Welcome! I'm Ilene Johnnestoune, a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism. Come join me on my wanderings, as I share my interests both within and sometimes slightly outside the SCA.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Edinburgh - Finding Home

Shortly before Village Faire and the persona interview competition, I had made the decision to change where my persona lives.  I had originally placed myself in the Western March, as a Johnston married to an Armstrong.  After doing some research, however, I've determined that life on the borders was a little rougher than I would prefer.  Since I get to choose my alternate life, I'm picking one that's not full of hardship.  :)

Once I made the decision to change, it was natural to choose Edinburgh as my new home.  It was the capital city, and would be much easier to find information on.  There was all kinds of cool stuff happening there, such as the addition of a printing press very early in the 16th century, the creation of a school for surgeons, and so on.

Today I've been researching Edinburgh, seeing what I could find out about it's history, and where I might have lived.  I know that I would have been in what is now considered Old Town, as New Town was not built until after 1600.  I have found that the Grassmarket was the largest market in the city, and it was where cows and sheep were taken to be sold and then slaughtered.  The cordiners (shoemakers) guild was located at the west end of the market, in West Port.  Since my husband is a leatherworker, and specifically wants to be a shoemaker, it seems natural to pick a location near to where the guild was located.

Right now it looks like I will be settling either on King's Stables Road, or Johnston Terrace.  I'm going to need to try and find out a little more about the history of each before I make a final decision.  I am excited by the fact that where King's Stables and the Grassmarket meet is where the jousting grounds were.  This was also the main area for all things equestrian. HMMMM, I see this being figured into my newly revised persona story.

In the course of all my digging today, I found a few very cool sites.
National Library of Scotland - Online Resources  This site has a few Scottish bibliographies, that I will need to dig into further.  There are some other very cool resources on here also.
British History Online - Extracts from Edinburgh Records  This site looks exceptionally cool.  There are extracts from documents and records from Edinburgh dating to before and after the time period I'm looking at.  The only downside is that you can only view them on the website, there is no option to download the info that I could find.  I will definitely be spending some time on this site in the future.
National Archives of Scotland - Crafts & Trades  This site potentially looks like it will be a valued resource, but I need to dig a little deeper to confirm that.  The information is definitely there, but I'm not sure yet how much of it is available online.  I'll have to look into this further, and determine how much help it will be.


  1. very nice! will look forward to future entries.

  2. Trust me, if you ever get a chance you've got to go there. It is a magnificent place!