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Beautifully illustrated family history books with a difference by a frequent contributor to the UK family history press. I write for Family Tree Magazine UK; Discover Your Ancestors Online Periodical and Bookazine; Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine. The publishers of my family history books are Pen and Sword Books and The History Press. I tweet (and retweet) thought-provoking content designed to help you tweak your approach to (your family) history at @RuthaSymes . Do follow me.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

My Ancestor Came from Edinburgh 1851-1861

Edinburgh Diary 1851-1860


    The Castle from Greyfriars’ Churchyard from Black’s Picturesque Tourist of Scotland, Adam and Charles Black, 1856

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.

1860 The 78th Highlanders return from India having taken part in the relief of Lucknow. They are entertained to a banquet in the Corn Exchange on April 24.

Keywords: ancestors, ancestry, genealogy, family history, Europe, European, Caledonian, Scotland, Scottish

[This article first appeared in the now obsolete Discover My Past Scotland 2010]