Robert Adam - Architect

Works include Register House, north side of Charlotte Square and Edinburgh University Old College.

Alexander Graham Bell - Inventor of the Telephone

Born in South Charlotte Street, he was a teacher of the deaf. Pursuing his studies went to America where he produced a basic telephone (1875). He became a freeman of Edinburgh in 1920.

Deacon Brodie - Councillor & Criminal

A respectable town councillor in Edinburgh, this character was found to be a proficient burglar by night. He was caught after a raid on the Excise Office and hanged in the High Street 1788.

Burke and Hare - Infamous Murders

Evil duo who lived in Tanners Close (West Port). They murdered passers by and sold their bodies to the anatomist Dr Robert Knox (1827/1828). Burke was hanged in Lawnmarket. Hare turned King's evidence against his accomplice.

Sir Arther Conan Doyle - Author

Born at 11 Picardy Place (1859). He studied medicine at Edinburgh University. He then went on to create the famous detective Sherlock Holmes.

Sean Connery - Actor

Brought up in the Fountainbridge area of Edinburgh. As a boy, he delivered milk on a horse-drawn cart. He was made famous as 007 in the James Bond films and he won an Oscar in 1987 for The Untouchables. Awarded freedom of the City in 1992.

Sir Patrick Geddes - Planner and Botanist

He discovered chlorophyll in 1879 at the Sorbonne marine station in Brittany. He was also a planner sometimes called the father of modern town planning. Most of his pioneering work is in the Old Town e.g. the Outlook Tower and Ramsay Garden.

Greyfriars Bobby - Faithful Dog

This Skye terrier kept a vigil over his master's grave in Greyfriars cemetery for 14 years. The dog was given freedom of the City in 1867. He was a legend in his own lifetime. His statue stands at the junction of George IV Bridge and Candlemaker Row. His story was made into a Walt Disney film.

David Hume - Philosopher

Keeper of the Advocates Library, he entertained Rousseau, Dr Johnson and Benjamin Franklin.

Elsie Inglis - Medical Pioneer

She pioneered in a number of ways, most of them in the study and practice of medicine. She became a general practitioner in Edinburgh and in 1901 inaugurated a maternity hospice staffed entirely by women at Edinburgh Bruntsfield Hospital.

John Knox - Theologian and Preacher

Born near Haddington, he became a leading figure of Protestant Reformation in Scotland. Strenuous opponent of Roman Catholics and Mary Queen of Scots.

Sir Harry Lauder - Music Hall Star

Born in Portobello in 1870. His most famous songs include "Roaming in the Gloaming" and "Keep Right on to the End of the Road". He was knighted in 1919.

Joseph Lister- Professor in Surgery

Pioneered the use of antiseptics in medical and surgical practice. 1827 - 1921

James Clerk Maxwell - Physicist

Born in India Street, Edinburgh. Einstein said that Maxwell's work resulted in the most profound change in the conception of reality in physics since the time of Newton.

Sir Eduardo Paolozzi - Sculptor

Born in Leith of Italian parents. Trained at the Edinburgh College of Art. Private collectors now seek after his works.

William Henry Playfair - Architect

His most important works include the National Gallery of Scotland, Royal Scottish Hall, Surgeon's Hall, and the National Monument on Calton Hill.

Allan Ramsay (the Elder) - Poet

Best known work is "The Gentle Shepherd". Statue at the junction of Princess Street and the Mound.

Allan Ramsay (the Younger) - Painter

Became portrait painter to George III. His work can be seen in the National Gallery at the Mound.

Sir Walter Scott - Poet and Author

Started his career as an Edinburgh Lawyer, and then became one of the most notable novelists of his time. His works include "Heart of Midlothian", "Ivanhoe", "Rob Roy" and "The Waverley". His monument stands in Princes Street Gardens.

Adam Smith - Political Economist

Author of "The Wealth of Nations". Received the freedom of the City in 1770.

Muriel Spark - Writer and Novelist

Born in Edinburgh and educated at James Gillespie's School for girls. Author of "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie" 1961.

Robert Louis Stevenson - Author

Born in Inverleith. Wrote many titles, the most famous are "Treasure Island", "Kidnapped" and "The Strange case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde".

James Young Simpson - Medical Pioneer

He pioneered the use of chloroform as an anaesthetic in surgery and midwifery - 1847. His statue is in Princes Street Gardens.

Click on any of the categories below to find detailed local information:

                 ATTRACTIONS       GOLF         WINING & DINING         

Visit the

Local History

Edinburgh's History

Edinburgh's Famous Citizens


Produced by
© 2000