The Scots are anecdotally a very thirsty nation, with a reputation for drinking (to excess, on occasion) - and one of the greatest cultural exports from Scotland is, of course, Scotch whisky, although Scottish gins have come very much to the fore in recent years, too.
One of the greatest honours that can be bestowed in Scotland is having a pub named after you, and so it's handy that the city remembers many of its former inhabitants with drinking holes, allowing me to link two popular pastimes - history and alcohol!
Here are five establishments named for former inhabitants of the city....
Notable for being the highest pub in Edinburgh (geographically speaking), the Ensign Ewart is situated near the top of the Royal Mile on the Lawnmarket.
It is named for a former solider with the Royal North British Dragoon Guards, Charles Ewart, who played a crucial role in the British victory over Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo, in 1815. Ewart seized the ceremonial eagle standard of one of the French regiments, helping to break up the cavalry forces and leading to the final defeat of Napoleon's armies.
After his death, Ewart's body was buried outside Manchester before later being exhumed and reburied on the esplanade at the front of Edinburgh Castle. The eagle standard that Ewart captured is still on display in the regimental museum of the Royal Scots inside Edinburgh Castle.
Sixteenth-century jeweller and goldsmith George Heriot was known by his local nickname Jinglin' Geordie, because of the noise the coins and jewels made rattling in his pockets as he strolled around town.
He became the official jeweller to James VI of Scotland, and was taken to London when that king became James I of England. After his death in 1624 he left a huge bequest of nearly £30,000 to establish a hospital in his name - the building today is George Heriot's School.
The pub named for Heriot can be found on Fleshmarket Close, near to Waverley Station, in the Old Town.
ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE
Another figure, celebrated not far from his birthplace, is the writer Arthur Conan Doyle, born in a building on Picardy Place in Edinburgh's New Town, which has since been demolished.
Doyle trained as a medic at the University of Edinburgh, and after relocating to London he became famed for writing the Sherlock Holmes stories, featuring the world's greatest consulting detective. Holmes was based on one of Doyle's tutors at university, although none of the stories are set in Scotland.
Edinburgh famously has more statues of dogs than it has of historical women, but one particular woman has been given a pub instead - Maggie Dickson was one of the last people to survive an execution in the city, and her pub on the Grassmarket overlooks the site where she nearly met her death in the 1720s.
Accused of murdering her newborn child, Dickson was sentenced to be hanged, but miraculously survived the execution to become one of the last people to survive execution in Edinburgh. The law was later changed, specifying a person "be hanged until dead" for subsequent executions.
Dickson allegedly lived until her early 80s, and bore another six children in the latter half of her life.
Another convicted criminal who was not so lucky as to survive the gallows was Deacon William Brodie, a locksmith and cabinet maker with premises on the Lawnmarket.
Brodie was discovered to have been living a double life, and went on to inspire the creation of one of literature's most influential creations as the prototype for Robert Louis Stevenson's Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde...
Explore more of the city's historical figures with my private Edinburgh walking tours!
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