A-Z of entries
Blair's Close, Castlehill: home of Robert Ross, Ramsay's father-in-law.
Luckenbooths: First floor flat bought by Allan Ramsay for £570 in 1724. Ramsay launches first circulating library on 1st floor in east front at eastern end, 1725-26. His shop stocked playscripts as a matter of course by November 1734. In 1740, Ramsay retired from his library and it passed to John Yair. It was sold to James Sibbald in 1779; latterly in Parliament Close, it had reached around 20,000 volumes by 1780. In 1805, Alexander Mackay took over both Ramsay’s and the ‘later rival Gray’s librarie’.
Ramsay Garden: Goosepie, built eighteenth century.
Ramsay’s house: the house stood at the head of the Wynd and was timber fronted ‘at the sign of the Mercury, opposite Niddry’s Wynd’ with outside stone stair to upper level, demolished in 1899.
Ramsay’s Lane: Ramsay’s Land.
Alison’s Close: 34 Cowgate North side. Named for James Alison, merchant (1635).
Bank of Scotland: was in Parliament Square, then Old Bank Close, in 1700. The first watermarked banknote was produced in 1723.
Baths: 1707-10, near College of Surgeons in Black Friars Land.
Bearford’s Parks: property of Bearford of East Lothian, now Princes Street Gardens.
Blyth’s Close: just west of Milne’s Entry, Castlehill/Lawnmarket.
Brown’s Close: 79 Canongate North side, in Ramsay’s day this was called Sommerville’s Close: John Sommervile was a gunsmith who ‘advertised coach services to London between 1736 and 1754.’
Burnet’s Close: 156 High St South side; 170 Cowgate. Named for Samuel Burnet, brewer; also Morice/Mories Close from Peter Morice/Mories.
Byre’s Close: 373 High St North side. Named for John Byres, Merchant Burgess (1569-1629).
Calton: Old Calton Burying Ground 1718. The city bought Calton lands from Balmerino in 1724; Calton burgh of barony 1725.
Campbell’s Close: East of Tolbooth, 87 Canongate. Named for Bailie George Campbell, seventeenth-century meal merchant.
Campbell’s Close East: 145 Cowgate South side. Named for Archibald Campbell, brewer in the seventeenth century.
Campbell’s Close West: 109 Cowgate South side. This was Bailie Robertson’s Close, for Thomas Robertson of Lochbank, bailie in 1681 and 1684.
Canongate: Canongate/Canoungait (1366).
Canongate Tolbooth: north-side outside stair led to the 1st floor of the council chamber.
Carmichael’s Close: 66 now 54 Grassmarket. Named for Robert Carmichael, died before 1754.
Carmichael’s or Haliburton’s Close: 251/265 High St. William Carmichael, merchant and bailie in 1673; contemporary Haliburton family. Connected Craig’s and Old Post Office Closes.
Castlehill: 1714, Sanctuary in Castle discontinued. Attempt to seize castle on 8 September 1715. 1742, location of Governor’s House.
The Castle: Edinburgh Castle was the major fortification of the city. Sanctuary in the Castle was only discontinued in 1714, a year before there was an attempt to seize it by Jacobite forces under Brigadier Mackintosh of Borlum. In 1745, Jacobites again attacked the Castle, firing from Allan Ramsay’s house (The Goose Pie), while Mons Meg, the Castle’s great mediaeval bombard, was taken to London in 1754 in the aftermath of the Jacobite defeat. Butts for target practice were nearby, and there was a well at the Half Moon Battery. The term ‘Castle Bank’ was used to describe the north and south braes on the approach to the Castle.
Cessford Close: 230 Cowgate North side. Named for Thomas Cessford senior, stabler, who had a tenement here in the 1680s.
Chalmers’ Close: 81 High St North side. Patrick Chalmers (1682), captain of the trained bands, built a tenement in the Close; also by 1726 was Boyd’s Close, from Hugh Boyd, merchant, and his property at the close head.
Chessel’s Court: 240 Canongate South Side, mansion flats built 1748 by Archibald Chessel, Wright.
City Chambers: 249 High St North side. Here as of 1753 following 1751 tenement collapse.
College Wynd: 205 Cowgate South side. Sixteenth and seventeenth century. Noted as Kirk o Field, the site of Darnley’s (second husband of Mary Queen of Scots) murder.
Common Close: Common Closes, 287, 295 and 307 Canongate. These closes all gave public access to Canongate.
Coutt’s Close: in 1722 was the ‘first close east of St Mary’s Wynd.’
Covenant Close: 162 High Street South side, possibly formerly Conn’s Close, 162 High Street; 162 Cowgate: John Con, flesher in the sixteenth century.
Cowagte: known as new ‘South street’ in the fourteenth century. 1696-1714: Bath house opened near Cowgate; tenement up to fifteen storeys high; Back stairs to Parliament Close; Sir Thomas Hope’s house (1616) incorporated into Central Reference Library (nineteenth century); Meal market attacked in 1740 bread riots.
Cowan’s Close: Cowgate South side, possibly late eighteenth century.
Craig’s Close: 265 High St North side, Cockburn Street. Caledonian Mercury published here. Named for John Craig, by 1742 wright and burgess. Also called Burne’s, Byrnie’s, Cant’s, and Denniston’s.
Currie’s/Curror’s Close: 384 High St South side and 110 (now 94) Grassmarket. Andrew Currie was deacon of the weavers in 1736. Close runs between Castlehill and Grassmarket.
Dick’s Close: 195 Cowgate South side. Named for William Dick, brewer before 1743, and his successors.
Dickson’s Close: 118 High St South side and 212 Cowgate (seventeenth century name). Called Aikman’s in 1717/24; Halyburton’s Close subsidiary Close to the east, James Halyburton, advocate (sixteenth century).
Don’s Close: 327 High St North side, named for William Don, vintner, resident from 1704; also termed Plainstanes (1718)-see Canongate.
Dunbar’s Close: Lawnmarket North side. John Dunbar was a glover; his son George was bailie in 1737. Earlier Penston’s (1698): John Painstoun, merchant burgess.
Dyster’s Close: 77 Cowgate South side, possibly late eighteenth century name. Was Little Close in 1635.
Elliot’s Close: 380 High St South side, may be late eighteenth-century name.
Fishmarket (New Bank) Close: 196 High St South side; 144 Cowgate, dates from 1539. Two closes with the market between them, one Fishmarket wynd, other back of Borthwick’s Close (1742 version of Edgar map, where the western close is Fishmarket). Also known as Home’s (1707) and Carmichael’s (1723).
Fleshmarket Close: 199 High St North side, market moved between 1647 and 1691; old Close was in 355 Canongate.
