Scott Monument

The inauguration ceremony for the Scott Monument took place in August 1846. The procession consisting of the Lord Provost, the city officials and the members of the Grand Lodge assembled at the High School and proceeded along London Road and Waterloo Place in the pouring rain to Princes Street which was packed with men, women and children. The regimental bands of the 1st Royals and the 3rd Dragoons provided the music and a Royal Artillery battery consisting of seven guns fired the salute.

Jeanie Deans

Jan Bondeson has written an article on Jeanie Deans cottage which stood on the south side of the city facing the Queen’s Park.  A fictional character who appears inThe Heart of Midlothian” which was published in 1818, Jeanie was one of Sir Walter Scott’s most popular characters as she was honest, loyal and sincere. Her name was given to several public houses, ships and railway locomotives. The illustration was painted by R P Phillmore and sold as a postcard.

Christmas Day

The first morning service attended by the congregation of Greyfriars took place on Christmas Day 1620 which fell on a Monday. The sermon was delivered by the the minister Andrew Ramsay. A service was also held in the afternoon. The service was delivered by Patrick Sandis the Principal of Edinburgh University. A Merry Christmas from Bonnie Scotland. We hope that you visit Greyfriars when travel restrictions lift next year.

Father Patrick

In 1560 eighty Observatines led by Father John Patrick sailed from from Scotland to the Netherlands. Although the Edinburgh friars formed part of the contingent one or two decided to remain in the city although the precise number is not known. Members of the Mendicant Orders choosing to remain in Scotland received an annual pension consisting of £16 Scots by order of the Privy Council.


The friary was dissolved in 1560. Greyfriars burial ground was founded in 1562 after Royal sanction was granted to replace the cemetery at St Giles. By the following year the friary had been demolished and the stones used to build the the new Tolbooth in the High Street and the wall around the graveyard at St Giles. A sum of money was set aside by the Town Council to build a church at the southern end of the burial ground in 1602. The buttresses, stones and doors from the ruins of the Convent of St Catherine of Siena on the Burgh Muir were used to build Greyfriars, the first post-Reformation church to be built in Edinburgh. The building was finally completed when the tower was finished nineteen years later.

The Friary

James Douglas of Cassellis and a number of prominent citizens provided the funding to build a friary for the missionaries on the south side of the site where Greyfriars Kirk now stands. The Franciscans who had taken a vow of poverty declined the offer as they considered the accommodation too luxurious for their needs but decided to move into the building eight years later. In 1539 the fathers moved to a new friary which had been built at the foot of Candlemaker Row. Construction work started on the Magdalen Chapel two years later. The chapel which stands in the Cowgate can be seen on the right of the engraving marked number 18. The illustration shows the Grassmarket area of the town during the 17th century.

Father Cornelius

During the middle of the 15th century six Grey Friars of Observance under the leadership of Father Cornelius who had been born in Zierikzee arrived from the Low Countries to set up friaries in Scotland. One of the friars Father John Richardson had been a student at the University of Paris. The Franciscans were well received when they arrived as they fed the poor and practiced medicine on a scientific basis.