- Timeline of Edinburgh history
This article is intended to show a
timelineof the history of Edinburgh, Scotland, up to the present day. It shows its rise from an early hill fort and later royal residence to become the bustling city and capital of Scotland that it is today.
1st century: Roman broochand fine potteryfrom this period have been found 2nd century: Permanent Roman forts were built and occupied at Cramond and Inveresk on the western and eastern margins of the present-day city: a road connecting the two forts almost certainly ran along the coast
580: The traditional date of the military campaign, starting in Edinburgh ("Din Etin"), commemorated in the famous Welsh poem " Y Gododdin". At this time most of the inhabitants of southern Scotland spoke British, the ancestor of modern Welsh. The name of the king or chief whom the poem names as the leader of Edinburgh at this time was Mynyddawc Mwynvawr.
638: Edinburgh is besieged by unknown forces, according to a chronicle kept at Ionain the Hebrides. Many scholars have supposed that this siege marks the passing of control of the fort of Din Etin from the Gododdinto the Northumbrian English, led at this time by Oswald of Northumbria 731: Edinburgh is firmly within the kingdom of Northumbria at the time of Bede, who completed his "History" in this year
Cinaed mac Ailpin('Kenneth MacAlpine') raids Northumbrian Lothian, burning Dunbarand possibly Edinburgh, from his kingdom north of the Firth of Forth 854: The first St Giles kirkis founded, according to tradition with no basis in evidence
960: Edinburgh is captured by the Scots during the reign of Illulb mac Custantin(954-62)
1020: Malcolm IIpermanently annexes Edinburgh to Scotland 1074: Refortification of the castle and city begins under Malcolm III 1093: Queen Margaret dies at fort on "hill of Agned", regarded as a royal castle - St Margaret's chapel is built soon afterwards
1114: Infant Scottish heirMalcolm is murdered by a priest 1124or 1127: First documentary evidence of a "church of the community or burgh of Edin"
1125: David I founds burgh 1128: David I founds Holyrood Abbey 1162: Edinburgh is the caput of the Lothiansheriffdom
1274: Lothian is an archdeaconry of St Andrews 1296: Edinburgh is again held by the English, and strongly fortified
1314: Edinburgh castlecaptured by Thomas Randolph, 1st Earl of Moray 1326- 1331: Edinburgh's contribution to Scottish burgh taxes is 15%, half that of Aberdeen 1328: A treaty is signed guaranteeing Scottish independence 1329: Bruce makes the town a burgh, and establishes a port at Leith 1330: Wall between High Street and Cowgate is first mentioned; castle is demolished by David II 1334: Scotland loses major port of Berwick to the English, Edinburgh's importance increases 1341: Scots regain castle from English 1360: Edinburgh has almost 4,000 houses, and is regarded as the nation's capital; the castle is the usual royal residence, being strengthened in stone 1364: David II grants ground for building of new tron(weigh beam) 1367: David II begins work on major fortifications at castle 1371: David II dies unexpectedly at the castle 1384: Duke of Lancasterextorts ransom following end of truce 1386: Robert II grants ground for building tolbooth 1387: Five new chapels are added to St Giles following English damage in 1385; St Giles is High Kirk
1437: Edinburgh becomes the capital of Scotland 1440: The Earl of Douglasand his brother are murdered at the castle by William Crichton 1440s: Edinburgh has 47% of Scottish wooltrade
1449: Cordiners ( shoemakers) is incorporated 1450: There is a defensive wall around the city 1455- 1458: Greyfriars (Franciscan) friaryis founded 1457: The 20in (508mm) siege gun " Mons Meg" is received at castle; there are goldsmiths in the city 1458: Edinburgh has one of three supreme courts in the country
1460: Trinity is a collegiatechurch 1474- 1475: Skinner and weaver crafts become guilds incorporated by the town council 1477: All fifteen of Edinburgh's markets are arranged along the length of the High Street 1479: A hospitalis set up in Leith Wynd 1482: The Earls of Atholland Buchanagree to free James III 1483: The Hammermen (smiths) are incorporated 1485: There is a notary in the Canongate; stone tenements appear in the city 1490: The Franciscan friary closes