Forsyth’s Close: 57 Canongate North side. Alexander Forsyth, coachmaker and burgess, acquired property 1719.
Foulis Close: 229 High Street North side. Going by the key in Edgar’s map; possibly Fowler’s Close, seventeenth century, or John Fowles, apothecary prior to 1746.
Foulis Close South: 42 High Street South side, for Sir James Foulis, 7th of Colinton (1711). Purves Close in sixteenth century.
French Ambassador’s Chapel: Close ‘59’, Edgar.
(Bailie) Fyfe’s Close: 107 High St North side, for Gilbert Fyfe, merchant and thrice bailie 1677-86.
Galloway’s Close: 425 High St North side. Before 1722, Galloway’s Land.
Geddes’ (Swan’s) Close: 233 High St North side. Robert Geddes of Scotstoun, surgeon, had a tenement there, next to Anchor Close, prior to 1740. Named Hutcheson’s in Edgar’s 1742 map, for William Hutchison, Dean of Guild 1712-13; also known as Richardson’s after Robert Richardson, the writer who built a tenement there in 1687.
Gentle’s Close: 120 Canongate South side. Late eighteenth century, named for James Gentle, weaver and bailie of Canongate, who bought property here from Richard Cooper. Burns was helped by Gentle to erect tombstone over the grave of Robert Fergusson.
Gibb’s Close: 250 Canongate South side. Named for Robert Gibb, coachmaker prior to 1744 and after the trade began in 1696.
Girth Cross: Girth or Grass Cross, by Water Gate/Yett at foot of Canongate by Leith Wynd.
Gladstone’s Land: 483-489 Lawnmarket North side, 6 storeys; Gladstane’s Close at c481 was immediately east.
Grassmarket: Bowfoot Well here; Bughts for livestock market from 1470s. Executions with the Maiden ceased, 1710; Porteous hanged, 1736; Alexander Nasmyth born, 1758; Gallows stone at east end removed, 1784.
Hart’s Close: High Street North side, named for Andro Hart, printer; demolished for North Bridge in 1763. Replaced by Stables in 1765 edition of Edgar’s map.
High School: Commons (formerly High School) Close, 307 Canongate 1714.
High School Close: 287 was East Common Close, also Logan’s; 295 was Mid Common Close, also Veitch’s; 307 was West Common Close, also High School Close (Harris (1995)).
High Street/Hie Gait: Samuel Pepys visited in 1682, Daniel Defoe 1706-08. ‘Perhaps, the largest, longest and finest street for buildings and number of inhabitants, not in Britain only, but in the world’; ‘houses, which, on the south side, appear to be eleven or twelve story high, and inhabited to the very top’ (Defoe). Guard House in the middle of the street near Tron, four apartments with oubliette under floor, eastern side of the building (21x12m) housed the city chimney sweeps, the Tron men. Town Guard replaced Greycoats in 1682.
Holyrood: Oratory built there 1685; in 1686, Chapel Royal converted from council chamber; 1687-88: Abbey Kirk in Chapel of Knights of the Thistle; 15 August 1687, Chancellor’s Lodging to be a Jesuit College; 10-11 December 1688, ‘chapel, royal tomb and more’ attacked by a mob. In 1745, there were Hunters’ Balls at Holyrood; in 1753, the Gothic porch was pulled down and in 1755 the Abbey Gate was razed.
Hume’s Close: 101 Cowgate South side. Possibly from Peter Home and Agnes Rae’s (his wife’s) building ante 1709; also known as Crombie’s or Dyer’s Close, listed as Craig’s in Edgar’s 1742 map.
Kay’s Close: east of 145 Cowgate South side, also called Powrie’s.
Lang Dykes: road enclosed by two drystane dykes, site of Princes Street.
Lawnmarket: Laundmerket (Lawnmarket from mid eighteenth century), from St Giles entry at the Tolbooth to the Bowheid. Mary of Guise’s Palace at the top 1540s, garden sloping down to Nor’ Loch, demolished 1861 for Free Kirk Assembly Hall. Fire in 1725.
Kinloch’s Close: 257 Canongate North side. Was previously Oliphant’s, then Seton’s Middle Close.
Leith: 1560 Leith Wynd Port built- Western Road to Leith. In 1703, 3 July extensive damage caused was by the explosion of 33 barrels of powder; £2669 raised for relief effort. The citadel of Leith was occupied by Mackintosh of Borlum, 14 October 1715, ultimatum delivered there by Argyle. Leith Wynd defended by entrenchments- wood & earth (gabions?) and cannon, autumn 1715. Leith had14 breweries in 1693, William Younger set up in business 1749. St Paul’s Work at foot of Leith Wynd ‘used for the employment primarily of poor boys and girls’.
Luckenbooths: 25,000 paintings hanging in Scotland at end of seventeenth century; range of patents for new colours of paint announced in Caledonian Mercury 1 September 1730. Originally Buth Raw (fifteenth century)- 22 closed booths as early as 1457, with open krames (smaller booths) beyond. At eastern end of Tolbooth: facing St Giles, middle row of buildings; two large houses there too to 1811 (Luckenbooths removed 1817 by which time they had narrowed the road to 4.5m). Cromwell is supposed to have stayed in the projection at the back. Tiny shops or krames up against St Giles on the other side from Luckenbooths - sometimes 2x1m. William Creech’s shop in east front at east end of Luckenbooths facing down High St. Ramsay’s was the flat above where his library was begun in 1725.The Stinkand was a short pend giving access through the Luckenbooths to the north porch of St Giles.
Lyon’s Close: 215 High Street. Lyon’s Close, 215 High Street: also Stalker’s prior to 1756.
MacConnochie’s Close: 44 Cowgate North side. Named for William MacConnochie, wright, who had a shipyard here prior to 1763.
Mahogany Land: Led to the West Bow, businesses on ground floor, living upstairs.
Meal Market: 110/122 Cowgate North side. Meal Market stairs lead up to Parliament Close.
Milne’s Close: 218 Canongate South side. Built by Robert Milne ante 1709.
Milne’s Entry: known as Cranston’s until late seventeenth century.
Moffat’s Close: 29 High St North side, so named prior to 1740.
Monteith’s Close: 61 High St North side, owned a booth or tenement, previously Fleming’s.
Moray House: Moray House (1628), 174 Canongate South side. Union to be signed there by Commissioners in the summer house but violence of mob caused withdrawal to house in High Street near Tron. The Garden was connected to Heriot’s Hospital and mentioned in Pitcairn’s Assembly (Chambers 310-11).
Morocco’s Close: 273 Canongate North side, there was an effigy of a Moor here on the street front.
Morocco Close: Lawnmarket North side, also known as Jameson’s.
