Edinburgh in History

Scotland: Glasgow

Historical Events

  • 1328-05-01 Wars of Scottish Independence end: Treaty of Edinburgh-Northampton - the Kingdom of England recognises the Kingdom of Scotland as an independent state.
  • 1560-07-06 England and Scotland sign Treaty of Edinburgh
  • 1566-03-09 David Rizzio, the private secretary to Mary I of Scotland, is murdered in the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh, Scotland

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1591-01-27 Scottish schoolmaster Dr. John Fian burned for witchcraft at Castle Hill, Edinburgh by order King James VI. Part of the Berwick witch trials.

King of Great Britain James I and VI
King of Great Britain
James I and VI
  • 1603-04-05 New English King James I (James VI of Scotland) departs Edinburgh for London
  • 1638-02-28 Scottish Presbyterians sign National Convent, Greyfriars, Edinburgh
  • 1745-09-17 Edinburgh occupied by Jacobites under Charles Edward Stuart (aka the Young Pretender or Bonny Prince Charlie)
  • 1745-09-22 Bonnie Prince Charlie's army returns to Edinburgh

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1785-03-07 James Hutton, geologist, presents his full theory of uniformitarianism at a meeting of the Royal Society of Edinburgh

Geologist James Hutton
James Hutton
  • 1785-07-04 James Hutton, geologist, publicly reads an abstract of his theory of uniformitarianism for the first time at the meeting of the Royal Society of Edinburgh
  • 1808-01-12 The organizational meeting that led to the creation of the Wernerian Natural History Society, a former Scottish learned society, is held in Edinburgh.
  • 1808-03-02 The inaugural meeting of the Wernerian Natural History Society, a former Scottish learned society, was held in Edinburgh.
  • 1824-11-15 Series of fires kills 10 in Edinburgh, Scotland
  • 1832-02-06 1st appearance of cholera in Edinburgh, Scotland
  • 1859-03-21 Scottish National Gallery opens in Edinburgh
  • 1868-03-12 Henry O'Farrell attempts to assassinate Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh.
  • 1901-10-25 Joseph Chamberlain, British Colonial Affairs Secretary, makes an anti-German speech in Edinburgh; when word reaches Germany leads to widespread agitation against the British and breakdown of negotiations for Anglo-German alliance

Book releaseHistoric Publication

1902-11-13 "Heart of Darkness" by Joseph Conrad is first published in one volume (previously serialized) by William Blackwood in Edinburgh

Novelist Joseph Conrad
Joseph Conrad
  • 1911-05-09 Fire breaks out at Empire Theatre in Edinburgh, Scotland
  • 1925-03-21 Edinburgh's Murreyfield Stadium officially opens

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1958-12-05 Subscriber Trunk Dialling (STD) is inaugurated in the UK by Queen Elizabeth II when she speaks to the Lord Provost in a call from Bristol to Edinburgh.

Queen of the United Kingdom Elizabeth II
Queen of the United Kingdom
Elizabeth II
  • 1960-10-30 Michael Woodruff performs the first successful kidney transplant in the United Kingdom at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.
  • 1970-07-16 9th British Commonwealth Games open in Edinburgh, Scotland
  • 1970-07-25 9th British Commonwealth Games close in Edinburgh, Scotland
  • 1972-03-25 17th Eurovision Song Contest: Vicky Leandros for Luxembourg wins singing "Apres toi" in Edinburgh
  • 1979-08-27 The Earl Mountbatten of Burma, cousin of Queen Elizabeth II and last Viceroy of India, is killed along with three companions, two of them children by the IRA when his boat is blown up near Sligo, Ireland
  • 1986-07-24 13th Commonwealth Games open in Edinburgh, Scotland
  • 1986-08-02 13th Commonwealth Games close in Edinburgh, Scotland
  • 1986-10-12 Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, visit the People's Republic of China
  • 1993-09-23 "Les Miserables" opens at Playhouse, Edinburgh
  • 1999-07-01 The Scottish Parliament is officially opened by Queen Elizabeth on the day powers are transferred from the old Scottish Office in London to the new devolved Scottish Executive in Edinburgh

Event of interestEvent of Interest

2007-01-11 Author J. K. Rowling finishes the 7th and last Harry Potter novel in room 552 of the Bamoral Hotel, Edinburgh

Novelist J. K. Rowling
J. K. Rowling

Famous Birthdays

  • 1500-04-23 Alexander Ales [Alesius], Scottish theologian of the school of Augsburg, born in Edinburgh (d. 1565)

Person of interestJohn Napier

1550-02-01 John Napier, Scottish mathematician and inventor (logarithms), born in Edinburgh, Scotland (d. 1617)

Mathematician John Napier
John Napier

Person of interestJames I and VI

1566-06-19 James Stuart, King James VI of Scotland (1567-1625) and James I of England and Ireland (1603-25), born in Edinburgh, Scotland (d. 1625)

King of Great Britain James I and VI
King of Great Britain
James I and VI
  • 1671-12-01 John Keill, Scottish mathematician, born in Edinburgh, Scotland, (d. 1721)