1500: Edinburgh pays 60% of Scotland's customsrevenue 1503: James IV marries Margaret Tudor 1505: Royal College of Surgeons founded 1507: James IV grants a patentfor the first printing pressin Scotland to Walter Chapman and Andrew Myllar 1513: Defeat at Flodden leads to a new southern wall being begun 1520: Archibald Douglas, Earlof Angus, seizes control of the city; Edinburgh is the "seat of courts of justice" 1523: City has fourteen craft guilds 1528: James V enters city with an army, to assert his right to rule; Holyrood Palaceis built for him 1530: There are 288 brewers known as alewives in the city, one for every forty people 1532: Holyrood Abbeyis transformed into a royal palace; the Court of Sessionis built 1534: Norman Gourlay and David Stratton are burnt as heretics 1535- 1556: Edinburgh contributes over 40% of Scotland's burgh taxation 1537: Jane Douglas is burnt at the stake 1542: Cardinal Beatonis chosen as chief ruler of the city council 1544: Earl of Hertfordburns the city; Holyrood Palace and abbey burn 1547: The English destroy Edinburgh again 1558: Riots break out over French prosecution of Protestants; the Flodden Wall is complete; Edinburgh's population is about 12,000; there are 367 merchants, and 400 craftsmen 1559: John Knoxis appointed minister of St Giles' church 1560: English and French troops to withdraw under Treaty of Edinburgh; Reformation: 40 altars, aisles, and pillars are dedicated to different saints in St Giles' 1565: Mary Queen of Scotsmarries Lord Darnley, Henry Stuart 1566: Mary is held captive in Holyrood Palace; David Rizziois stabbed 1567: Darnley is assassinated at Kirk o' FieldHouse; James Hepburn is cleared of the murder 1569: The city is hit by an outbreak of the plague 1573: A pro-Mary garrisonis ousted from the castle by the regent, the Earl of Moray 1574: The castle's Half-Moon Battery is built; there are seven mills in Edinburgh
1570s: Edinburgh now has 4 ministers, previously it had only one 1579: James VImakes his state entry 1580s: There are some 400 merchants in Edinburgh 1581: James Douglasis executed for complicity in the murder of Lord Darnley 1582: The University of Edinburghis founded and given a royal charter- it is the fourth university in Scotland 1583: There are an estimated 500 merchants and 500 craftsmen in the city, of which 250 are tailors 1586: Skinners and goldsmiths form their own companies (previously part of the Company of Hammermen) 1591: Francis Hepburn, Earl of Bothwellescapes from imprisonment in castle 1592: Earl of Moray murdered by catholic Earl of Huntly; the presbytery takes the first Edinburgh census: there are c8,000 adults, split evenly between north and south of the High Street 1593: Earl of Bothwell take over at Holyrood Palace 1594: Earl of Bothwell fails to seize city 1596: Clergy demand arms to defend king and church against "papists"
1600: There are twelve roads out of Edinburgh 1602: Greyfriars Kirk is begun 1603: The headquarters of the Scottish Post Officeis in Edinburgh - there is another post office in the Canongate; William Mayne makes golfclubs for James VI; 1604: The Laird of MacGregor and fourteen others are hanged for the Colquhoun massacre 1610: First factories spring up in Dalry 1613: Lord Maxwellis hanged for the murder of the Laird of Johnstone 1615: The Earl of Orkneyis executed after a rebellion to overthrow James VI 1617: Gladstone's Land, 6-storey tenementin Lawnmarket, expanded (built originally in 1550s); 1618: Some seven-storey buildings have been built in the city; its populationis c25,000, with about 475 merchants 1619: The privy councilorders the city to clean up its streets; a hospitalbuilt in 1479becomes a workhouse 1621: Edinburgh and Leithpay 44% of Scottish non-wine customs duty, and 66% of wineduty 1624: Edinburgh is hit by a plague epidemic
1625: Tailor's Hall is built in the Cowgate 1628- 1693: Heriot's Hospital is built 1632: Work begins on Parliament House to house the Parliament of Scotland 1633: Edinburgh is designated a new bishopric; Charles I of Englandoffends Presbyterians at crowning ceremony at St Giles' Cathedral 1636: The construction of the Tron Church is begun; the city's population is c.30,000 1637: Introduction of new Prayer Book causes riots; a supplicationis delivered to remove bishops from the privy council 1639: Decisions of Glasgow assembly are ratified 1640: Parliament House is completed 1641: Sir Robert Sibbald, later the Geographer Royal, is born 1642or 1645: Mary King's Close is abandoned 1647: A well-known mapof the city is drawn by Rothiemay; the Tron Kirk is completed 1649: Covenanters execute royalist Marquis of Huntly; the town Corporation buys the area around West Port 1650: James Graham, 1st Marquess of Montrose, is hanged; the castle surrenders to Oliver Cromwell's men; James Colquhoun builds early fire engines: one for Edinburgh, one for Glasgow 1650s: A new church is built in the Canongate 1652: A 'journey coach' to Londonis introduced - it takes a fortnightto make the journey 1653: English forces break up the General Assembly 1655: A council of state is set up; ministers yield to the English 1660: A Committee of Estatesresumes governmentof Scotland 1661: Thomas Sydserfproduces the first Scottish newspaper; Archibald Campbell, Earl of Argyll, is executed 1663: The former Covenanter Archibald Johnston is executed 1667: The privy council empowers magnates to police the highlands 1670: Water is piped into the city from Comiston Springs 1670s: Butchering of animals moves from the Grassmarket to Dalkeith 1671: John Law is born - he set up the national bankof France. 1675: Robert Sibbald co-founds physic garden planted at Holyrood 1677: The first coffee houseopens in the city 1678: The first stagecoaches run to Glasgow 1681: Robert Sibbald founds Royal College of Physicians, whose patronis the Duke of York; Viscount Stair publishes his "Institutions of the Laws of Scotland" 1682: Sir George Mackenziefounds Advocates' Library- patron the Duke of York - forerunner to the National Library of Scotland 1688: Royal government collapses as ChancellorPerth flees 1690s: Lawyers have more wealth than all merchants and craftsmen in the burghcombined; over 20% of the population is in manufacturing 1694: There are more professionals than merchants in Edinburgh; 200 legals (advocates to lawyers), 24 surgeons, and 33 physicians; other occupations include aleseller, executioner, royal trumpeter, and keeper of the signet; the ratio of sexes in the city is 70 males:100 females - there are over 5000 domestic servants in Edinburgh 1697: Thomas Aikenheadis executed for blasphemy
1700: A severe fire leads to new buildings, built in stone; the estimated population is 60,000 1702: Advocates' Library moved from Faculty of Advocates to Parliament House 1707: Act of Union 1711: David Hume, philosopher, is born 1713: The main radialroads into Edinburgh are turnpiked 1715: Jacobites fail to take castle 1718: "Edinburgh Evening Courant" newspaper is launched; damasks are woven at Drumsheugh 1720s: Daniel Defoepraises the Royal Mile, decries Tolboothor prison, notes sales of woollens, linens, drapery and "mercery" 1722: The Signet Library is founded 1726: The first circulating library is established; a medical schoolat the city's college is founded; James Hutton, geologist, is born 1729: The city's first infirmary is opened 1733: Alexander Munro, discoverer of lymphatic and nervous systems, is born 1735: Golfis played on Bruntsfield links; also the traditional date the Royal Burgess Golfing Society is founded 1736: The Royal Infirmary is incorporated; riots shake the city 1737: The Lord Provostis ousted following the riots 1738: Edinburgh is described as the "world's leading medical centre"; George Watson's College is founded 1739: The Scots Magazineis first published in the city 1740: There are four printing firms in Edinburgh; the biographer James Boswellis born 1744: The first premises at Fountainbridge are built, with more than five looms 1745: Charles Edward Stuartenters the city 1746: The British Linen Company is formed 1747: A theatre is established at Playhouse Close in the Canongate 1749: A stagecoachservice opens between Edinburgh and Glasgow 1750: A ropery is established in the city 1751: A survey shows a severe state of dilapidation in the Old Town 1752: Proposals are heard for new public buildings and bridges 1753: Stagecoach services are introduced to London(taking two weeks) 1754: The Select Society is founded 1757- 1770: Linen weaving works in Canongate 1758: Stagecoach services are introduced to Newcastle (taking one week) 1760: First school for deaf children opens; the main linen stamping office is in the city 1760s: Woollen cloth is "beetled" in a "lapping house" in Edinburgh 1761: The BruntsfieldGolfing Society is formed 1763: Construction of the North Bridge, designed by Robert Adam, begins; a four-horse coach runs to Glasgow three times a week 1765: The Glasgow coach now runs daily 1766: The competition to design the New Town is won by James Craig 1767: Construction of the New Town begins 1770: The British Linen Company switches to banking; the Heriot Brewery starts 1770s: There are 27 competing printing firms in the city 1771: Sir Walter Scottis born 1772: Construction of the North Bridge is completed 1773or 1777: Penny-post service begins 1775: A directory of brothels and prostitutes is published; Edinburgh's estimated population is c57,000 1777: 8 legal and 400 illegal distilleries in the city 1781: The Mound road is opened 1782: The voting system is criticised by Thomas McGrugar in "Letters of Zeno" 1784: Meeting discusses corrupt electoral system 1785- 1786: Stone bridge at Stockbridge 1786- 1788: The South Bridge is built 1792: The Friends of the People Society meets for the first time; Charlotte Square designed by Robert Adam 1793: Thomas Muirof Huntershill, a radical reformer, is arrested and sentenced 1794: Robert Watt, a former spy, is sentenced to death for "Pike Plot" 1799: City has access to 3 million litres of water a day
1800: Charlotte Square is completed; Stein's large Canongate breweryis built
1800: National Museum of Antiquities is established 1802: The " Edinburgh Review" is published, offering literary criticism 1802- 1806: The Bank of Scotlandhead office is built 1803: Dorothy Wordsworthstays in the "White Hart" inn in the Grassmarket 1814: A protest meeting against West Indian slaveryis held; two coaches a day run to Stirling 1816- 1819: Regent Bridgeis built 1817: Coal gassupplies are available in the city; coal fires lose popularity; the old tolboothin Waterloo Place is demolished 1818: The Union Canal is begun; Calton Hill observatory is founded by the Edinburgh Astronomical Association 1819: Five coaches a day run between Edinburgh and Glasgow 1820: There are protests at George IV's treatment of Queen Caroline 1822: George IV visits Edinburgh and wears the kilt; the first Highland and Agricultural Show takes place 1823: The Bannatyne Club is founded 1824: A large fire destroys many buildings 1825: Eight Royal Mail coaches and over fifty stage coaches leave Edinburgh each day 1826: The Royal Scottish Academyis founded 1828: Burke of Burke and Hareis tried for murder 1829: Burke is hanged 1831: The Edinburgh and Dalkeith Railwayopens (known as The Innocent Railway), as railways start to come to the city 1832: A choleraoutbreak occurs in the city; " The Scotsman" newspaper incorporates the "Caledonian Mercury" 1833: The city goes bankrupt; partly due to the development of Leithdocks 1835: Edinburgh's New Town is completed, and the Old Town becomes a slum 1836: The Royal Institutionopens, designed by William Playfair 1840: Barnard's Canongate brewery is expanded 1841- 1851: Donaldson's hospitalfor the deafis built 1842: Edinburgh-Glasgow railway line is open to the public 1843: Disruptionof the Church of Scotland 1844- 1846: The Scott Monument is built 1846: The North British Railwaycompany is established 1847: Alexander Graham Bellis born in the city; half Edinburgh's population attend the funeral of Thomas Chalmers 1850: The foundation stone of the Scottish National Gallery is laid; the Holyrood brewery is enlarged for the third time 1851: The British Linen Bank head office opens on St Andrews Square 1853: The Edinburgh Trades Council is established 1856: The burgh of Canongate becomes part of Edinburgh 1859: The National Gallery opens 1860: Bank of Scotland has 43 branches 1861: Industrial museum built beside university (now the Royal Museum) 1864- 1870: Bank of Scotland head office re-designed and extended 1865: Report on city’s sanitation paints picture of degradation 1867: Scottish Women’s Suffrage Society holds meetings for first time 1869: Sophia Jex-Blakebecomes first female medical student 1870: Fettes Collegeopens 1870- 1879: New buildings for the Royal Infirmary 1872: Watt Institution and School of Arts begins to be built 1875: Royal Theatre destroyed by fire; Institute of Bankers founded 1881: Dean Distillery opens, converted from Dean Mills 1882: City brought to standstill by severe winter weather 1883: Chair of Celtic established at the university 1885: Watt Institution and School of Arts merges with George Heriot’s to become Heriot-Watt College 1889: City hit by earthquake; Charles Parnellgranted freedom of the city 1890: Free public libraryopens to public 1892: Drybroughs’ brewery moves to Craigmillar; McVitie'sdevise ‘ digestive biscuits’ 1896- 1900: Abbey brewery built by Robert Younger