Murdoch’s Close: 70 High St South side, for Robert Murdoch, writer, ante 1737.
Mylne’s Square: Mylne’s Square.1684-88: built, named for Robert Mylne, last royal master mason of his family Laigh and Upper Fleshmarket.
(Bailie) Nairn’s Close: for James Nairne (1697-1766).
Netherbow Port: Built in 1606 in imitation of Porte St Honore, Paris. Demolished 1764: outline in brass bricks at junction of St Mary’s and Jeffrey St.
New Assembly Close: 142 High St South side, in use from 1736. Entry 2s 6d from 1756 (Hon Miss Nicky Murray presides).
New Port: Built up as anti-Jacobite defence in the autumn of 1715. Slaughterhouses here by Nor’ Loch.
New Town: Conceived of under Charles II and by March 1752 proposals of Sir Gilbert Elliott commended by Lord Provost Drummond, destruction in Old Town contemporaneous with scoping of New.
Nor’ Loch: Fed by springs under Castle Rock and dammed at bottom of Halkerston’s Wynd (Halkerston’s Croft was east end of the north bank); sluice stopped autumn 1715 for defence. Lang Dykes ran alongside it- now occupied by Princes Street. The Nor’ Loch was up to 2.5m deep. It was used both for trying witches and by suicides, who used the deep pool known as ‘the Pot’.
Old/Auld Provost’s Close: 189 High St South side, also called Middle Fleshmarket and East Fishmarket Close.
Old Fishmarket Street: The Fishmarket, no. 65 in Edgar.
Outlook Tower: 543-549 Castlehill. Bottom storeys are from the seventeenth century.
Panmure Close: 129 Canongate North side, built 1691.
Parliament Close (Square), High St South side: In 1639, Parliament House was completed; the place of the old Estates of Scotland (the Scottish Parliament) was kept here until 1779, though the portraits were removed. In 1685, the Charles II equestrian statue helped to create a Place Royale, while on 13 August 1701, ‘the unwarrantable hight of the new buildings on the south syde of the parliament closs’ were decreed to be Robert Mylne’s responsibility. Defoe noted that there were ‘houses, which, on the south side (i.e. rising from the Cowgate), appear to be eleven or twelve story high, and inhabited to the very top.’ The Goldsmiths were located here. Parliament-Close Council (50-100 inhabitants/shopkeepers, met twice a year for dinner. There were Back Stairs to 108 Cowgate, down which the smuggler Robertson escaped in 1736. Parliament Stairs led from the back of Parliament House to the Cowgate. The President’s Stairs were named for Hew Dalrymple, Lord President 1698-1737, also known as Post Office Stairs. Episcopalians not to preach ‘in any Parochial Church or Meeting House’ by order of Scottish Privy Council. Restriction to apply even to Qualified Episcopalians, 21 February 1706. West or Haddo’s Hole Kirk, western subdivision of St Giles. Ramsay also attended (beside the Tron) the Auld Kirk, St Giles. The Scottish General Assemby, ‘tho’ pressed to it, refus’d to set apart a solemn Day of Thanksgiving for the Union’ (Hearne II:12).
Pearson’s Close: High St North side, replaced in 1753 by Royal Exchange.
Peter’s Close: 179 Cowgate South side. For Alexander Peter/Peters, wright, and his wife Isobel Dunbar, built before 1744.
Pipe’s Close: Named for the pipes coming from the 1681 Water House.
Ramsay’s Close: east end of Canongate, north side.
Ratteray’s Close: 115 Cowgate South side. Known as Ayre’s Close prior to 1762, before that as Robertson’s.
Riddel’s Court/Close: 312-28 Lawnmarket South side. Flats built in 1726. Bailie McMorran’s House (1590) through arched pend.
Robertson’s Close: 263 Cowgate North side, near Kirk o Field. Was named Dickson’s in 1714, western branch of the Close named Melrose in 1709.
Royal Bank of Scotland: Ship Close, High St, Eeast end of Parliament Square 1727.
Royal Exchange: 249 High St North side, built 1753-61. Designed by John Adam, up to 12 storeys on Cockburn Street side.
Sellars’ Close: 399 High St North side, possibly from Patrick Sellar’s tavern.
Sempill’s/Semple’s Close: 599 High St North side, also called Williamson’s.
Silver Wells Close: Cowgate, may have been named from St Michael’s Well.
Skinner’s Close 2: 613 High St North side.
South Loch: Thomas Hope of Rankeillor began reclamation of the Meadows, and in 1743 Middle Meadow Walk opened. Burns’s father William Burnes was involved in landscaping work a few years later.
St John’s Close: 188 Canongate South side, St John’s Land. Led to St John St, where the Canongate Kilwinning Lodge had premises and Lord Monboddo lived.
Stevenlaw’s Close: Listed by Edgar as Stanelaw’s.
Stewart’s Close North & South: High Street, replaced in 1753 by Royal Exchange- John Innes’s Maths classes there November 1734. Displayed in key for Edgar map of 1742.
The Strand: a burn that ran along the N side of the South Back of the Canongate (now Holyrood Road).
Turk’s Close: High St South side, earlier Carfrae’s Close (Carthrae’s in Edgar 1742).
Waverley Station: Plaque for intial site of Edinburgh Physic Garden, 1675-1763, founded by Sir Robert Sibbald (1641-1722) and Sir Andrew Balfour (1630-94) in 1670.
Wilson’s Close: 211 Cowgate South side. Named for Robert Wilson, wig maker, who owned Wilson’s Land here before 1751.
World’s End: 10 High Street South side.
William Adams: printer of the Caledonian Mercury, worked out of Carrubber's Close.
Lord Justice Clerk Alva: Mylne’s Court, 513-523 Lawnmarket North side, built 1690. First example of a modern square, so it is claimed. Lord Justice Clerk Alva (1680-1763) lived here on 2nd and 3rd floors on the west.
Dr John Boswell: Boswell’s Court, 352 Castlehill South side. Around 1600 there were 5 storeys. Dr John Boswell’s house backed on to Duke of Gordon’s seventeenth-century mansion. Was Lowthian’s Close prior to late eighteenth century.
James Boswell: had his house at 5/7 James Court, 493 Lawnmarket.
Boswell Family: home of the Boswell Family in Blair's Land, Parliament Close.
Deacon Brodie: Deacon Brodie’s house, South side, Lawnmarket no. 304, Close 306-10. Prior to 1759 Lord Cullen’s Close (1709-26) and Little’s Close.
William Brown & John Mosman: King's Printers in 1724, working in Parliament Close.
Canongate: 61 gentry still resident in Canongate in 1769.
John Cleland: Built a house here, Multrie’s Hill, on the site of Register House/St James’s Square in 1734.
