Places To See Edinburgh


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Brief Timeline Of Edinburgh History From 1st Century AD >> BBC History - The Rise of Edinburgh
  >> Edinburgh Time Line on Wikipedia

Late 1st century:

Roman brooch and fine pottery from 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.

c. 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.

c. 638: Edinburgh is besieged by unknown forces, according to a chronicle kept at Iona in the Hebrides. Many scholars have supposed that this siege marks the passing of control of the fort of Din Etin from the Gododdin to 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

840s50s: Cinaed mac Ailpin ('Kenneth MacAlpine') raids Northumbrian Lothian, burning Dunbar and possibly Edinburgh, from his kingdom north of the Firth of Forth

854: The first St Giles kirk is founded, according to tradition with no basis in evidence

c960: Edinburgh is captured by the Scots during the reign of Indulf (95462)

Eleventh century

1020: Malcolm II permanently 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

Twelfth century

1114: Infant Scottish heir Malcolm is murdered by a priest
1124 or 1127: First documentary evidence of a "church of the community or burgh of Edin"
c1125: David I founds burgh
1128: David I founds Holyrood Abbey
1162: Edinburgh is the caput of the Lothian sheriffdom

Thirteenth century

1230: Alexander II founds large Dominican friary; a hospital is also open
1274: Lothian is an archdeaconry of St Andrews
1296: Edinburgh is again held by the English, and strongly fortified

Fourteenth century

1314: Edinburgh castle captured 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

Fifteenth century

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 Lancaster extorts 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

1400: Henry IV attempts to storm castle when Robert III refuses homage
1437: Edinburgh becomes the capital of Scotland
1440: The Earl of Douglas and his brother are murdered at the castle by William Crichton
1440s: Edinburgh has 47% of Scottish wool trade
1450: There is a defensive wall around the city

1455–1458: Greyfriars (Franciscan) friary is founded
1457: The 20in (508mm) siege gun "Mons Meg" is received at castle
1458: Edinburgh has one of three supreme courts in the country

1477: All fifteen of Edinburgh's markets are arranged along the length of the High Street
1479: A hospital is set up in Leith Wynd
1482: The Earls of Atholl and Buchan agree to free James III

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 customs revenue
Sixteenth century

1503: James IV marries Margaret Tudor
1505: Royal College of Surgeons founded
1507: James IV grants a patent for the first printing press in Scotland to Walter Chapman and Andrew Myllar
1513: Defeat at Flodden leads to a new southern wall being begun
1520: "Cleanse the Causey" (30 April); pitched battle on the High Street between the Douglas and Hamilton clans leads to the Earl of Angus (Douglas) seizing 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 Palace is built for him
c.1528–c.1542: printing in Edinburgh re-established under royal license granted to Thomas Davidson
1530: There are 288 brewers known as alewives in the city, one for every forty people
1532: Holyrood Abbey is transformed into a royal palace; the Court of Session is 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 Beaton is chosen as chief ruler of the city council
1544: Earl of Hertford burns 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 Knox is 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 Scots, marries Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley

1566: Mary is held captive in Holyrood Palace; David Rizzio is stabbed
1567: Darnley is assassinated at Kirk o' Field House; James Hepburn is cleared of the murder
1569: The city is hit by an outbreak of the plague
1573: A pro-Mary garrison is 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 Late

1570s: Edinburgh now has 4 ministers, previously it had only one
1579: James VI makes his state entry
1580s: There are some 400 merchants in Edinburgh
1581: James Douglas is executed for complicity in the murder of Lord Darnley
1582: The University of Edinburgh is 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 Bothwell escapes 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: Roads out of Edinburgh numbered twelve; royal printers active in the period included Robert Waldegrave and Robert Charteris
Seventeenth century

1602: Construction of Greyfriars Kirk started
1603: Scottish Post Office headquarters located in Edinburgh, with a second office on the Canongate;
1604: Execution by hanging of the Laird of MacGregor and fourteen others for the Colquhoun massacre
1610: First factories founded in Dalry
1610–1621: Printer Andro Hart active; publications included Napier's book of logs

1613: Lord Maxwell hanged for the murder of the Laird of Johnstone
1615: Execution of the Earl of Orkney after rebellion to overthrow the king
1618: Some tenement buildings reach seven storeys; population c. 25,000, of which merchants c. 475
1619: The privy council ordered the city to clean up its streets; a hospital of 1479 converted into a workhouse

