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Discovering Heritage News Sheet Legacies

Newspaper highlight May 12 1888

News Sheet Legacies

Our News Sheet Legacies offer a glimpse into the past life of your house .In the delightful details that embellish a person’s life, which somehow make it into the news, we get a tantalising taste of what life was like for the people who lived in our properties through the years.

In 1665 the first newspapers were printed in London; and they were heavily censored until 1695. In this year, the English government relaxed censorship, and newspapers truly began to flourish. The news was available for ordinary people.

In 1855, stamp duty required to be paid to the government was abolished, prices came down, and the news thrived.

Newspapers of this era covered local areas. People didn’t travel far from home and wanted to know what was happening in their own neighbourhoods. They knew the road names and the people involvedin the stories; this was news that directly impacted their lives. Reading newspapers became an important part of daily life.

Public libraries had rooms designated specially for people to read newspapers.


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Early advertisements were essentially text and could contain information about a persons business dealings. Debtors were named and shamed, and often, their addresses were published in the local news. Newspapers presented reports on court proceedings, particularly local ones, including the names of victims, defendants, witnesses and officials who were involved.

The Beautifully Banal!

“It is in the beautiful banal quiet moments that the world turns inside our houses.” Discovering Heritage

Requests for information on lost pets, property or even residents might be found under personal notices. The names of people who made charitable donations were regularly printed in the press. The minutes of public meetings may mention a resident of your property. And let’s not forget about the births, marriages and deaths columns.

To Buy Or Let

House sale or To Let adverts were often very detailed, providing a glimpse of the householder’s lifestyle. Descriptions of house contents and elaborate representations of the house layouts were often printed.

Stories that have fallen out of the ordinary.

Then there are the extraordinary stories. Glimpses of lives recorded forever in print because fate or fortune dictated it so. The news archives are full of them, we use these clues all the time when we build a House History; they often lead to remarkable stories for our clients!

Was your house famous?

Are you curious to find out? Discover your News Sheet Legacy!


What we need from you.

All we need are your name and full address details and we can begin searching for your News Sheet Legacy!

©Discovering Heritage

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My Scottish Townhouse Story

My Scottish Townhouse Story Portrait a3 poster ©Discovering Heritage

My Scottish Townhouse Story offers a unique way to add an extraordinary hallmark to your house. Our specialist archival research displayed with an elegantly designed illustration of your property offers a link to history that allows you to travel back through the years and view your house alongside the residents of yesteryear.

Do you hold your Scottish heritage close to your heart?

We all love the famous stories that run through Scottish history; the colourful characters who were brandishing fervour in the fight for justice throughout a historical landscape that rose and fell with the lives of its inhabitants.

Who were these inhabitants, and where did they live?

Descendants of Scottish heroes built the cities and townhouses of Scotland. Their lives have become interwoven in the fabric of Scottish history. Discovering the history of your house can uncover some interesting stories!

Who Lived In My House?

39 North Castle Street Edinburgh. 1801 – 1826

Today this charming property is split into city apartments—the property boasts at least one famous Scottish resident. 

My Scottish Townhouse Story Sir Walter Scotts residence Edinburgh ©Discovering Heritage

Sir Walter Scott

In the autumn of 1801, Sir Walter Scott became a tenant of this house, described as being in Edinburgh’s new town. By Whit – Sunday 1802 Scott had purchased the property for £850 cash + £950 bond. He lived at this residence until 1826 when the house was sold to aid his financial situation.

Imagine sharing a resident legacy with such a prominent Scottish author! 

By researching records and publications, we can add details that bring the history of your house to life. During our research for this article, we came across an entry in a book describing Walers Scott’s frustration on moving into the premises in 1801. Finding the painters and workmen had made the place almost uninhabitable!  

“To augment this confusion my wife has fixed upon this time as proper to present me with a fine chopping boy, whose pipe, being of the shrillest, is heard amid the storm, like a boatswain’s whistle in a gale of wind.”

Walter Scott His Life and Personality Hesketh Pearson.

This property on North Castle Street was also the subject of a pen and ink drawing by Turner. Such a provenance!

http://www.walterscott.lib.ed.ac.uk/biography/graphics/39castlest.jpg

https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/turner-no-39-castle-street-edinburgh-former-residence-of-walter-scott-d26336


House histories can connect you to a heritage you never knew existed.


My Scottish Townhouse Story Ann Street house ©Discovering Heritage

44, Ann Street Edinburgh 1823 – 1915

 Ann Street was described by Sir John Betjeman as

” The most attractive street in Britain.”

44 Ann Street was designed by the Scottish painter Sir Henry Raeburn with the architect James Milne. The house was completed in 1823, and the street was named after Henry Raeburn’s wife, Ann. Ann Street was also one of the first streets in Edinburgh’s New Town to be designed with private front gardens.

This beautiful townhouse has a legacy of residents; we have looked at a few dating from 1823 to 1915, including a banker, a commissions agent, a teacher and a silk mercer with attending live-in servants.

Tracing Property History

From 1617 the movement of property in Scotland from the humble croft, townhouse, or stately castle was legally recorded and traceable.

In 1617 The Registration Act (General Register of Sasines) was passed under King James VI. A sasine in Scottish law is defined as the delivery of feudal property, typically land. In this sense, feudal property means immovable property, including buildings, trees, and underground minerals. 

The original act underwent several adaptations. Finally, 2002 witnessed the last legal ceremony of Sansine. And in 2007, Automated Registration of Title to Land (ARTL) allowed people to register their title deeds online. 

My Scottish Townhouse Story

We can uncover your unique heritage with archival research to find the story of your own house.

My Scottish Townhouse Story is a bespoke illustration featuring a colour drawing of your house alongside a potted history highlighting its individual legacy.


Visit the Little Histories Shop for more extra ordinary products from the archives!

©Discovering Heritage and Littlehistoriesshop

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