Edinburgh Diary 1851-1860
1851 On April 28, the Assembly Hall is struck by lightening and set on fire during a severe thunderstorm. The damage is not extensive.
1852 The Victoria Dock is opened at Leith for the admission of vessels on 14 June.
1853 The Adelphi Theatre in Broughton Street is burnt to the ground on May 24.
1854 Part of the Old City Wall collapses on February 22. The wall, which is 20 feet high and three to four feet thick, together with the embankment against which it is built, falls into Leith Wynd, a narrow street with high tenement houses. Several people who are in the wynd at the time are killed.
1855 A mob marches to the Meadows where it destroys the stone pillars which have been erected to deter traffic. The mob is led by Mr R. F. Gourlay – a would-be politician – who has dramatic plans for the improvement of the city.
1856 In July, the 92nd (Gordon) Highlanders and the 5th Dragoon Guards return to the city from the war in the Crimea. They are greeted enthusiastically and are entertained to a banquet in the Corn Exchange on 31 October.
1857 In June and July, a sensational trial is held at the High Court. Architect’s daughter Madeleine Smith is accused of murdering her French boyfriend Pierre Emile L’Angelier by arsenic poisoning. A Not Proven verdict is returned.
1858 On January 25, a banquet is held at Parliament House in honour of the marriage of Queen Victoria’s daughter, the Princess Royal (Victoria Adelaide Mary Louise) to Frederick of Prussia.
1859 The National Gallery is opened to the public on 22 March.
Keywords: ancestors, ancestry, genealogy, family history, Europe, European, Caledonian, Scotland, Scottish
[This article first appeared in the now obsolete Discover My Past Scotland 2010]