Edinburgh (Ed'din-bur-ro), capital of Scotland, and county town of Midlothian, situated in 55o 57' N. lat., 3° 11' W. long. By rail 393 miles NNW. of London, 44 to 47 1/4 E. of Glasgow, it stands 2 miles from the Firth of Forth, on a series of ridges, and is overlooked by Arthur's Seat and other hills (see Edinburghshire), to the foot of which it has now extended; of hills within the city itself the highest are the Castle Rock (437 feet) and the Calton (349). Although the Castle Rock, which for centuries was considered an almost impregnable fortress, must have been a place of refuge and of arms from the earliest times, Edinburgh is first noticed in history in the beginning of the 7th century, as a stronghold of Northumbria, from whose king Edwin it is said to derive its name. In 1093 its castle figures in the story of St Margaret, queen of Malcolm Can-more, and the little Norman chapel on the summit of the rock, dedicated to her memory, is the oldest building connected with the city. In 1128 David I. founded the abbey of Holyrood, about a mile east of the castle, and round it grew up the little burgh of the Canongate, which maintained its separate municipality until 1856.
To the east of the castle, where the ground slopes down from the rock in a narrow 'hog's back,' there grew up the town of Edinburgh. In 1329 it was made a burgh by Robert the Bruce, by a charter which also granted the town the right of establishing a port at Leith, 2 miles distant; thus began the vassalage of the port to the capital, which continued until 1833, when Leith was made a burgh. It was during the 15th century, under the Stewart dynasty, that Edinburgh began to be recognised as the capital, and parliament regularly met here, at first within the great hall of the castle, and afterwards in the City Tolbooth, until in 1631 the present Parliament House was erected. James V. further confirmed its choice as the capital by building a palace within the abbey of Holyrood; and by establishing, in 1532, the Court of Session, as a supreme court of justice for Scotland. In 1450 the first wall was built; and in 1513, after the defeat at Flodden, an extended wall was erected to include the suburb of the Cowgate, which had meantime arisen in the valley to the south. The town was defended on the west by the castle; on the north by a morass, called the 'Nor' Loch;' and on the east and south by the city wall. As the population increased, the houses rose higher and higher, until the town abounded in great ' lands' of houses, which, being erected on the steep sides of the 'hog's back,' had entrances from two levels, and rose to ten, twelve, and even fourteen stories in height. In 15S3 the university was founded; shortly after the middle of the 18th century the town wall was broken down in every direction, and the Nor' Loch was drained; whilst access was given to the country sloping down to the Firth of Forth, on which arose the New Town, by the erection in 1763-72 of the North Bridge (rebuilt in 1894-95). In 1785 the valley to the south, in which lies the Cowgate, was bridged, and the town spread southwards. In 1815-19 another bridge was thrown over a deep hollow on the north-east, and the Calton Hill was connected with the city; while in 1827-36 George IV. Bridge was built across the Cowgate parallel to the South Bridge.
The modern city now spreads on every side round the steep ridge to which for centuries she was confined. It is especially fortunate in its open spaces and public parks. The Princes Street gardens occupy the site of the old Nor' Loch, at the foot of the Castle Rock; the range of the Meadows and Links - the remains of the once extensive Burgh Muir - divides the town proper from the southern suburbs; the old royal hunting-ground attached to Holyrood - the King's Park and Arthur's Seat - is open to the citizens; on the north are the Botanic Gardens and the Arboretum (1824-81); and on the south Blackford Hill and the Braids have been added (1884-89) to the town property devoted to recreation. The view from either Arthur's Seat or Blackford Hill is a very noble and extensive one; that from the latter eminence is finely described in Scott's Marmion.