1621: Edinburgh and Leith paid 44% of Scottish non-wine customs duty, and 66% of wine duty
1624: Plague epidemic c1625
1628–1693: Construction of Heriot's Hospital
1632: Construction began on the new Parliament House for the Parliament of Scotland
1633: Edinburgh designated a bishopric; Scottish coronation of Charles I of England at St Giles' High Kirk during which the Cahrles managed to offend Presbyterian sentiments
1636: Construction of the Tron Church begun; population of the city c. 30,000

1637: Riots in protest at the introduction of a new Prayer Book; supplication to remove bishops from the privy council
1640: Completion of Parliament House
1641: Birth of Sir Robert Sibbald, Geographer Royal

1647: Rothiemay's map of Edinburgh; completion of the Tron Kirk
1649: Execution of the Marquis of Huntly by covenanters; area around the West Port purchased by the town Corporation
1650: Execution of James Graham, 1st Marquess of Montrose, by hanging; surrender of Edinburgh castle to invading forces of Oliver Cromwell; early fire engines built by James Colquhoun, much of the Palace of Holyrood destroyed by fire;
1652: Introduction of a Journey coach to London with a journey time of a fortnight

1653: General Assembly broken up by English forces
1655: Council of state established; ministers yielded to the English
1660: Government of Scotland resumed by the Committee of Estates
1661: First Scottish newspaper published by Thomas Sydserf; execution of Archibald Campbell, Earl of Argyll

1663: Execution of former Covenanter Archibald Johnston
1667: Privy council empowered magnates to police the Scottish Highlands
1670: Water piped into Edinburgh from Comiston Springs
1670s: Relocation of animal slaughter from Grassmarket to Dalkeith

1677: First coffee house opened in the city
1678: First regular stagecoach to Glasgow
1681: Royal College of Physicians founded by Robert Sibbald under patronage of the Duke of York;
1682: Advocates' Library, forerunner to the National Library of Scotland, founded by Sir George Mackenzie with the Duke of York as patron

1688: Collapse of royal government in Scotland after Chancellor Perth flees
1690s: Lawyer classes calculated to be more wealthy than those of merchants and craftsmen; over 20% of the population employed in manufacture
1697: Execution by kirk ministers of Thomas Aikenhead for blasphemy
1700: A severe fire leads to new buildings, built in stone; the estimated population is 60,000
Eighteenth century

1702: Advocates' Library moved from Faculty of Advocates to Parliament House
1707: Act of Union
1711: David Hume, philosopher, is born

1715: Jacobites fail to take castle
1718: Edinburgh Evening Courant newspaper is launched; damasks are woven at Drumsheugh
1720s: Daniel Defoe praises the Royal Mile, decries Tolbooth or prison, notes sales of woollens, linens, drapery and mercery

1722: The Signet Library is founded
1726: The first circulating library is established; a medical school at 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
1736: The Royal Infirmary is incorporated; riots shake the city
1737: The Lord Provost is ousted following the riots

1738: Edinburgh is described as the "world's leading medical centre
1739: The Scots Magazine is first published in the city
1740: There are four printing firms in Edinburgh; the biographer James Boswell is born
1745: Charles Edward Stuart enters the city

1746: The British Linen Company is formed
1747: A theatre is established at Playhouse Close in the Canongate
1749: A stagecoach service 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
1761: The Bruntsfield Golfing 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 Scott is born
1772: Construction of the North Bridge is completed

1773 or 1777: Penny-post service begins
1775: A directory of brothels and prostitutes is published; Edinburgh's estimated population is c. 57,000
1777: 8 legal and 400 illegal distilleries in the city 1781: The Mound road is opened
1784: Meeting discusses corrupt electoral system

1785–1786: Stone bridge at Stockbridge
1786–1788: The South Bridge is built
1788: William "Deacon" Brodie is executed: the first stone of Edinburgh University's Old College is laid
1792: The Friends of the People Society meets for the first time; Charlotte Square designed by Robert Adam
1793: Thomas Muir of Huntershill, a radical reformer, is arrested and sentenced

1799: City has access to 3 million litres of drinking water a day
Nineteenth century

