Please note: due to the recent Covid-19 outbreak the Centre is currently closed, but our website is still open for business.

East Lothian Subjects

East Lothian has been part of some of the most dramatic and significant events in Scotland’s history, and still is. Its proximity to the Scottish capital as well as the English border, and its long stretch of coast – easing access both to the rich fishing grounds further north and the trading and political centres of London and the continent – have assured its place at the heart of events, while its rich agricultural land and generous mineral deposits have brought prosperity, and encouraged technological development.

In this section we are starting to write articles about interesting features of East Lothian’s past, especially on subjects where we have related items in our collections, whether they’re paintings or documents, weapons or clothes – or a host of other surprising things that you will find by searching our catalogues (just use the search box above to start exploring).

We have developed seven broad subject headings to help you browse articles that particularly interest you, and though we are still just starting to research and write articles, this section will grow over time. The subject areas are: Art, culture & communication; Economy; House & home; Leisure; Society; Transport & travel; War, battles & military.

If you have any suggestions for topics that you’d like to see more information about here, please write a comment below. And if you’d like to contribute an article yourself, do get in touch! Your articles (and images) can appear in this section, or you can upload them yourself at Your Stories.

Featured articles

East Lothian’s Criminal Past

Friendly Societies

Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 2016

Browse East Lothian Words

Click on a word to search…

Activities Archaeology Archives art artist Battle of Pinkie Books Broxmouth children Christmas Cockenzie crafts Dunbar East Lothian East Lothian Archaeology and Local History Fortnight Events exhibition family history day First World War free wifi Haddington Haddington library John Gray Centre kids Lammermuirs Library Local History Local History Centre Lucy Roscoe Museum Museums Musselburgh North Berwick online heritage festival Port Seton Queen Victoria research Second World War Sport Storytelling volunteer Whiteadder workshops World War One WW1photo (2)
Prestonpans (2)
Ormiston (2)
WW1 (11)
pot (3)
Pencaitland (17)
Mary Queen of Scots (2)
Belhaven bridge (7)
holiday (2)
coffee (2)
poor records (2)
arts and crafts (2)
Criminals (2)
Stenton (2)
doocot, dovecote, lectern (2)
anchor (2)
Kings Seat (2)
1975 (2)
Flag (2)
Communion (3)
ceramic (2)
teapot (2)
John Gray (2)
Labour (3)
Archives (7449)
Official E.g. Local Authority (6675)
Newspaper (4431)
Metal (2495)
Photography (2292)
Local History/archive (2188)
Building (1746)
Industry And Commerce (1679)
Glass (1638)
Wood (1558)
Ceramic (1161)
Society (1143)
Animal (1143)
Textile (1038)
Site (892)
Domestic Life (842)
Natural Sciences (834)
Fine Art (809)
Education (793)
Archeology (682)
House (663)
Enclosure (556)
Plastic (517)
Costume And Textiles (501)
Textiles (495)
Coins And Medals (486)
Egg (473)
Findspot (435)
Farmstead (418)
Decorative And Applied Art (389)
Clubs Societies And Local Organisations (364)
Food, Drink And Tobacco (350)
Sport And Leisure (321)
Marine Casualty (316)
Stone (304)
Health (301)
Manufacturing (294)
Medieval (292)
Ceramics (275)
Iron (265)
Farmhouse (258)
Brass (251)
Other British Archaeology (250)
Other Culture (240)
Mounted (230)
Tokens (214)
Trades And Crafts (212)
Linear Feature (193)
Leather (189)
Unifrom/regalia (not Military) (180)
Paper (178)
Painting (173)
Lead (168)
Personal And Estates (167)
Sport (165)
Settlement (164)
Church (162)
Copper (159)
Leisure (157)
Stable (154)
Pit (150)
Steel (148)
Ridge And Furrow (138)
Maritime (133)
Furnishings And Fittings (131)
Silk (130)
Dovecote (129)
Silver (129)
Religion And Beliefs (128)
Warfare And Defence (128)
British Prehistoric (127)
Country House (125)
Pit Alignment (125)
Wreck (124)
Ladieswear (120)
Scotland (119)
Ring Ditch (118)
Accessories (116)
Wall (116)
Plaster (109)
Gate Pier (108)
Gate Lodge (107)
Weapons And Accessories (107)
Childrenswear (106)
Canvas (103)
Cotton (102)
Quarry (99)
Ditch (98)
Life In Wartime (98)
Walled Garden (98)
History (91)
Road Bridge (91)
Politics (89)
Trackway (89)
Cist (88)
School (87)
Nursing (85)
Prints Pre 1900 (85)
Field Boundary (84)
Haddington (83)

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2 thoughts on “East Lothian Subjects”

  1. David says:

    Hello Miss Graham

    Perhaps the good folk of Musselburgh might protest ‘only 700 years’!

    You’re welcome to come down to the John Gray Centre and investigate our sources, which include the Burgh Records, and a comprehensive collection of local history reference works about Musselburgh and Inveresk.

    From a quick scan of several of these, the consensus seems to be that Musseburgh had burgh status as early as the 12th century – tofts (burgage plots) are mentioned in 1203, a reference to a mansura (house) is dated 1165×1173 and the ‘burgus and portus’ is mentioned 1184 – but nowhere is mentioned the survival of a document that would give a firm date: even the association of the Abbey of Dunfermline with Musselburgh cannot be dated closer than 1070×1093, the time of Malcolm Canmore.

    I think, perhaps, that the old poem has it best:

    Musselburgh was a burgh
    When Edinburgh was nane,
    And Musselburgh’ll be a burgh
    When Edinburgh’s gane.

  2. Roz Graham says:

    I note that 2015 marks the 700th anniversary of the granting of ecclesiastical status to Musselburgh / Inveresk by Dunfermline Abbey.

    So, I’m starting to research the subject and should be glad to know if you have any sources which might help.

    Thanks in advance for your assistance.

    Roz Graham (Miss)

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