We were settled into our rooms at City Pads and spent the day just wandering around Edinburgh. It was quite a lazy day and we didn’t go far nor do much. After three weeks on the road touring around it was nice to have a quiet day.
Edinburgh is a busy city and very busy in the summer time. They have several big festivals that take place on the same weekend every year; one being the Military Tattoo which I would love to attend. However, the timing was not right to do so this visit. Perhaps another time. The International Festival and the Fringe Festival are huge.
One of the stories I loved as a child was Greyfriars’s Bobby so we had to go to the cemetery where the faithful little dog lay by the grave of his deceased master until his own death many years later. Edinburgh Castle is an imposing sight up on the hill. This fellow added a fiery element to his bagpipe playing. He had gas canisters on his back and could send flames from tubes at the end of the pipes.
Such was the respect in which the Duke was held by the people of Scotland that following his death on 16 April 1884 the statue was commissioned and paid for by a public subscription and was created by world famous sculptor Sir Joseph Edgar Boehm. The statue was unveiled by the Earl of Stair on 7 February 1888.
In 1829 the Duke married Lady Charlotte Anne Thynne, daughter of the Marquess of Bath. Their marriage was to prove an extraordinary partnership which lasted 56 years and the couple were very much part of the court circle. The Duchess was Mistress of the Robes to Queen Victoria and the Duke became a Conservative Member of Parliament serving in the Peel Government.
He was appointed a Knight of the Garter, a Privy Councillor and served as Lord Privy Seal from 1842 to 1846 however after Peel’s fall, the Duke’s political career came to an end and he became Chancellor of the University of Glasgow, a position he was to hold until his death.
After leaving politics, he became a progressive manager of the traditional family landed estates, but this was the age of coal and railways, and he took advantage of both. He was also commercially minded enough to develop a new harbour with pier and breakwater at Granton in Edinburgh at a cost over half a million pounds, from where his coal was exported. He created significant employment throughout the country as well as building churches, houses and village halls. St. Giles Cathedral.
And that was our exciting first day in Edinburgh. The next day we drove to Leith to see the Royal Yacht Britannia and to Dirleton Castle and Gardens before returning to Edinburgh.