Lady Dalrymple and Boswell of Balminto: Lady Stair’s Close, High St North side. Lady Stair died 1759. Lady Damrymple and Boswell of Balminto there 1752.
Sir Hew Dalrymple & Hamilton of Bagour: Sir Hew Dalrymple, Lord President (1698-1737), William Hamilton of Bangour brought up in Bristo Street from 1711. President’s Stairs in Parliament Close named for him, also known as Post Office Stairs.
Countess of Eglinton: Old Stamp Office Close, next to 219 High St North side. Residence of Susanna, Countess of Eglinton (1689-1780) and her daughters; Lord High Commissioner held levees here 1754. Formerly Newbank Close for RBS (1727) and Ship Tavern Close.
Sir James Elphinstone: Elphinstone’s Court built for Sir James Elphinstone, 1679.
Henry Erskine: South Gray’s Close, 40 High St South side. Henry Erskine, Lord Advocate, b 1746. Scottish Mint (Cunzie House) built 1574 near Cowgate entrance. Dies of the Scottish coinage were destroyed after Union; the building is now St Ann’s Community Centre. Dr Cullen and his family were all born here.
Andrew Fletcher, Lord Milton: Milton House, 90 Canongate. Milton House built in gardens of Lord Roxburgh’s house by Andrew Fletcher, Lord Milton (1692-1766), 1742-55/58.
Sir James Fergusson: Kilkerran’s Court, High St South side, for Sir James Fergusson (1688-1759), near head of Forrester’s Wynd.
Robert Fergusson: Born at Cap and Feather Close (or Halkerston Wynd) High Street North side, 1750.
Rev David Freebairn (1653-1739): lived opposite the Guard House in 'next Stair to the Ship Tavern'.
Duchess of Gordon: Speaking House where Duchess of Gordon was resident (1753), just south of Moray House, chartered to the Hammermen 1647.
Earl of Haddington: built town house (Haddington Court) at Haddington’s Entry or Close, east of Bailie Reid’s Close, 80 Canongate South side.
Lady Hay and Lady Glasgow: Paterson’s Court, High Street, on part of the old Meal Market site, built by Andrew Paterson of Inch and Kirktoun prior to 1724, with John Henderson of Leistoun, wright: also known as Paterson and Henderson’s [or vice-versa] Court. Lady Hay and Lady Glasgow there 1752. Paterson’s Land had Robert Paterson, brewer in 1752 also.
David Hume: He lived at Riddle’s Close, 322 High Street (named for George Riddel the wright, 1700) in 1751. In 1730 Close described as Sir James Smith’s now Royston’s. It was in Jack’s Land that Hume wrote the History of England while resident here 1753-62. Jack’s Land was built by Robert and Jon Jack, slaters, after 1738. The two closes on either side are Jack’s Close (225 Canongate North side) and Big Jack’s Close (231 Canongate North side). The adjective of the latter close refers to its width. 225 Canongate has been noted as a ‘five-storey tenement at the side of which access may be had to Big Jack’s Close’ (opposite St John Street).
Marquis of Huntly, Gordons & Revd Robert Forbes: Blair’s and Brown’s Closes, Castlehill South side, dwelling of Marquis of Huntly, Gordons; 1st Duke of Gordon d Citadel, Leith 1716. Revd Robert Forbes was Minister of Leith in 1745, who lived with Dame Magdalen Bruce of Kinross, widow of that Bruce who had assisted in Restoration (Chambers, 19n).
Sir Archibald Johnstoun: Warriston’s Close, 323 High St North side named for Sir Archibald Johnstoun of Warriston.
George Lindsay: Lindsay’s Close, 350 High St. George Lindsay (1708-57) lived in Lindsay’s Land, named for an earlier family member.
President Lockhart & Chiesly of Dalry: In March 1689, Lord President Lockhart was killed by Chiesly of Dalry at head of Old Bank Close; in 1695 the Bank of Scotland opened.
Sir George Mackenzie: Strichen’s/Lord Streighan’s Close, 104 High St South side, lodging of Abbot of Melrose, subsequently Sir George Mackenzie of Rosehaugh. It was then Rosehaugh’s Close thereafter Lord Strichen’s and thus Strichen’s Close from 1730, High Street immediate west of Blackfriar’s Wynd, at the foot of which was Archbishop Bethune (Beaton’s) house as Chancellor to James V.
Henry Mackenzie: Born at Libberton’s Wynd, 1745.
John Mackie: bookseller at Parliament Close, died 1722.
Sir John Medina: lived here with his wife, on the second floor of 'the first Stone Land above the Tron Church' before his widow's flitting on Whitsunday 1711.
Lord Monboddo & Tobias Smollett: St John’s Cross/ Street was an upmarket area. No. 1 was the home of the street porter; Monboddo had his ‘learned suppers’ here at no. 13 and Tobias Smollett stayed ‘in a stair at the head of this street’.
Laurence Oliphant: Brown’s Close, named in 1697 for Bailie Thomas Brown, bookseller, bailie in 1680, who in 1691 built a tenement at the close head; previously Heriot’s Close (1635). Laurence Oliphant, Goldsmith there in 1752.
Captain Porteous & Alexander Nasmyth: Hunter’s Close, 131 now 79 Grassmarket. Main entrance is where Porteous was hanged 1736 at 83/85 Grassmarket. Alexander Nasmyth born 1758.
Sir Simon Preston: Hunter Square, at junction with High St, Black Turnpike, was the home of Sir Simon Preston, sometime Lord Provost. Demolished 1788.
Lady Riccarton: At Roxburgh’s Close, High Street North side in 1752.
Earl of Selkirk: Hyndford’s Close, 34 or 50(?) High St South side. Home of Earl of Selkirk from 1742, then Prof Daniel Rutherford, uncle of Walter Scott. Anne, Countess of Balcarres lived on Hyndford’s Close stair- her daughter wrote ‘Auld Robin Gray’.
Adam Smith: Lived at Panmure House, Panmure Close in 1778.
[St] James Court: 493-501 Lawnmarket North side. 1725 in part, also called for James Brownhill, wright (built 1723-27). West entry named Fountainhall Close for Sir John Lauder, Lord Fountainhall (1646-1722). Middle, Main and east entries also. Home to Ilay Campbell, Clerk of Penicuik; David Hume there in 1762. In 1745, due to the risk of firing from the Castle, the North side was evacuated or inhabitants remained at their own risk.
Lord Provost Stewart, Lord Elliott, Lady Boghall, and Major Weir: Lord Provost Stewart’s House looked down on the Grassmarket from West Bow. Paton’s Land was home of Gilbert Elliott, Lord Minto; Lady Boghall lived in Moffat’s Land. Major Weir’s House head of the Bow: Weir’s Close, 24 West or Upper Bow, named for Weir’s Land.
