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Beautifully illustrated family history books with a difference by a frequent contributor to the UK family history press. I write for Family Tree Magazine UK; Discover Your Ancestors Online Periodical and Bookazine; Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine. The publishers of my family history books are Pen and Sword Books and The History Press. I tweet (and retweet) thought-provoking content designed to help you tweak your approach to (your family) history at @RuthaSymes . Do follow me.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

My Ancestor Came from Edinburgh 1811-1820

Edinburgh Diary 1811-1820



If your ancestors lived in Scotland’s capital city, these are the events through which they lived, in which they might have participated, and which – at the very least -  would have informed their everyday conversation.


Holyrood Palace. Holyrood Palace – one of the sites at which George IV is proclaimed King in 1820, From Scottish Pictures Drawn with Pen and Pencil by Samuel G. Green, The Religious Tract Society, 1891.


1811 The foundation stone for the middle wet dock at Leith is laid on 14th March. The work will be finished in 1817.

1812  On 18th August,  there is a meal mob riot in the city. Poor inhabitants assemble in the Cowgate and Grassmarket, seize farmers’ carts and attack food shops in Nicolson Street in protest against their hunger.

1813 The freedom of the city is given to Sir Walter Scott in recognition of his literary talents on 22nd December.

1814  Edinburgh is ‘splendidly illuminated’ on the night of April 15th in recognition of the Allied Armies’ entrance into Paris. There is a grand triumphal arch over South Bridge Street.

1815 News of the decisive victory at Waterloo on 18th June is brought to Edinburgh from London on June 24th at 11m by the Lord Provost Sir John Marjoribanks.

1816 The first public celebration in Edinburgh of the birthday of the poet Robbie Burns takes place in MacEwan’s Rooms on 25th January.

1817 The first copy of The Scotsman newspaper is published on 25th January.

1818 On 5th February, the Regalia of Scotland (the Crown, Sceptre and Sword of State) is confirmed to be in a large oblong wooden chest in the Crown Room at Edinburgh castle. The Royal Standard is hoisted, soldiers cheer and a crowd on Castle Hill shows its appreciation.

1819 The Russian, Prince Leopold (later King of the Belgians) visits Edinburgh on 22nd September. He is the husband of Princess of Charlotte of Wales (currently second in line to the British throne after her father the future George IV).

1820 After the death of his father, George IV is proclaimed King on 3rd February at the Cross of Edinburgh. Similar proclamations are made as a procession makes its way to the Castle Esplanade, the palace of Holyrood and the pier and shore of Leith.


Keywords: Europe, European, ancestry, Caledonian, ancestors, family history, genealogy, Scotland, Scottish

[This article first appeared in the now obsolete Discover My Past Scotland 2010]

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