Criminals
    Scots Crime and Criminals-Case of Major Weir—The West Bow again—Its Saints and Sinners—Weir’s Early History and High Position—The Legend of his Staff—His Confession—His Apprehension and that of his Sister—Their Conduct in Prison—Their Trial and Condemnation—End of the Major on the Gallowlee, and of his Sister in the Grassmarket—The Growth of the Legend—After History of Major Weir’s Land—Major Weir in Literature—The True Significance of his Story—The Deacon and his Close—His Early History and Reputable Position—His Secret Vices—His Associates—The Robbery of the Excise Office—The Deacon Escapes to Holland—He is brought back—Incidents of the Trial—The Verdict of Guilty—The Last Scene by the Tolbooth—The Deacon’s Bravado— His Portrait—Reflections on his Life and Career—The Play of Henley and Stevenson.

  • Chapter XVII - Three Edinburgh Masters and a Visitor
    The Great Men of Edinburgh—Three Edinburgh Authors and their Monuments—The Fergusson Localities—His Life and Character—His Chief Poems—His Pictures of Edinburgh— The Scott Localities—His Pictures of Edinburgh Folk and Edinburgh Places—The Stevenson Localities—His Early Years—The Attraction of the North—His Literary Use of Edinburgh—His Remarks on, and Interest in, Fergusson— His Suggestions for a Monument—Scott and Stevenson Contrasted—A Personal Reminiscence of Stevenson—The Burns Localities—His Life in Edinburgh—Clarinda.

  • Chapter XVIII - Literary Annals of Edinburgh
    Edinburgh and Men of Letters—The New and the Old—Fugitive Figures—The Great Days of James IV.—William Dunbar, Gawin Douglas and Sir David Lyndsay—Their Lives and Works—The Reformation Epoch—John Knox and George Buchanan—Life and Times of Allan Ramsay—The Great Men that followed him—"A Hotbed of Genius"—The Last Days of Adam Smith—"Bony" and his pranks—Lord Jeffrey and Henry Mackenzie—The Edinburgh Review—Its Founders and their Work—Blackwood's Magazine
    and its Work—The Chaldee Manuscript—The Chief Figures—The Scots Observer—Dr John Brown—The End of the Story.

  • Chapter XIX - A Note on Art
    Old Scotland unfavourable to Art—Church and Church Splendours before the Reformation—The Altar-piece at Holyrood—A Time of Destruction—The Statue of the Old Town—James Norrey, George Jameson, David Allan—The New Town and the Changes it brought—Museums of the Capital—A Lesser South Kensington—The Corporation Museum—Its Value for the Student—The Antiquarian Museum and its Treasures—The National Portrait Gallery—The National Picture Gallery— Raeburn and his Work—Art Treasures in the Lothians outside Edinburgh—The Buildings of Edinburgh—Their Various Merits—The Scott Monument—Divergent Views—In the Classic Style—Hopes for the Future.

  • Chapter XX - The ‘45 In the Lothians
    The End of Old-world Scotland—Early Stage of the Rising— In the Lothians—Flight of the Dragoons—Fear of the Citizens—Lochiel Enters the Town—The Prince Reaches the City— Proclamation at the Cross—The Night at Holyrood—The Advance of Cope—The Battle of Prestonpans—Victory of the Jacobites—Edinburgh under the Prince—His March on the South—End of the Rising—Was Success Possible?—Conduct of the Highlanders during the Occupation—Traditions, Grave and Gay—The Last Notes of the Pipes.

  • Chapter XXI - Roslin and Hawthornden
    On the Road to Roslin—The Pentlands—The North and South Esk—The Gentle Shepherd—Roslin Castle—Memories of the Erskines—A Quaint Legend—The Glory of Roslin Chapel— Roslin Glen—Its Varied Beauties—Hawthornden and the Drummonds—The Visit of Ben Jonson—Drummond’s Epitaph—Some Words on his House—A Note on Lasswade and Dalkeith.

  • Chapter XXII - Queensferry and its Memories
    The Queensferry Road—Objects of Interest on the Way—Cramond Brig in Fact and Drama—The Story of the Ferry—Memories of St Margaret—The Hawes Inn—The Unearned Increment— Mentioned by Scott and Stevenson—The Romantic Note—The Forth Bridge—Blackness and Barnbougle Castles—Graham’s Dyke.