Charles, 4th Earl of Traquair: Entrance for house at head of Canongate, St Mary’s Wynd, belonging to twin daughters of Charles, 4th Earl of Traquair; Archibald Pitcairne epigrammatized their birth.
Marquesses of Tweeddale: Tweeddale Court, town residences of the Marquesses of Tweeddale.
Alexander Webster: Dr Webster’s Close/House South side. Alexander Webster, minister to the Tolbooth Kirk 1737, built house in 1739.
Joseph Wightman & Agnes Maclehose: Bristo(w) Port was a gate in Flodden Wall, built in 1515. Darien House was here in 1698, and General’s Entry (named for Major General Joseph Wightman, Commander in Chief Scotland). Agnes Maclehose later lived there. In 1743, a charity workhouse was opened nearby. Bristo was the name of the whole surrounding area of 23 Scots acres (11.7 ha). Sir Hew Dalrymple had his house in Bristo Street, where William Hamilton of Bangour (1704-54) was raised by his stepfather from 1711 onwards. Hamilton was a Jacobite and fought in 1745. He contributed to the Tea-Table Miscellany and to the 1727 New Miscellany of Scots Songs as well as a preface to 2nd edition of The Gentle Shepherd.
Earl of Winton: Galloway’s Entry, 65 Canongate North side. Early eighteenth century; William Edgar map of 1742; now ‘Whitefoord’? Ruins of Earl of Winton’s house noted 1769.
Art, music, theatre
Advocate’s Close, 357 High Sttreet: Sir John Scougall (c1645-c1730) portrait painter had a gallery on one of the floors of his house in this close: commissioned for Glasgow Town Council to paint William & Mary 1708. Scougall trained painters, including the portraitist, Richard Wait, active from 1706: he may also have been influential on the young Ramsay. Also the residence of Lord Advocate, Sir James Stewart, 1692-1709, 1711-1713 and also of Andrew Crosbie (d1785), who was represented as Counsellor Pleydell in Sir Walter Scott’s Guy Mannering. Lady Blair Drummond and William Grant the Lord Advocate there in 1752.
Assemblies: Held at the West Bow from c1710, and the Old Assembly Rooms in Old Assembly Close, 172 High Street N. Country dancing after 5 or 6 couple minuets became established by mid century. The new Assembly Rooms were opened in New Assembly Close, Bell’s Wynd in 1756. The Hon Miss Nicky Murray, the sister of the future Earl of Mansfield and the Earl of Dunbar, chaired these socially exclusive gatherings, in which other Scottish gentry such as the Countess of Leven, Lady Elliott and Mrs Grant of Prestongrange were leading lights. Entrance was 2s 6d: some £20 at 2015 prices, or perhaps £50 at purchasing power parity.
Auld/ Old Provost’s Close, High Street: home of the painter Alexander Aikman in 1729.
Bailie Fyfe’s Close, opposite head of Blackfriars Wynd: Saturday concerts from December 1699 in Mr. Badham's House.
Bell’s Wynd: 142 High St, 178 Cowgate. Dancing Assembly directed by Hon Miss Nicky Murray from 1756 in New Assembly Close opposite, entry 2s 6d sterling. Known as ‘Bellis wynd’ from at least 1500.
Canongate: Richard Cooper Sr (c1701-1764) lived in Canongate, west side of St John Street from 1735 (his garden stretched 135m to Cowgate); Robert Strange (1721-92) was apprenticed to him 1736-42. Cooper published Alexander Stuart’s Musick for Allan Ramsay’s Collection in 1726. Cooper leased his 25 window house on the Canongate to Countess of Traquair and entertained the Duke of Gordon there in 1757. Cooper set up an Academy for Engravings in his house 1735. John Alexander may have lived there. Cooper moved to the upper floors of Wilson’s Court in 1754 and let his Canongate house to the dowager Countess of Traquair. The Jacobite painter Cosmo Alexander (son of John) received in total £26 12s for portrait of the twin sisters and Lady Traquair, August 1755-December 1756. Bailie James Gentle bought property from Cooper at 120 Canongate S: Gentle subsequently helped Burns to erect a tombstone over the grave of Robert Fergusson. The Comedians company based at the foot of the Canongate.
Carrubber’s Close, 135 High Street North side: Signora Violante performed here from 1715 when there was possibly an isolated Jacobite performance, and Ramsay wrote a prologue for the players as early as 1726. Ramsay’s friend John Leslie, Master of Haddington Grammar School, 1720-31 put on plays there (including The Beggar’s Opera as early as 1728) and at Dalkeith Grammar School where he moved in 1731. In 1736 Allan Ramsay rented upper storey premises in a tenement in Carrubber’s Close from Charles Butter, who upgraded them for him to provide the first purpose-built theatre in Edinburgh. Ramsay’s theatre opened in November 1736 with Farquhar’s The Recruiting Officer. The Licensing Act of 10 Geo II c.28 (24 June 1737) gave magistrates and some ministers opposed to the theatre the excuse they needed. Ramsay’s theatre closed in 1737, and was reopened on 5 January 1739, but an attempt to arrest the cast on 23 January 1739 ended its existence. Lord Glenorchy unsuccessfully moved a bill in Parliament for a playhouse in Edinburgh 1739. Carrubber’s Close was the site of the Jacobite Episcopalian church of Old St Paul’s; there was a fire in the Close in 1758.
Castlehill: John Bonnar, painter, resident here in 1752.
Dickson's Closs: James Norie and Roderick Chalmers kept a painting and interior design shop here in 1711.
Gladstone’s Land, Lawnmarket: the site of first known Scottish art auction, 1697.
King’s Court North Side: Mary King’s Close, under City Chambers, once the home of the engraver Andrew Bell in 1752. Paul Sandby met him while in Edinburgh in 1747-50. Close was Alexander King’s (1720); Mary King’s (1735); originally Brown’s.
Munro’s Close, 119 Canongate North side: named for John Munro, musician ante 1751.