1800: Charlotte Square is completed; Stein's large Canongate brewery is built c1800: National Museum of Antiquities is established

1802: The Edinburgh Review is published, offering literary criticism
1802–1806: Bank of Scotland head office is built
1814: A protest meeting against West Indian slavery is held; two coaches a day run to Stirling
1816–1819: Regent Bridge is built

1817: Coal gas supplies are available in the city; coal fires lose popularity
1818: The Union Canal is begun; Calton Hill observatory is founded by the Edinburgh Astronomical Institution
1819: Five coaches a day run between Edinburgh and Glasgow
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 Academy is founded
1828: Burke of Burke and Hare is tried for murder

1829: Burke is hanged
1831: The Edinburgh and Dalkeith Railway opens (known as The Innocent Railway), as railways start to come to the city
1829–1832: George IV Bridge is built
1832: A cholera outbreak occurs in the city; The Scotsman newspaper incorporates the Caledonian Mercury
1833: The city goes bankrupt; partly due to the development of Leith docks

1835: Edinburgh's New Town is completed, and the Old Town becomes a slum
1836: The Royal Institution opens, designed by William Playfair
1841–1851: Donaldson's hospital for the deaf is built
1842: Edinburgh-Glasgow railway line is open to the public

1844–1846: The Scott Monument is built
1846: The North British Railway company is established
1847: Alexander Graham Bell is 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

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)
1865: Report on city’s sanitation paints picture of degradation
1867: Scottish Women’s Suffrage Society holds meetings for first time
1869: Sophia Jex-Blake becomes first female medical student

1870: Fettes College opens
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;

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 Parnell granted freedom of the city
1890: Free public library opens to public

1892: Drybroughs’ brewery moves to Craigmillar; McVitie's devise ‘digestive biscuits’
1896–1900: Abbey brewery built by Robert Younger
1900: Stockbridge gains a library and hall; character actor Alistair Sim is born
Twentieth century

1901: University appoints its first Professor of Scottish history; the Royal High School has 350 pupils
1902: Waverley Station is complete, covering 70,000 square metres; the North British Hotel is also built

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: Leith is incorporated into Edinburgh

1921: Garrick Theatre burns down
1923: Edinburgh Corporation Tramways operates its last cable-hauled tram
1925: The National Library of Scotland is formed
1928: The Flying Scotsman provides a fast rail link to London; the city’s first traffic lights are at Broughton Street

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 Board is created, with its headquarters in Edinburgh
1946: A telephone upgrade takes place, allowing all-city dialling

1946–1947: Electric trams in the city carry 16 million passengers a month
1947: The Edinburgh International Festival is 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 Tramways operates for the last time on 16 November
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 university status
1968: Palladium Theatre fails, and becomes a disco
1968–1969: Royal Bank of Scotland takes over National Commercial Bank of Scotland
1969: Tollcross Bus Depot closes

1970: The Commonwealth Games are held in the city; the St James’ Centre, including a new St Andrews House, is completed
1971: Tom Farmer starts Kwik-Fit
Bell’s Mills are destroyed by an explosion
1974: David Murray, later connected with Glasgow Rangers, starts Murray International Metals
1975: replacement of Edinburgh Corporation by Lothian Regional Council and the City of Edinburgh District Council; Kirkliston and South Queensferry are included within the city boundary

1976: A new Fountain Brewery is built by Scottish & Newcastle
1980: Debenhams open a Princes St store
1980s: Restoration of houses in the Old Town leads to a population increase in the area
1985: The population of the city is 440,000; Edinburgh University institutes a Chair of Parapsychology

1986: The 13th Commonwealth Games are held in the city
1989: The National Gallery of Scotland is renovated
1990: Edinburgh Castle is first, and Holyrood Palace eighth, in ranking of paid Scottish tourist attractions
1996: The City of Edinburgh Council is created, Infirmary Street baths close.
1998: The Museum of Scotland is built
1999: The Scottish Parliament is opened by the Queen
Twenty-first century

2001: Ocean Terminal shopping centre opened 2002: Edinburgh suffered a fire in Cowgate and South Bridge in the Old Town (Decembner 2002). Some buildings were left unsafe and had to be demolished.
Today the population of Edinburgh is 439,000.

2004: The Scottish Parliament Building opens
2009: Holds the biggest clan gathering for Homecoming Scotland


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