George Heriot

(Jinglin' Geordie)

1563 - 1624

George Heriot, from a painting in his school
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

George Heriot, from a painting in his school

Goldsmith and burgess of Edinburgh. Heriot was goldsmith to King James VI (1566 - 1625) and his wife Anne of Denmark (1574 - 1619). A wealthy man, he also lent significant amounts of money to his King, who he followed to London when James acceded to the English throne (1603).

Heriot died childless in London and left the considerable sum of £23,625 to found George Heriot's Hospital (now School) for the education of the poor and orphans. Although the foundation stone for his Hospital was laid in 1628, it could not be completed until 1650 while Heriot's executors recovered the sizeable debts owed to him by the Crown and others.

Although he is buried in St. Martin-in-the-Fields (London), a monument to Heriot was one of the first erected in Greyfriars kirkyard. His name is also remembered in Heriot-Watt University.

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