Old Photograph Rugby Team George Heriot's School Edinburgh Scotland
Old photograph of a rugby team at George Heriot's School in Edinburgh, Scotland. On his death in 1624, George Heriot left around 25,000 Pound Scots, equivalent to several tens of millions today, to found a " hospital ", in those days the name for this kind of charitable school, to care for the " puir, faitherless bairns " which means in Scots: poor, fatherless children) of Edinburgh. The construction of Heriot's Hospital, as it was first called, was begun in 1628, just outside the city walls of Edinburgh. It was completed just in time to be occupied by Oliver Cromwell's English forces during the invasion of Scotland during the Third English Civil War; the building was used as a barracks, with horses stabled in the chapel. The hospital opened in 1659, with thirty sickly children in residence; its finances grew, and it took in other pupils in addition to the orphans for whom it was intended. In the 1880s, it began to charge fees; however, to this day it serves its charitable object, providing free education to fatherless children, referred to as " foundationers ". In 1846 there was an insurrection in the hospital and fifty two boys were dismissed. In 1837 the school founded ten " free schools " in Edinburgh, educating several thousand pupils across the city; these were closed in 1885. In 1979 it became co-educational with the arrival of the first girls, and now has around 1600 pupils.
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Posted by Sandy Stevenson