The New Student's Reference Work/Edinburgh

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Ed′inburgh, the capital of Scotland.  It stands about two miles from the sea on a series of ridges, and is overlooked by Arthur’s Seat and other hills.  Arthur’s Seat is a picturesque hill in Queen’s Park, near the city, and its name is supposed to go back to King Arthur’s time.  It rises 822 feet above sealevel, and gives a view of great extent and wonderful beauty.  Of the hills within the city the most important is Castle Rock.  In the beginning of the 7th century Edinburgh is mentioned as the capital of the kingdom of Northumbria, and named after its king, Edwin.  The city was made a borough by Robert Bruce, who also gave it the right to establish a port at Leith, two miles away.  During the 15th century it began to be recognized sas the capital of Scotland, and Parliament regularly met there.  In 1544 the city was burned by the English.  In 1561 Queen Mary came back from France, and the tragedy of her short reign was acted almost entirely in Edinburgh.  It was at Holyrood Palace that Rizzio was killed; in Kirk-of-Field, near where the university now stands, Darnley was murdered; and in the chapel of Holyrood Mary was married to Bothwell.  The union of England and Scotland, in 1707, drew away the Scottish nobility from Edinburgh, but the Pretender was welcomed there for a short time in 1745.  Since then the city has spread far beyond its ancient walls, and has become famous as a center of scientific and literary activity.  Its many fine buildings and picturesque situation extending tip the hills which lie outside the old town, make Edinburgh one of the most beautiful cities of Europe.  It is still representative of the capital of Scotland.  It is the seat of the law-courts and of some of the departments of government.  It is the center of much of the intellectual life of the northern kingdom, and it has long been known for its educational institutions.  It is not a manufacturing town to any great extent, its most important industries being brewing and publishing.  It returns four members to Parliament.  Population, 320,239.  See Old Edinburgh, by Drummond and Old and New Edinburgh, by Grant.