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Photograph: Moray House, Canongate, Edinburgh
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Title: Photograph: Moray House, Canongate, Edinburgh
Identifier: 2001.5.158
Donor: Geoffrey Sayers
Item Date: 1870-1876
Creation Date: 2011
Location: Benares Historic House

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Description: A black and white photographic print entitled “Moray House, Canongate. Edinburgh. 322.” The title is followed by a photographer's insignia. It depicts an empty street lined with sidewalks and streetlamps. Along the street are stone and brick buildings of various designs. They are all multiple storey buildings.

Moray House is located on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile on the Southside of Canongate close to Holyrood Palace. The house was built during the 1620’s. What makes it distinctive is the fact that Cromwell likely stayed at the house during his two visits to Scotland. His first visit was in October 1648 and the second was 1850. In 1850 the house would have been his base for his campaign against the Scottish Royalists. The house remained in the hands of the Moray family and their descendants for a further two hundred years and in the early eighteenth century some of the negotiations leading to the Act of Union were conducted here. In 1845 Moray House passed to the North British Railway Company, who quickly sold it to the Free Church of Scotland. Following alteration and extension, it became a school and training college. It remains an educational institution and is not normally open to the public. http://www.olivercromwell.org/moray_house.htm

Traveler’s in the 1870’s could not take their own photographs, so professional photographers would create albums with photos like these and sell them to travelers to commemorate their journey. In 1871 Elizabeth (Bessie) and Annie Harris (daughters of James Beveridge and Elizabeth) traveled to Europe to do a tour of Scotland, Ireland and England. In 1876, Lucy and Arthur Harris traveled to Scotland to visit their aunts in Perthshire. James Beveridge Harris’s sisters, Margaret Patton and Matilda Lindsay, both lived at Rose Terrace, Perth, with their cousin Margaret Anne Patton in the 1870s and 1880s. These photos could have come from any of those trips or have been sent by the Aunts, to the family at Benares.
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