Edinburgh in Scotland Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital city, is located to the south-east of the country at the mouth of the River Forth. During the 17th century, it was a compact but rapidly-growing settlement. In the years between the Reformation and the Wringhims’ arrival, the population had almost trebled to 45,000 and it was well on its way to becoming the “picturesque, odorous, inconvenient, old-fashioned town” it was during Hogg’s time.
Throughout history, Edinburgh has occupied a prominent position both politically and culturally. It was the seat of the royal court until James VI (I of England) moved down to England, and of the Parliament of Scotland until the Act of Union. It was also the centre of the Scottish Enlightenment, and the number of influential thinkers and writers it produced earned it the name ‘Athens of the North’ during the 18th century.