1900: Stockbridge gains a library and hall; character actor Alistair Simis born 1902: Waverley Station is complete, covering 70,000 square metres; the North British Hotel is also built 1905: Moray House in Canongate becomes a teacher training centre 1905- 1906: King’s Theatre is built at Tollcross 1907: Work begins on constructing the Edinburgh College of Art 1910: First electric trams run; Bank of Scotland has 169 branches 1911: Palladium Cinema opens 1911- 1914: Usher Hall is built 1912: La Scala Cinema opens 1916: Bank of Scotland has first female employee 1916- 1918: Tanks are built by Brown Brothers in the city 1920: Leithis incorporated into Edinburgh 1921: Garrick Theatre burns down 1923: Edinburgh Corporation Tramwaysoperates its last cable-hauled tram 1925: The National Library of Scotlandis formed from the former Advocates’ Library 1928: The Flying Scotsmanprovides a fast rail link to London; the city’s first traffic lights are at Broughton Street 1932: George Watson’s College moves to Morningside 1932- 1935: Edinburgh has headquarters for BBC Scotland 1936:17% of Edinburgh’s houses are overcrowded 1939: The Bank of Scotland has 266 branches; the headquarters of Edinburgh Savings Bank is built 1943: The North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Boardis created, with its headquarters in Edinburgh 1946: A telephoneupgrade takes place, allowing all-city dialling 1946- 1947: Electric trams in the city carry 16 million passengers a month 1947: The Edinburgh International Festivalis launched; restoration of Canongate 1949: The Abercrombie Plan introduces ring roads and a bypass 1950: Tram system begins to be run down 1951: 2 central (manual) phone exchanges handle over 9,500 lines 1952: Bank of Scotland takes over Union Bank of Scotland, giving 453 combined branches 1956: Edinburgh Corporation Tramwaysoperates for the last time on 16 November 1958: Queen receives last debutantes 1959: Old Town population declines to 2,000 1960: Infirmary Street baths are damaged by fire 1963: "Evening Despatch" and "Edinburgh Evening News" merge; Empire Theatre becomes bingo hall 1965: Princes Street railway station closes 1966: Heriot-Watt gains universitystatus 1968: Palladium Theatre fails, and becomes a disco 1968- 1969: Royal Bank of Scotlandtakes over National Commercial Bank of Scotland 1969: Bank of Scotland absorbs British Linen Bank; Tollcross Bus Depot closes 1970: The Commonwealth Gamesare held in the city; the St James’ Centre, including a new St Andrews House, is completed 1971: Tom Farmerstarts Kwik-Fit 1972: A youth hostelopens at Eglington Crescent; Bell’s Mills are destroyed by an explosion 1974: David Murray, later connected with Glasgow Rangers, starts Murray International Metals 1975: Local government reorganisation results in the replacement of Edinburgh Corporation by Lothian Regional Counciland the City of Edinburgh District Council; Kirklistonand South Queensferryare included within the city boundary 1976: A new Fountain Brewery is built by Scottish & Newcastle 1980: Debenhamsopen a Princes St store 1980s: Restoration of houses in the Old Town leads to a population increase in the area 1981: Royal Insurance Group headquarters moves to Glasgow 1985: The population of the city is 440,000; Edinburgh University institutes a Chair of Parapsychology 1986: The 13th Commonwealth Gamesare held in the city 1989: The National Gallery of Scotland is renovated 1990: Edinburgh Castleis first, and Holyrood Palaceeighth, in ranking of paid Scottish tourist attractions 1996: The City of Edinburgh Councilis created, replacing the former District and Regional Councils. Infirmary Street baths close. 1998: The Museum of Scotlandis built 1999: The Scottish Parliamentis opened by the Queen
2004: The Scottish Parliament Buildingopens
History of Scotland
Timeline of Scottish history
Timeline of Glasgow history
*"The Oxford Companion to Scottish History", ed. Michael Lynch, Oxford University Press, 2001
*"The Making of Scotland", Robin Smith, Canongate Books, 2001
*"The Hutchinson Encyclopedia", 1997 ed., Helicon Publishing Ltd, 1996
*"Chronicle of Britain", Chronicle Communications Ltd, 1992
* [http://www.british-history.ac.uk/catalogue.asp?gid=110 Records of the Burgh of Edinburgh] : edited by J.D. Marwick for the Burgh Records Society, beginning in 1403. Full-text edition, as part of British History Online.
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