Merchant Maiden


Engraving from Modern Athens - published 1829

The New Merchant Maiden Hospital  -  Lauriston Lane

 Engraving from 'Modern Athens'  -  hand-coloured  -  Merchant Maiden Hospital

  Reproduced with acknowledgement to Ian Smith


Drawn by Thomas H Shepherd

Engraved by J Henshall


Merchant Maiden Hospital  -  Lauriston Lane


The Merchant Maiden Hospital was founded in 1695 for the education of daughters of decayed merchant burgesses of Edinburgh.

The chief contributor was Mary Erskine (after whom one of Edinburgh's schools is now named).  She purchased the original house and garden-grounds near Bristo Park.

The school later moved to the building shown in this engraving, situated beside the Meadows, which was begun in 1816.  It is of Grecian character, and accommodated about 80 girls between the ages of seven and seventeen.  

The building included sleeping accommodation, three school-room, a meeting room, a kitchen, washing house, laundry and a chapel.  The highest floor consisted of a series of rooms, extending the whole length of the building, used for drying clothes during the winter months.

Mary Erskine later went on to found the Trades' Maiden Hospital in Edinburgh.

 Engraving in "Modern Athens"  -  Published 1829  -  Trades' Maiden Hospital in Argyle Square

[Modern Athens]


Meadow-side House  -  Lauriston Lane

The engraving above was published in Grants 'Old & New Edinburgh'

This book also gives a brief description of Meadowside House. 

In a section about Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, it says:

Meadow-side House, the hospital specially devoted to sick children, is in Lauriston Lane, and in the most sunny portion of the grounds.  It is a humane and useful charity;  its directors chiefly consist of medical men, a matron, and a committee of ladies, with a complete medical staff of resident, ordinary and consulting physicians.

Immediately adjoined to where this edifice stands there was erected in 1816 the Merchant Maiden's Hospital ...



1870 Map

Lauriston Lane, the Merchant Maiden Hospital and the Hospital for Sick Children can all be found  at the bottom-centre of this 1870 map:

Map of Edinburgh and Leith. 1870  -  Central Edinburgh Section



Engravings from Modern Athens  -  Published 1829

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