Person of interestDavid Hume

1711-04-26 David Hume, Scottish philosopher and historian (A Treatise of Human Nature), born in Edinburgh, Scotland (d. 1776)

Philosopher David Hume
David Hume

Person of interestJames Hutton

1726-06-03 James Hutton, geologist, born in Edinburgh, Scotland

Geologist James Hutton
James Hutton
  • 1736-07-10 Maria, Duchess of Gloucester and Edinburgh (d. 1807)
  • 1740-10-29 James Boswell, Scottish biographer of Samuel Johnson and diarist, born in Edinburgh (d. 1795)
  • 1750-09-05 Robert Fergusson, Scottish poet (Scottish poems), born in Edinburgh, Scotland (d. 1774)
  • 1753-11-22 Dugald Stewart, Scottish philosopher and mathematician (Scottish common sense), born in Edinburgh, Scotland (d. 1828)
  • 1771-08-15 Walter Scott, Scottish historical novelist and poet (The Lady of the Lake), born in College Wynd, Edinburgh Scotland (d. 1832)
  • 1776-04-25 Princess Mary, Duchess of Gloucester and Edinburgh (d. 1857)

Person of interestGeorge Hamilton-Gordon

1784-01-28 George Hamilton-Gordon, 4th Earl of Aberdeen, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (Peelite: 1852-55) and Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, born in Edinburgh, Scotland (d. 1861)

British Prime Minister George Hamilton-Gordon
British Prime Minister
George Hamilton-Gordon
  • 1784-02-20 Adam Black, politician/publisher, born in Edinburgh, Scotland
  • 1808-08-19 James Nasmyth, Edinburgh, Scottish Engineer and Inventor of the steam hammer
  • 1823-05-22 Isabella Glyn Dallas, British Shakespearean actress, born in Edinburgh, Scotland (d. 1889)
  • 1831-06-13 James Clerk Maxwell, Scottish physicist (electromagnetic theory, speed of light), born in Edinburgh, Scotland (d. 1879)

Person of interestAlexander Graham Bell

1847-03-03 Alexander Graham Bell, Scottish-born British-American inventor (telephone), born in Edinburgh, Scotland (d. 1922)

Person of interestRobert Louis Stevenson

1850-11-13 Robert Louis Stevenson, Scottish author (Treasure Island), born in Edinburgh, Scotland (d. 1894)

  • 1859-03-08 Kenneth Grahame, Scottish author (The Wind in the Willows), born in Edinburgh (d. 1932)

Person of interestArthur Conan Doyle

1859-05-22 Arthur Conan Doyle, British author who brought Sherlock Holmes to life twice, born in Edinburgh, Scotland (d. 1930)

  • 1861-11-10 Robert T. A. Innes, Scottish astronomer (Proxima Centauri), born in Edinburgh, Scotland (d. 1933)
  • 1867-04-16 Spottiswoode Aitken, Scottish actor (The Birth of a Nation, The Avenging Conscience), born in Edinburgh, Scotland (d. 1933)
  • 1869-08-31 Gregor MacGregor, English cricket wicketkeeper (8 Tests 1890-93) and Scottish rugby union player, born in Edinburgh, Scotland (d. 1919)
  • 1870-08-04 Harry Lauder, Scottish comedian and singer (Roamin' in the Gloamin), born in Portobello, Edinburgh, Scotland (d. 1950)
  • 1874-10-15 Prince Alfred of Edinburgh, born in Buckingham Palace, London (d. 1899)
  • 1876-11-25 Princess Victoria Melita of Edinburgh and Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Grand Duchess of Hesse (d. 1936)
  • 1878-01-20 Finlay Currie, Scottish actor (Quo Vadis, Ivanhoe, Avengers), born in Edinburgh (d. 1968)
  • 1878-06-26 Ernest Torrence, Scottish actor (I Cover the Waterfront, Hunchback of Notre Dame), born in Edinburgh, Scotland (d. 1933)
  • 1878-09-01 Princess Alexandra of Edinburgh and Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (d. 1942)
  • 1884-04-20 Princess Beatrice of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, granddaughter of Queen Victoria, born in Eastwell Park, Kent, England (d. 1966)
  • 1898-07-18 John Stuart, Scottish actor (Kittie, Superman, Number Seventeen), born in Edinburgh, Scotland (d. 1979)
  • 1900-10-09 Alastair Sim, Scottish actor (Christmas Carol, Stage Fright), born in Edinburgh, Scotland (d. 1976)
  • 1901-06-29 Frieda Inescort, Scottish actress (Pride & Prejudice), born in Edinburgh, Scotland (d. 1976)
  • 1910-11-14 Norman MacCaig, Scottish poet, born in Edinburgh (d. 1996)
  • 1912-03-12 James McKay, lord provost of Edinburgh
  • 1914-04-29 Ewan Roberts, Scottish actor (The Day of the Triffids, Five to One), born in Edinburgh, Scotland (d. 1983)
  • 1916-01-04 Slim Gaillard [Bulee], Edinburgh, Scotland, American Jazz singer/songwriter (d. 1991)