Music: Matthew McGibbon was given permission to establish a music school for the oboe in 1696, and the burgh ordered musical bells in 1699, which played at the Darien riots in 1700 and the tune ‘Why should I be sad on my wedding day?’ on 1 May 1707, the day the Union took effect. A weekly Musical Club took place at the Cross Keys Inn where Handel and Correlli were played. The Cross Keys (where Archibald Pitcairne and Allan Ramsay were regulars) had a seditious reputation: it was the place from which the Darien riots were launched in 1700, and Pate Steill’s Parliament for opponents of the Union met here. Steill subscribed to both Ramsay’s 1721 and 1728 volumes. William Thomson, who later produced Orpheus Caledonius, was one of the early performers at the Musical Club. On 5 December 1719, Ramsay wrote the Musical Club a poem (the MS differs markedly from the printed text), praising the development of a hybrid Scoto-Italian musical culture. Richard Cooper published Alexander Stuart’s Musick for Allan Ramsay’s Collection of Scots Songs in 1726. Replaced on 1728 by the Edinburgh Musical Society, inaugurated with a maximum of 70 members in St Mary’s Chapel, Niddry’s Wynd. The next year Steill sold his surplus instruments in a roup noted by The Caledonian Mercury. In 1730-31 Thomas Fenton was paid for tuning instruments of the Society. Richard Cooper published Alexander Stuart’s Musick for Allan Ramsay’s Collection in 1726 and was the Society’s engraver until Charles Esplin replaced him in 1754. Despite remaining quite a small society, its influential and wealthy members were able to subscribe for the creation of a new concert hall, St Cecilia’s Hall (no. 19 on map), in 1762. Not every musical venture succeeded however: Comely Garden was ‘A wretched attempt to imitate Vauxhall for which neither the climate nor the gardens are adapted’.
Niddry’s Wynd, High St South side: Edinburgh Musical Society, St Mary’s Chapel, Niddry’s Wynd was inaugurated with 70 members in March 1728. It may have sung Jacobite songs and certainly had Jacobite members. In 1730-31 Thomas Fenton was paid for tuning instruments of the Society. Richard Cooper was engraver to the society. In 1754 Charles Esplin (c1712-65) succeeded Cooper as engraver. The Music Society moved to St Cecilia’s Hall in the Cowgate in 1762. The Grand Lodge possibly met in this St Mary’s Chapel (1737) and there was to be a continuing close link between Freemasonry and music-making in the capital. William Stevenson’s bookkeeping classes, St Mary’s Chapel, November 1734. Destroyed in building of South Bridge 1785: town houses of Lockharts of Carnwath and Mar, some houses with double entry from Niddry’s and Marlyn’s. Lord Grange of the famous Lord and Lady Grange affair lived here.
Old Assembly Close, 172 High St South side/158 Cowgate: Patrick Steill's Tavern, concerts from 1694. Concert held on St Cecilia’s Day 1695, Matthew McGibbon performed and the next year was given permission to give a school of music for the oboe. In 1699, musical bells were commissioned (played when new at Darien riots and later on Union day). A Weekly Club met at the Cross Keys where Handel and Correlli were played. Dancing Academy here 1720, and dancing assemblies held 1720-66. Lady Margaret Hamilton, Countess of Panmure (1668-1731) was director of the academy. On 5 December 1719, Allan Ramsay wrote ‘To the Honble Gentlemen of the Musical Club Edinburgh’. Variant names Durie’s and Barnes’s as well as Patrick Steil’s.
Plainstane’s Close, 232 Canongate South side: Alexander Boswall painter here in 1752. Thomson’s in 1716, named for William Thomson WS.
Queensberry House, 64 Canongate South side: John Gay stayed in an attic opposite in 1729, and also visited Ramsay at the Luckenbooths and drank with him at Jenny Ha’s. Gay read The Gentle Shepherd and Ramsay pointed out Edinburgh figures to him at the Cross.
Royal Tennis Court, Watergate: held on St Cecilia’s Day, 1695, and perhaps annually for some years; in Royal Tennis Court under Argyle’s patronage, 1705. Theatre here 1681-1715. In 1681, Nathanel Lee’s Mithridates of Pontus with an epilogue by Dryden was staged. King’s and Duke’s comedians amalgamated 1684. There was a large pond for watering horses further east beyond White Horse Close Canongate. After being a theatre, Tennis Court became Hall of the Incorporation of Weavers to 1771.
Alexander Runciman: Although it is not shown on the map, West Nicholson Street joined Nicholson Street, which is marked here as New Road. Alexander Runciman (1736-85) had lodgings at no. 19 West Nicholson St.
Skinner’s Close, 44-46 High Street: St Cecilia's Day concert here in 1701. Anthony Alston performed plays in the mid-1720s. Ramsay wrote a prologue for one of the plays Alston put on. Despite initially enjoying the support of the Edinburgh magistracy in 1726 against an attempt to suppress him by the master of the revels, Thomas Johns, in 1727 the new burgh authorities disowned the verbal commitment of their predecessors and padlocked Skinner’s Hall after a performance of Congreve’s Love for Love (1695). Alston finally left Edinburgh in 1728. Formerly (1710) Barclay’s close.
St Mary's Chapel, St Mary's Wynd: tenement directly opposite was the home of painter James Norie.
Tailors’ Hall: Tailors’ Close, 137 Cowgate. The full ballad opera version of The Gentle Shepherd was premiered there on 22 January 1729. The Edinburgh Company of Comedians was active there 1732-35, possibly with scenery devised by Richard Cooper. To evade legal penalty, plays were acted ‘gratis’ after a concert, often being adaptations of Shakespeare, Steele, Addison- or The Gentle Shepherd. Entry costs were 2s6d pit and boxes, 1s 6d gallery. Beggar’s Opera was played here in 1733, Southerne’s Oroonoko in 1735 and Richard III in 1743. Theatrical performances here were suspended in 1735-42, but resumed thereafter, with tickets available in coffee houses. A play closely identified with Jacobitism, Otway’s Venice Preserved was played here on 11 February 1745. The Canongate Tailors were bankrupt 1747, and in 1749 the brewery at Tailors Hall was let to Thomas Trotter, though The Gentle Shepherd was acted here as late as 23 November 1756.
Theatre: Plays were put on in Blackfriars Wynd from 1663. Quack doctors, musicians and players had temporary stages on streets in the 1680s. On 17 March 1682, permission was given for a 12m temporary wooden house on the High Street below Blackfriars Wynd, removed in October; there was a stage at Niddry’s Wynd too. Temporary theatres were erected for Kings’ birthday celebrations.
University: College buildings (University of Edinburgh- v. College Wynd, 205 Cowgate). t Luke’s Academy: Founded 18 Octobert 1729, in College buildings 1731. Nicholas Hud/Hood, a painter who died on 30 January 1703, had a house at the head of College Wynd, so there was earlier artistic activity in this area. Founders include Ramsay, John Alexander (1686-c1766), William Adam (1689-1748), James Norie Sr (1684-1736), Andrew Hay (1690-1754), Roderick Chalmers (c1685-1746), Ross Herald 1724-46. Also linked: Lord Minto (1693-1766), Alexander, later 6th Earl of Galloway (c1694-1786); Charles, 5th Earl of Traquair (c1694-1754). Allan Ramsay junior was possibly a pupil. President George Marshall, Richard Cooper (1701-64) was Treasurer (he was Grand Steward of the Grand Lodge of Scotland 1750). Countess of Eglintoun was Cooper’s patron.
