Short Notes

Like the Life and Work section this is devoted to everyday life in the West Blacket area from its beginnings to today. Sometimes there are questions and pieces of information which may seem small but still interesting, or from an unanticipated source. Perhaps you have come across an advertisement for a house for sale which gives an idea of how the area was being promoted to potential purchasers, or a hint as to why it might have stuck on the market. Examples below and a bit of architectural detail.

Moving House, 1822

An advertisement from the Caledonian Mercury, 4 May 1822 :


To be SOLD by public voluntary roup, within the Merchants’ Hall, upon Wednesday, 15th May next, between the hours of two and three, if not previously sold by private bargain. THAT HOUSE, No. 5, MINTO STREET, Newington, containing Ding and Drawing Rooms, Parlour, four Bed-chambers, Dressing-room, Servants’ Apartment, good Cellarage, and various accommodation of Washing-house, & attached to the Kitchen. The house is 40 feet in front, by 34 and a half feet deep; it was built within these few years, is in the best order, and commands a delightful view. The Garden is well stocked, and the ground extends in whole to 180 by 60. This property, which combines the advantages of a town and country residence, and is peculiary convenient for the University and High School, will be shewn from 12 to 3; and for particulars as to price, feu-duty, &c, application may be made to Archibald Crauford, W.S. 20, Picardy Place.

and from the Caledonian Mercury, 18 May 1822 :


To be SOLD by auction on Wednesday 22d, and Thursday 23d May. THE Whole genuine FURNITURE of that House, No. 5, Minto Street, Newington, almost entirely new, being the property of a gentleman leaving Edinburgh, consisting of every article requisite to furnish a large house, either for elegance or convenience, in the most fashionable manner. Sale to begin each day at eleven o’clock. ARCHa. LAURIE, Auctioneer. 4, South Hanover Street, 17 May 1822.

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Worrying Time for West Blacket Residents

Number 9 Middleby Street was advertised for sale in the Caledonian Mercury of 11 May 1832. Seven months later details of the ‘Adjourned Sale’ to be held on 2d day of January, within Gibb’s Royal Saloon, Princes Street, were advertised. A reason for the delay is hinted at in a chilling piece of news which appeared in the same newspaper on Monday May 14, 1832.


May 12 – New cases, 6; Died, 2; Recovered, 2.
May 13 – New cases, 4; Died, 3; Recovered 3; Remaining, 24.
Total cases, 392; Deaths, 227; Recoveries, 141.
The cases on Saturday were in Baron Grant’s Close, Calton Hill Stairs, Castle Bank, Gilmore’s Close, Middleby Street, and Bell’s Wynd. The cases yesterday were in Canongate, West Richmond Street, Coull’s Close, and West Port.

The fate of the Middleby Street case is not known, nor in which house cholera had struck.

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Drawing Room Decor

Nearly 200 years on, two features adorning a villa built in 1817 exhibit a blend of the classical and the patriotic! Anyone in the West Blacket area prepared to share similar features?

Cornice -

Fireplace Surround -

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