Person of interestMuriel Spark

1918-02-01 Muriel Spark, Scottish writer (The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie), born in Edinburgh, Scotland (d. 2006)

Author Muriel Spark
Muriel Spark

Person of interestPrince Philip

1921-06-10 Philip Mountbatten, Duke of Edinburgh and consort of Great Britain's Elizabeth II, born in Mon Repos, Corfu, Greece

Duke of Edinburgh Prince Philip
Duke of Edinburgh
Prince Philip
  • 1921-12-21 Joan Dickson, British cellist and teacher, born in Edinburgh (d. 1994)
  • 1926-02-01 Douglas Johnson, British historian, born in Edinburgh (d. 2005)
  • 1927-02-15 Frank Dunlop, director (Edinburgh International Festival)
  • 1928-05-27 Thea Musgrave, Scottish composer (Mary Queen of Scots, Pontalba), born in Barnton, Edinburgh
  • 1928-10-28 Lawrie Reilly, Edinburgh, Scotland, footballer (Hibernian, 28 caps), (d. 2013)
  • 1928-12-13 W Gordon Smith, Scottish playwright, born in Edinburgh (d. 1996)
  • 1929-06-26 Alexander Fenton, CEO (Euro Ethnological Research Center in Edinburgh)
  • 1930-05-21 David Smith, principal/vice chancellor (Edinburgh University)

Person of interestSean Connery

1930-08-25 Sean Connery, Scottish actor (James Bond films), born in Edinburgh, Scotland

  • 1930-12-04 Ronnie Corbett, comedian (The Two Ronnies), born in Edinburgh, Scotland (d. 2016)
  • 1934-04-07 Ian Richards, actor (Montgomery-Ike), born in Edinburgh, Scotland
  • 1938-04-17 K M P O'Brien, archbishop (St Andrews & Edinburgh)
  • 1940-06-23 Stuart Sutcliffe, rocker (Beatles), born in Edinburgh, Scotland
  • 1941-02-23 Frank Gerstenberg, Edinburgh, principal (George Watson's College)
  • 1941-02-25 Stewart Sutherland, Principal/Vice-Chancellor (Edinburgh University)
  • 1942-12-27 Mike Heron, rock musician, born in Edinburgh, Scotland
  • 1946-03-06 Richard Noble, Scottish businessman (land speed record 1983-97), born in Edinburgh
  • 1949-08-11 Ian Charleson, actor (Gandhi, Chariots of Fire), born in Edinburgh, Scotland
  • 1952-03-19 Derek Longmuir, rock drummer (Bay City Rollers), born in Edinburgh, Scotland
  • 1952-05-03 Allen Wells, Scottish 100m sprinter (Olympic gold-1980), born in Edinburgh

Person of interestTony Blair

1953-05-06 Tony Blair, British Prime Minister (Labour: 1997-2007), born in Edinburgh, Scotland

British Prime Minister Tony Blair
British Prime Minister
Tony Blair
  • 1953-06-20 Alan Longmuir, rocker (Bay City Rollers), born in Edinburgh, Scotland
  • 1954-06-28 A. A. [Adrian Anthony] Gill, British critic (The Sunday Times), born in Edinburgh (d. 2016)
  • 1955-10-21 Eric Faulkner, rock guitarist (Bay City Rollers), born in Edinburgh, Scotland
  • 1958-03-31 Pat McGlynn, Edinburgh, rock guitarist (Bay City Rollers)
  • 1958-08-22 Ian Mitchell, American rocker (Bay City Rollers), born in Downpatrick, Ireland
  • 1961-06-24 Iain Glen, Scottish actor (Game of Thrones, Resident Evil), born in Edinburgh
  • 1969-01-13 Stephen Hendry, Edinburgh, Scottish professional snooker player
  • 1969-08-25 Catriona Matthew, golfer (1995 British Open-12th), born in Edinburgh, Scotland
  • 1973-10-22 Kathy Butler, Edinburgh Scotld, Canad 3k/5k runner (Olympic-8-92, 96)
  • 1976-03-23 Chris Hoy, Scottish cyclist, most successful Olympic cyclist ever (7 Olympic medals), born in Edinburgh
  • 1978-03-30 Chris Paterson, Scottish rugby player and coach, born in Edinburgh, Scotland
  • 1983-10-30 Iain Hume, Canadian footballer (Kerala Blasters), born in Edinburgh, Scotland

Famous Weddings

  • 1970-09-01 "The Bee Gees" singer Barry Gibb (24) weds former Miss Edinburgh Linda Ann Gray

HeartWedding of Interest

2011-07-30 Granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth II and British equestrian Zara Phillips (30) weds England rugby player Mike Tindall (32) at the Canongate Kirk in Edinburgh, Scotland

Daughter of Princess Anne Zara Phillips
Daughter of Princess Anne
Zara Phillips

Famous Deaths

  • 1829-01-28 William Burke, murderer/body snatcher, executed in Edinburgh
  • 1868-04-21 Henry James O'Farrell, Australian would-be assassin of Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh
  • 1899-02-06 Prince Alfred of Edinburgh, dies at 24 in mysterious circumstances