  • Chapter XXIII - Linlithgow
    The Linlithgow Road—Impressions of the Pentland Hills—First Thoughts of Linlithgow—A Town of Wells—Historic Sites— In the Palace Grounds—The Old-time Castle and its Fortunes—The Assassination of Moray—What Followed After—The Vision of James IV. in St Michael’s Kirk—Outside and Inside the Palace—A Memory of the ‘45—Burning of the Palace— The Stuarts and Linlithgow—Riding of the Marches—"Adew, Lithgow"

  • Chapter XXIV - Haddington
    Dead Men’s Bones — Some Quaint Buildings — Nungate of Haddington—Its Interest—Lucerna Laudonia—Its Varied FortunesThe BridgeTrials of the Old Citizens—Legends of a Flood—The Siege—A Story about it—The Birthplace of Knox—Old Town — Literary History—The Writings of Knoz—Self-Interpreting Bible—The Letters of Mrs Carlyle— Samuel Smiles—A Nook in the Garleton Hills—Sir David Lyndsay—The Village of Athelstaneford—Blair and Home.

  • Chapter XXV - On Lammer Law
    Spring by the Tyne—The "Stanners Heids"—The Tower of the Maitlands—An Alpine TouchThe Hamlet of BoItonA Memory of BurnsThe countryside—A Pastoral Interlude—Soutra Hospital and Soutra Aisle—Pringle of Goodman’s AcreSoutra Mill—By the Cairn on Lammer Law—Mist and Gloom—A Hillside ShepherdThe Downward Path—The Journey’s End.

  • Chapter XXVI - BY Hailes and Traprain
    Hardgate of Haddington—House Mottoes—The Banks of Tyne— Amisfield Park—The Tragedy of Newmills —The Abbey HamletRelics of the Abbey—Its History—Mary Stuart— Stevenson HouseUntrodden WaysBarbed Wire—Hailes CastleMemories of Mary and Bothwell—The Castle PrecinctsTraprain—Its Legend—"Speed the Plough"The Harvesters.

  • Chapter XXVII - Dunbar and the Berwick Road
    The Berwick Road—Gladsmuir—Principal Robertson—The Crawstane—St Lawrence House—The Leper and the Tramp—The Croakers’ Hedges— Pencraik—The Stannin' Stane—The Tyne at East Linton—Belhaven Sands—Dunbar Tolbooth—The Presence of the Sea—The Story of Dunbar—The Castle— Its Ruin—The Prophecy of Thomas of Ercildoune—The Exploits of Black Agnes—Queen Mary in the Castle—Dunbar DriveThe Genius of Cromwell.

  • Chapter XXVIII - Tantallon and the Bass
    East Lothian Cottages—A Woodland Scene—Whitekirk—Legend of St Baldred— Our Lady of Whitekirk— A Gouty Pope— Tantallon—The Ducat—The Douglas Family—Their Stronghold—Gawin Douglas and Scott—A Ghost story—The Bass— Its Various Aspects—The Martyrs of the Bass—Legends of Peden the Prophet—Old-time Beer and Tobacco—Jacobites on the Bass—Solan Geese— Myths about them—A Caledonian Tit-bit.

  • Chapter XXIX - North Berwick and the Shore of the Firth
    On North
    Berwick Law—The prospect—North Berwick Old and New — Antiquites —The Nunnery —The Witches — Gellie Duncan—A Royal Witch-finder—Golf and the Golfer—Dress and HabitsThe CaddiesIslands in the FirthDirletonFeuing and Feu-duties—Two Prosperous Lawyers—.Gullane —Old Days on the Links—Bogle HilI—Longniiddry and its memories—Fenton Tower and the Red House—The Seton Country and the Setons—The Thistle and the Rose.


Traditions of Edinburgh
By Robert Chalmers (1868)

Those that have enjoyed the above book might well enjoy this one by Robert Chalmers and you can...

Download it here! (31Mb)


Edinburgh Past and Present
By J. B. Gillies

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Book of the Old Edinburgh Club


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