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Tag: History

Gin in Edinburgh

14th Jul, 2022

Gin is an incredibly popular drink now, but the craze began in the 1700s. Delve into the fascinating history of gin in Edinburgh. The Arrival of Gin in Edinburgh Gin was imported through the docks of Leith. It was the closeness to the docks that helped the gin trade flourish because distilleries were usually close …

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Pride Month: Meet Robert Fergusson and Sophia Jex-Blake

10th Jun, 2022

This June we are celebrating Pride Month. You can hear the real stories of Edinburgh’s former residents, in partnership with LGBT Youth Scotland. Here is an introduction to Robert Fergusson and Sophia Jex-Blake, who you will meet on our Pride History tours. Robert Fergusson Born in Edinburgh in 1750, the poet inspired the work of …

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Mary Queen of Scots married the Earl of Bothwell: on this day in 1567

13th May, 2022

On the 15th of May 1567 was a turning point in Scottish history. Mary Queen of Scots married her third husband, James Hepburn, Earl of Bothwell. It led to a series of events that would bring the Queen to one of the closes now part of The Real Mary King’s Close. Mary’s First Marriage Mary …

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The Edinburgh Seven

2nd Mar, 2022

The Edinburgh Seven brought nationwide attention to the campaign for women to be able to attend university. They were the first female matriculated undergraduate students at a British university. The Edinburgh Seven was formed of: Sophia Jex-Blake, Isabel Thorne, Edith Pechley, Matilda Chaplin, Helen Evans, Mary Anderson and Emily Bovell. In 1869 they started studying …

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Edinburgh’s Storytellers: The City’s Legacy In Literature

8th Feb, 2022

Edinburgh and Scotland have a rich literary history. 2022 is Scotland’s Year of Stories, dedicated to celebrating stories inspired by, written or created in Scotland. Some of the world’s best storytellers have connections to Edinburgh and the city has inspired bestselling novels, sometimes including mentions of The Real Mary King’s Close. Edinburgh’s Storytellers: Authors of …

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What inspired Edinburgh’s street names?

14th Dec, 2021

The Real Mary King’s Close is not the only street in Edinburgh with an interesting story behind its name. In a city with such a rich history, it’s not surprising that the street names reflect its past. Have you wondered what inspired Edinburgh’s street names while strolling through the city? Read on to find your …

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The Burke and Hare murders

5th Nov, 2021

In 1828, Edinburgh was a European centre for studying anatomy. Pioneering anatomy teachers taught at the Royal College of Surgeons and dissected bodies during lectures in front of many eager students. However, the strict laws around which bodies could be used led to a shortage. Burke and Hare found a way to earn money from a desperate anatomist during this crisis in a terrifying chapter of Edinburgh’s history.

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Edinburgh’s Old Town and New Town: what is the difference?

26th Oct, 2021

During visits to Edinburgh you have likely passed through the Old Town and the New Town. You might have even wondered why the areas look so different, despite being so close to each other. The answer lies in their history.

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Epidemics from 1645 until Now: Old Problems, Same Solutions?

6th Sep, 2021

Earlier this year The Real Mary King’s Close broadcast a live virtual tour filled with interesting findings and acclaimed expertise from our knowledgeable guides and fellow history buffs. One certain history buff, Dr Aaron Allen, a Scottish History Expert from The University of Edinburgh decided to go one step further and compare the Epidemics of 1645 and now, detailing how the same old problems, sometimes require the same old solutions.

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