Edinburgh Diary 1831-1840
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.
|Sir James Spittal Sir James Spittal Lord Provost, 1833-1837. From: Edinburgh in the Nineteenth Century, edited by W. M. Gilbert, J. & R. Allan, 1901|
1831 The Burns monument - to the memory of Scottish poet Robbie Burns (1759-1796) - is completed at Calton Hill.
1832 Cholera hits the city on January 27th. On February 9th, a local day of humiliation and prayer is observed. This is followed by a national day of prayer on March 22nd. Thousands die of the dreadful disease over the course of the year.
1833 The Dean Bridge, designed by Thomas Telford, is opened. The Queensferry roadway, mounted on four huge sandstone arches 120 feet above the Water of Leith, gives much better access to the North of the City.
1834 Earl Grey (former Whig Prime Minister) is given the freedom of the city on September 15th and is entertained at a magnificent banquet attended by 3,000 people on Calton Hill.
1835 During the course of lowering the High Street, workmen discover the foundations of an old jail (part of the 15th century Tolbooth of Edinburgh which was demolished in 1817). It is here that many criminals were executed in former years.
1836 A great deal of excitement is generated on Sunday May 15th by an eclipse of the sun. Many church services are postponed so people can watch. Venus can be seen shining brightly.
1837 Queen Victoria is proclaimed sovereign at the Cross, the Castle and Holyrood House on June 24th.
1838 A committee accepts the beautiful Gothic design of a monument to Sir Walter Scott to be erected on Princes Street.
1839 The building of three new churches is underway. The foundation stone for Buccleuch church is laid on April 3rd, and of St John’s Parish Church, Victoria Street on April 17th. Greenside Parish Church on Calton Hill is opened on October 6th.
1840 New Bridge is erected over the Water of Leith at Canonmills.
[This article first appeared in the now obsolete Discover My Past Scotland 2010]
Keywords: Europe, European, ancestors, ancestry, family history, genealogy, Caledonian, Scotland