In 1783 James Hay who had been a pupil at the school was imprisoned in the Old Tolbooth awaiting execution for robbery. He escaped and hid in Bloody McKenzie’s Tomb where he was fed by the pupils until it was safe to board a ship and start a new life abroad.
The Edinburgh Volunteers practiced drill in the school grounds. The regiment received its colours in 1794.
In 1791 it was proposed to build a lodge house on the north side of the school to prevent the pupils leaving without permission and keep out undesirable characters.
In 1762 an architect’s report suggested that an avenue should be built connecting the north entrance of the school to the Grassmarket.
Vincenzo Lunardi made a balloon flight from Heriot’s grounds over the Firth of Forth to Fife in 1785.
The chapel had been damaged during the military occupation. Materials had been used from the Citadel in Leith were used to make repairs which were finally. completed in 1683.
In 1858 it was decided to set up a school in the hospital consisting of a schoolmaster and twenty four boys. By the following year the total had increased to forty three. The illustration shows the north wall of the quadrangle.
The hospital was taken over to accommodate soldiers wounded at the Battle of Dunbar when Oliver Cromwell occupied Edinburgh with his forces in 1650,
The entrance to the hospital grounds was originally situated close to the West Port. A roadway was later built on the south side of the Grassmarket connecting the market place with the main gate.
George Heriot donated the funding to build a hospital on the west side of the Flodden Wall close to Greyfriars church.