Upper and Old Playhouse Close, 194/200 Canongate South side: Theatre (measuring only 9x4.5m) opened in 1746. It was built in Richard Cooper’s garden, who gave the Edinburgh Company of Comedians a 25-year lease. The foundation stone was laid in August 1746 by John Ryan of Covent Garden, and the opening production was Hamlet on 16 November 1747. In 1749, a request by British officers to play Culloden at Canongate theatre was answered by audience demand for You’re welcome Charles Stuart. ‘The musicians complying, instantly a number of officers attacked the orchestra with drawn swords’ (Arnot (1779), 218). Charles Kirkpatrick Sharpe’s mother Eleanor was at the theatre for the opening night of Home’s Douglas in 1756. In 1757, despite the success of Home’s play, both the Edinburgh and Glasgow presbyteries denounced playhouses. In 1755-57 Lady Traquair (who was renting Richard Cooper’s Canongate house from him) and her daughters attended performances in Cooper’s Theatre; the Jacobite painter Cosmo Alexander received in total £26 12s for portrait of the twin sisters and Lady Traquair between August 1755 and December 1756.
Abbeyhill: Lady Elizabeth Howard, who gave a Jacobite medal to the Advocates in 1713, kept ‘a kind of college for instructing young people in Jesuitism and Jacobitism’ (Wodrow). The house was put on sale in The Thistle for 6 March 1734.
Advocates’ Library: Founded by Sir George Mackenzie of Rosehaugh in 1682. Displaced by fire, 31 October 1701; 5000 books by 1710, first catalogue by Thomas Ruddiman and Walter Goodall, 1742. Select Society met here from 1754. It is the direct ancestor of the National Library of Scotland. It is the direct ancestor of the National Library of Scotland.
Anchor Tavern: At Anchor Close, 243 High St North side before 1703; George Cumming owned it from 1734. Douglas’s tavern here was later home of the Crochallan Fencibles.
Archers: At Argyle Square. Company of Archers founded 1676, Royal Company 1704, Silver Arrow shot for on Leith Links 1709, won by Robert Freebairn 1712. The Archers were a quasi-Jacobite organization.
Baxter’s Close, North side, Bank Street: Location of Walter Ruddiman’s Printing House in 1752.
Bell Tavern: At Lady Stair’s Close, High St North side in the early eighteenth century. Sir Richard Steele (1672-1729), Playwright, Commissioner for the Forfeited Estates in 1716 gave supper party at the Bell Tavern.
Bell’s Wynd: John Reid, ‘best of printers’ (‘Typographi Optimi’) (Pitcairne Poems 70, 71) (1682-1716) produced ballads and chapbooks; his daughter Margaret (v. Ramsay’s ‘Elegy on Lucky Reid’) did the same from her printing office at the foot of Horse Wynd in the Cowgate. Another John Reid (nephew ?) was at work in Paterson’s Close.
Blackfriars Wynd: Botanic Gardens here, 1656; Surgeons’ Hall here, 1697; Royal Medical Society 1735. Second Infirmary built to William Adam design in Jamaica now Infirmary St (once Blackfriars land), opened 1745 completed 1748. It treated more than 1000 patients a year from the 1760s. Found in Edgar no. 83.
Boarding School: At Paterson’s Court, kept by the Jacobite Misses Ged. Two French teachers, McMichon and Stewart at Wardrop’s Court N(?) in 1752.
Bowhead: William Mitchell (d. 1740) the eccentric tinsmith who produced broadsides c. 1710-20 lived here. Donaldson’s Close at 7 West Bow was owned by Alexander Donaldson, the bookseller. The West Bow was very noisy as a locale for coppersmiths, ballad singers, criers and hawkers, music and trade.
Boyd’s Inn: At Boyd’s Close, Canongatehead at St Mary’s Wynd.
Bull Tavern: At Bull’s Close, High Street North side before 1705.
Caledonian Mercury: this Jacobite paper was founded in 1720 and bore Scottish arms for first 45 numbers. Ruddiman was the publisher: opposite Cross, High St. William Adams Jr printed it from Parliament Close and (from June 1720), Carrubber’s Close. It was printed at Craigforth’s Close from 17 June 1723; from 13 January 1724 printed for William Rolland by Ruddiman at 4th storey of turnpike near foot of Morocco Close opposite the head of Libertoun’s Wynd near the Lawnmarket.
Cape Club: At Kennedy’s Close, High Street South side: The Crown was an alternative meeting place for the Cape Club. Close named for Quintin Kennedy, owner of a cross house set athwart the Close, 1710. Also called Telfer’s. Cape Club first met at James Mann’s at the Isle of Man Arms here. The Thistle (a 1734-36 Jacobite paper) was printed and sold by W. Cheyne ‘at the Foot of Craig’s Closs’.
Candlemakers Hall: At no. 36 Candlemaker Row, 1722. Merchant Maiden Hospital/Mary Erskine’s here from its foundation in 1694 to 1707, after being founded with a mortification of 10000 merks. Merchant’s Hall in Tam o’ the Cowgate’s house at corner of Candlemaker Row and Cowgate, moved to High St 1726.
Canongate Freemasons: In 1736 Canongate Kilwinning lodge was erected next to Richard Cooper’s house. Cooper was deeply involved. The Lodge was nearly opposite Monboddo’s house on St John Street; Smollett stayed in a stair at the head of the street at some point. An organ was installed in the Lodge on 4 August 1757. Members include Allan Masterton, Girolamo Stabilini, violinist at St Cecilia’s Hall, Stephen Clarke, William Cruickshank and James ‘Balloon’ Tytler. In the 1730s and 40s there was a significant link between this Lodge and the Jacobite Lodge at Rome.
College Wynd, Chambers Street: Surgeons opened hospital 1736; Oliver Goldsmith briefly a student here 1752. Possibly Goldsmith stayed with Joseph Black adjacent to College gate (now Chambers Street) and Keith of Ravelston on another floor. Scott born on the 3rd floor here on 15 August 1771 before moving to 25 George Square.
Cross Keys: At Old Assembly Close, owned by Patrick Steill. Patriot riots launched here 1700; Pate Steill’s Parliament discussed opposition to Union over cheap claret. Pitcairne and Ramsay were fond of drinking here and the Edinburgh Musical Society began here before moving to larger premises in 1728. The Caledonian Mercury noted a roup of Steill’s instruments in February 1729. Steill subscribed to Ramsay’s 1721 and 1728 volumes.
