Scott, Keats and Meg – a Conundrum

Sometime around the year 1800, Margaret Hawthorne, a fugitive from Galloway in southern Scotland, arrived at the hilly area between Westhouses and Chesterhill, near Dalkeith in Midlothian which, centuries before, had been a Roman Camp. She set up home in an abandoned cottage that had previously been constructed as a watch point in case there was a Napoleonic invasion.

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Rennie’s Master – Andrew Meikle

Samuel Smiles in Lives of Engineers, refers to him as “Rennie’s Master” but Andrew Meikle was of course, much more than that. Born at Wester Keith near Saltoun in East Lothian in 1719, the only surviving son of James Meikle, he arguably became the best known member of the Meikle engineering family. Continue reading Rennie’s Master – Andrew Meikle

William Grant, the Lord Advocate

The Grant Suttie Dynasty owned and occupied Prestongrange House in Prestonpans, East Lothian for almost two centuries, effectively ending in 1909 with the death of Lady Susan, as her son George, the 7th Baronet, chose to live elsewhere. The dynasty was founded in 1746 when Prestongrange was purchased following the bankruptcy of previous owner, William Morison, “at a judicial sale, by Mr William Grant – His Majesty’s Advocate.”

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Deacon Brodie – Guilty or Not

A stranger,  climbing from The Mound up to  the Lawnmarket in Edinburgh, on seeing the bright facade of Deacon Brodie’s Tavern, might be excused from giving some ecclesiastical association to the title of Deacon Brodie. Such a connotation would be far from the truth.

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Jinglin’ Geordie, A Royal Pawnbroker

George Heriot is acknowledged as founder of the now co-educational Edinburgh Public School which bears his name. However, arguably, there is no longer common knowledge of exactly who Heriot was or of his achievements during the 16th and 17th centuries.

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