Jan Bondeson’s article on the High Street disaster has been published: check out: https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/arts-and-culture/books/mystery-edinburghs-heave-awa-lad-who-survived-high-street-tenement-collapse-solved-3062673
“The Tale of Old Mortality” by Walter Scott tells the story of the Covenanters victory at Loudoun Hill and their defeat at the Battle of Bothwell Bridge when the men, women and children who took part in the stand on the bridge were marched back to Edinburgh and imprisoned in Greyfriars kirkyard where the Covenant was said to have been signed.
Although the Nelson Monument on the Calton Hill is closed the observatory is open from Thurs to Sun from 10am till 4pm. New measures are in place to make it a safe place to visit and work. We have plenty of outdoor space and our takeaway coffee Kiosk will be offering drinks, snacks and picnic food to enjoy outside. Pre-booking is not required to visit the grounds or the City Observatory and our shop Collective Matter. Please pre-book for our new exhibition in the Hillside space If you get the knees right, the rest should follow as capacity is limited.
A plaque was set up on the wall inside Greyfriars Kirk in 1932 to the memory of Sir Walter Scott who as a child and a young man attended church services with his family. The ministers appointed to Old Greyfriars at that time would have been the Revd William Robertson and the Revd John Erskine.
The Scott family lived in College Wynd not far from Greyfriars. The illustration from James Grant’s “Old and New Edinburgh” shows the entrance to the wynd from the Cowgate. The Scotts later moved to George Square close to the Meadows.
The photograph shows the baptismal font in Greyfriars Kirk which is still in use today.
Robert Chambers “History of the Rebellions in Scotland under the Marquis of Montrose and others” published in 1828 may have led to the belief that the Covenant sent to Greyfriars was signed in the kirkyard.
The men and women from every section of society who signed the Covenant including the noblemen and ministers were not rebels. In addition to being drawn up to protect the Protestant religion from the changes which had recently been introduced and any amendments which might be made in the future, it was also aimed at demonstrating the belief that the men and women who signed the historic document were in covenant with God. The Covenant was drawn up to ensure that the form of worship they practiced, the security of the Crown and the peace of the kingdom remained secure. The document was not drawn up to stir up a rebellion against the King.
King Charles introduced the Book of Common Prayer which had been amended by the Scottish bishops in 1637. Jenny Geddes was said to have thrown a cutty-stool when the book was used in St Giles during the service, to show that she was not happy with the alteration. Her action led to rioting and unrest among the common people who agreed with her. A document called the National Covenant was drawn up the following year. Copies of the document were sent out for the people of Scotland to sign. So far a copy bearing the name of Jenny Geddes has not been found.
General Guissepe Garibaldi received the Freedom of the City of Edinburgh on 11th April 1864. Sir Sean Connery was made a Freeman of the City of Edinburgh on 11th June 1991.