A brief History of Edinburgh

365-193 The Vennel, Browns Place , with view of Edinburgh Castle , Edinburgh Scotland at DuskIt is thought that the name “Edinburgh” comes from “Eidyn”, a Celtic British place name, however there is some dispute over this.  The town itself has been dated back to the dark ages. A well placed fort on top of an old volcano served as a border post until 1018, when King Malcolm 1 moved the post. During his reign, the castle became a seat of the court and the town was declared a royal burgh and started to grow. King David established Holyrood Abbey in 1128 at the foot of the slope, and later he allowed the monks to found a separate burgh, which was known as Canongate.

King James IV built a new palace next to Holyrood Abbey and also granted a royal charter to the college of Surgeons, whish was the earliest of the city’s professional bodies. This flourishing period came to an end in 1513 with the defat by the English at the Battle of Flodden, and which led to years of  political unstability.

The university was founded in 1583 under James VI’s rule from which it became a centre for educational and professional development. The Union of the Crowns in 1603 meant that London started to divert attention from Edinburgh and  in 1707 the Union of the Parliaments, where England and Scotland were politically joined together, saw power move from the old parliament of Edinburgh to London’s Westminster.  Many of the city’s wealthier residents also moved to London at this time and in an effort to attract people back to the city, a competition was launched to design a new part of the city. James Craig won the title and many of his influences can still be seen in the street pattern of the Neo-Classical New Town.

Edinburgh was not affected by industrialization in the same way as many other towns and cities across the country, and it managed to hold onto its white-collar character. In recent history, the Scottish people voted unequivocally in favour of re-establishing its own parliament in 1997, and with many debates and decisions now taking place in Edinburgh, the city  has gained political importance once more.