In 1779 a daring plan was hatched by American revolutionary commanders to invade the port town of Leith. The proposed ‘invasion’ formed part of an audacious campaign to take the fight to British shores as the American Revolution raged across the Atlantic. And it would be led by John Paul Jones, the Scottish-born ‘Father of … More John Paul Jones and the American ‘Invasion’ of Leith
In November 1666, an army of Covenanter rebels was defeated by government troops in the Pentland Hills in what came to be known as the Battle of Rullion Green. While believed to be a small engagement, the clash occurred during a spontaneous rebellion, known as the ‘Pentland Rising’, in response to repressive policies against Presbyterian … More The Covenanter Uprising Crushed in the Pentland Hills
When King George IV landed in Leith in August 1822, his arrival marked the first visit of a monarch to Scotland since the reign of Charles II in 1651. And his visit was very well timed. … More The Royal Publicity Tour that Reignited Scotland’s National Identity
In September 1736, John Porteous, Captain of Edinburgh’s City Guard, was lynched by an angry mob of local residents. Overpowered and taken from the Tolbooth prison, Captain Porteous was dragged through the streets of the Old Town to the Grassmarket, where he was eventually hanged. This gruesome incident marked the climax of what came to … More The Story of the Edinburgh Lawman Lynched by an Angry Mob
The Quintinshill rail disaster in 1915 claimed more than 220 lives, including 216 soldiers from ‘Leith’s Own’ 7th Royal Scots. … More The WW1 Rail Disaster that Devastated the Community of Leith
On 11th April 1705, three sailors were hanged at Leith Sands before an animated crowd of locals. There is much evidence to suggest the trio were wrongfully executed. … More The Story of the English ‘Pirates’ Wrongfully Hanged in Leith
The island of Inchkeith boasts a peculiar and chequered history. During both world wars, this craggy outcrop in the Firth of Forth formed part of a defensive network which protected shipping and kept watch for elusive German U-boats. Featuring bunkers, artillery positions and anti-aircraft guns, the island was a fortress and would likely have been … More The Bizarre Inchkeith Language Experiment Commissioned by King James IV
Earlier this month I spent a weekend much like any other during this past year and half, meandering around Edinburgh and exploring its many nooks and crannies. On this occasion, I found myself in Portobello, located in the north east of Edinburgh on the coast. While walking along the beach I recalled seeing peculiar photographs … More Fire in the Skies Above: The Battle of the River Forth, 1939
Scottish history is rich, vibrant and littered with colourful tales of bravery, deceit, violence and lust. It is no surprise that George RR Martin drew some inspiration from it.
There are many tales from Scotland’s past that aren’t immortalised in fantasy fiction, however, yet they are every bit as brutal and harrowing. … More Fact or Fiction? 5 of the Darkest Events in Scottish History
On 28th January 1829, a sizeable crowd gathered in the Lawnmarket area of Edinburgh. Standing before them, one of the most infamous killers in Scottish history awaited execution. William Burke, an Irishman born in County Tyrone in 1792, was one of two boys born into a middle-class family. By all accounts, he had a comfortable … More Who Were Burke and Hare, Edinburgh’s Infamous Killer Duo?