Edinburgh Diary 1861-1870
|John Knox’s House. John Knox’s House and Museum at Netherbow, From: Black’s Picturesque Tourist of Scotland, Adam and Charles Black, 1856.|
1861 There is a great outburst of sadness in the city at the death of the 42 year old Prince Albert from typhoid fever on December 14.
1863 There are great rejoicings in the city on March 10 when the Prince of Wales marries Princess Alexandra of Denmark. The couple visit the city on August 6 on their way to Abergeldie and again on the 1 October as they travel south. The Princess is presented with a gold casket from the ladies of Edinburgh at Holyrood Palace.
1864 The last public execution in Edinburgh takes place on 21 June. George Bryce from the village of Ratho has been convicted of slashing the throat of Jane Seaton, a nurse’s maid. He is hanged from gallows at the top of Libberton’s Wynd.
1865 Dr Pritchard – known as ‘The Glasgow Poisoner’ - is found guilty of the murder of his wife and mother-in-law at the High Court in Edinburgh. He is executed in Glasgow on 5 July.
1866 A great demonstration is held in Queen’s Park in favour of Parliamentary Reform on 17 November. Between eleven and twelve thousand people actually march, whilst another thirty to forty thousand are spectators. Resolutions are passed demanding Manhood Suffrage and the Ballot.
1867 On 10 October, a huge explosion takes place in Chessel’s Court, 240 Canongate at the shop of Mr Hammond, maker of fireworks. Five women are killed and twelve others injured.
1868 As part of the restoration of Parliament Square, a bronze plaque bearing the inscription ‘ I.K. 1572’ is placed in the causeway to mark the burial place of John Knox, Scottish clergyman and leader of the Protestant Reformation.
1869 Two distinguished Americans pay visits to the city: Mr Jefferson Davis, former President of the Confederate States on 25 July and the poet Longfelllow on 7 August.
1870 A huge fire destroys The Britannia Flour Mills at the Water of Leith. The damage is estimated at £10,000.
This article was first published in the now obsolete Discover My Past Scotland.
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