Edinburgh has many buildings famous in history, or important from their architectural merit. The Abbey and Palace of Holyrood, the latter rebuilt by Sir William Bruce of Kinross in 1671-79, and the former represented by its ruined chapel, are a memorial of the old Scottish monarchy; of the castle, the earliest portion, the old Parliament Hall, was restored (1888-92) by the late Mr William Nelson, publisher, while the Queen Mary portion contains the Scottish regalia; St Giles' Church, the old parish church of Edinburgh, dating most of it from the 15th century, was restored by the late Dr William Chambers, the work being completed in 1883; the Parliament House, erected in 1633 for the Scottish parliament, is now used as the 'Outer House' of the Supreme Courts, and adorned with many fine portraits and statues belonging to the Faculty of Advocates; John Knox's House is the ' manse' used by the great Reformer while minister of the town; the beautiful 17th-century building of Heriot's Hospital is now (since 1885) used as a technical school. Many of the modern buildings are fine. The Episcopal Cathedral of St Mary's, opened in 1879, is one of the largest churches built in Britain since the Reformation; and many of the other churches are handsome buildings; while the National Gallery (1850-58), the Royal Institution (1823-36), the Museum of Science and Art (1861-89), the National Portrait Gallery and Antiquarian Museum (1885-90), the Blackford Observatory (1893-95), and many of the banks, insurance-offices, clubs, and public schools are fine buildings, and occupy sites made remarkable by the broken nature of the ground on which the city is built. Among its numerous monuments are the graceful Gothic spire (1844) in memory of Sir Walter Scott, and the Prince-Consort Memorial (1876).
Edinburgh has been long known for its educational institutions, and these draw many inhabitants to the city for the benefits they offer. At the head of these is, of course, the university, founded in 1582, and comprising the faculties of arts, science, divinity, law, medicine, and music, with 50 chain and over 3000 students. The present university buildings were begun in 1789 from designs by the elder Adam, and completed in 1887 by the addition of a dome. New medical buildings were opened in 1884, a students' union in 1889, and the M'Ewan college hall in 1895. Besides the university there are theological halls connected with the United Free, Episcopal, and other churches, and normal schools for training teachers. The High School and Academy, and many of the private schools, have also attained a high reputation; but the most noteworthy feature perhaps is the exceptionally large sum which is annually derived for educational purposes from bequests left by citizens. Among the principal is the trust founded by George Heriot in Charles I.'s time, which now yields £30,000 per annum, applied by the Act of 1885 to the Heriot-Watt Technical College, and to the maintenance of a Science and Technical School; the trusts under the charge of the Merchant Company of Edinburgh, with an annual income of £40,000, applied principally to middle-class education; and the Fettes endowment, applied to higher-class education on the English model. In libraries Edinburgh is rich, having besides the University Library (200,000 vols, and 5000 MSS.), the magnificent collection of over 350,000 volumes belonging to the Faculty of Advocates, and the valuable library of the Society of Writers to the Signet, amounting to nearly 90,000 volumes. A free public library was also erected in 1887-89, the building being a gift of Mr Andrew Carnegie of Pittsburgh, U.S. The Royal Infirmary (1736), which occupies spacious new buildings of 1870-80, is a necessary adjunct to the great medical school, and is one of the most admirably appointed hospitals in Europe.
Edinburgh, as a residential town, is probably the most important shopkeeping centre out of London; it is not in any great measure a manufacturing town, its most important industries being brewing, printing, and publishing. It has been known for its printers since 1507, when Walter Chepman set up the first Scottish printing-press. The publishing of books, with the subsidiary businesses of printing, bookbinding, and type-founding, is now a most important industry; the publications of Messrs Blackwood, Chambers, Nelson, and numerous other firms are well known; and the book-factories are exceptionally large and well appointed. There are many paper-mills near the city; and in or near it there are distilleries, india-rubber manufactories, tanneries, and nurseries. Edinburgh is a great railway centre, and, besides suburban railways, has a complete-cable system of tramways. It is divided, for municipal purposes, into sixteen wards, and for parliamentary purposes into four divisions. Portobello was incorporated in 1896, and Granton in 1900. Pop. (1831) 136,548; (1861) 221,846; (1901) 316,837.
See works by Maitland (1753), Arnot (1779), Sir D. Wilson (1847; new ed. 1892), Drtummond (1879), R. L. Stevenson (1878), Grant (1880-82), Sir A Grant (for university, 1884), Lees (for St Giles', 1889), Mrs Olipliant (1890), Hutton (1891), Geddie (1900), Oliphant Smeaton (1904), and Miss R. Masson (1904).