Forrester’s Wynd: Robert Brown printer here in 1713-33.
George Heriot’s Hospital: Lauriston Place, built 1628-60. Similar to Chateau of Cheverny by the Loire and quadrangle similar to seventeenth-century universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow (Charles MacKean, Edinburgh, 58-59). Heriot Wark may have been part of the land and garden granted to the Heriot Trust for use of the Hospital in 1629.
George Watson’s College: on site of Royal Infirmary 1738.
Golfer’s Land, by Brown’s Close 65 Canongate: Built by Bailie John Paterson, shoemaker in the Canongate; gained tack of Leith Links, 1684.
Grassmarket: In 1680, the Dutchmen Joshua van Solingen and John Colmer were in partnership with David Lindsay at the foot of Heriot’s Bridge, Grassmarket; James Watson took over their business, becoming printer to the king’s household ‘in our ancient kingdom’ on 31 December 1686. In 1694, James Watson, ‘printer and a profest papist’ sets up unlicensed printing house in Mary King’s Close. The White Hart Inn is still in the Grassmarket; the present building dates from c. 1740.
Horse Wynd, 179 Cowgate South side: Now lower part of Guthrie Street. Sympson’s Printing House here.
Johnnie Dowie’s: At Libberton’s Wynd, High Street, where Burns drank.
King’s Head Inn at Cowgatehead.
Mary King’s Close: British Coffee House and Hogg’s Coffee House here.
The Merchant Maiden Hospital (Mary Erskine’s): At Bristo Street from 1707. The Woolpack Inn dates from about 1741. Charity Workhouse west of Bristo St, 1743. Originally location of mansion of Thomas Hamilton, 1st Earl of Haddington, on Cowgate, bought by Merchant Coy in 1691.
Orphan Hospital: north west of Trinity College Church by William Adam, 1733 now under Waverley.
Parliament Close: John’s Coffee House was the first in Scotland at the north east corner of Parliament Square, 1673; in 1677 it was ordered to be closed by the Privy Council. It was succeeded on the premises by The Greping Office, ‘a suite of dark underground apartments in the Parliament Close’, so called because of groping in the dark, although the allusion to a brothel in Pitcairne may be nearer the mark. Strongly Jacobite and anti-Union, it was portrayed as ‘Hades’ by the Whigs. Under Mistress Henderson (‘the Greppa’ ? bawd), it had its heyday from 1696. She sold wine at S20d a pint, undercutting the normal price of S32d. Gavin Hamilton and Alexander Symmer were booksellers here 1734, In 1745, the Duke of Perth bought Vauban’s siege manual from Hamilton before marching south with the Jacobite army. The Parliament Close Council of 50-100 local residents and shopkeepers met twice a year for dinner.
Physic Garden: Originally in Halkerston Wynd, 1676. 2 hectares with a conservatory front of 42m by 1779, several thousand plant species.
Ramsay’s Inn: At St Mary’s Wynd, opposite Cowgate Port.
Robertson’s Close, Cowgate South side. Small public hospital opened 6 August 1729, Royal Infirmary 1736, (William Adam) based on medical school at Leiden, supported by George Drummond.
Royal College of Physicians: At Fountain Close, 28 High St South side. College of Physicians (1681) Library here from 1704. The Fountain was a large tenement here; there was also a well from the late seventeenth-century supply system. In 1681, the Royal College of Physicians inaugurated with 21 members; the Jacobite Archibald Pitcairne (1652-1713) was Secretary from 1684-95. Old Surgeons’ Hall in Surgeons Square, 1697. Excise Office here from 1730 (removed from Parliament House), now replaced by George IV bridge, was once home to Tam o the Cowgate (Thomas Hamilton, 1st Earl of Haddington (d1637)): ‘Tamson’s green’ (Ramsay) behind the Excise office.
The Ship Tavern: At Old Stamp Office Close, next to 219 High Street North side.
St Thomas’s Hospital: adjoining Watergate, converted into coach houses in 1747.
Walter Scott’s Tavern: alternative meeting place of the Cape.
White Horse Inn: At White Horse Close, 31 Canongate foot of Canongate North side. Davidson’s Close after 1753; in Ramsay’s earlier day Ord’s Close. The Facer Club met in Lucky Wood’s, said to have been here. ‘If a member did not drain his measure of liquor, he had to throw it at his own face’.
Writer’s Court, 315 High Street North side: Signet Library here in 1720.
Union cellar, 117 High Street: laigh shop opposite Tron Kirk, now covered by Cockburn Street opening, reputed location for signature of Union.
University: Originally on the site of the Kirk of St Mary in the Fields (Kirk o Field). In 1583, it acquired the Duke of Hamilton’s Lodging as classrooms. The North Gateway was developed in 1636, and a steeple added in 1681. In 1710, Edinburgh University Library had 11000 books.
Alison Square: 1733 Secession Kirk following General Assembly approval of 1712 Patronage Act.
Bristo Street: Bristo Seceders had building here in 1741.
Calton Hill: John Wesley preached 1751 and later.
Canongate: James Smith (son in law of Robert Milne) builds Canongate Kirk, 1688-89.
Carrubber’s Close, 135 High St North side: Old St Paul’s Church a home of Jacobite Episcopalians after 1689.
Cross: Head of Old Fishmarket Close 1617-1756. Symbol of civic authority of Lord Provost; where King’s birthday celebrated; and King proclaimed; Caddies assembled there; jougs and branks at the Cross. The whole area from the Luckenbooths to Cumming’s Close was called ‘The Cross’. Catholic material including ‘four crucifixes’ burnt at the Cross, 15 March 1704. In 1756 the Town Cross was removed to Drum House.
Greyfriars Kirk: The site was a refugee camp for around 300 beggars during famine in 1697, non-Edinburgh residents were expelled. The Kirk was modernized and enlarged in 1703; Martyrs’ Monument in north-east corner of graveyard erected 1706; the Old Tower (gunpowder store) blew up in 1718; and as this map shows the New Kirk was built at the west end of the Auld Kirk in 1721. Allan Ramsay buried in the Kirkyard on 9 January 1758.
Quaker Meeting House: At Peebles Wynd, 1729.
St. Giles: Booksellers were here from the seventeenth century; the High Street was up to 30m wide at this point. There was a line of shops west of St Giles’ Kirk which included Heriot’s shop ‘situated exactly opposite to the south window of the Little Kirk’ (2m square). ‘Indian’ Peter Williamson’s tavern was adjacent to Heriot’s.
Tron Kirk: At head of Blair Street 1633. In 1726, Ramsay had his own pew there.
West or Haddo’s Hole Kirk: western subdivision of St Giles.