Book: The Heart of Mid-Lothian
Author: Walter Scott

The Heart of Mid-Lothian By Walter Scott

Format: Global Grey free PDF
Pages (PDF): 476
Publication Date: 1818

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The Heart of Midlothian is the seventh of Sir Walter Scott's Waverley Novels. The title of the book refers to the Old Tolbooth prison in Edinburgh, Scotland, at the time in the heart of the Scottish county of Midlothian. The historical backdrop was the event known as the Porteous Riots. In 1736, a riot broke out in Edinburgh over the execution of two smugglers. The Captain of the City Guards, Captain John Porteous, ordered the soldiers to fire into the crowd, killing several people. Porteous was later killed by a lynch mob who stormed the Old Tolbooth. Scott's telling emphasises the gruesome details of the killing: he is lynched from a dyer's pole, using a rope taken from a local draper's shop. After a short while he is dragged down and stripped of his nightgown and shirt, which is then wrapped around his head before he was hauled up again. However, the mob had not tied his hands and, as he struggled free, they break his arm and shoulder, while another attempts to set light to his naked foot. He is taken down a further time and cruelly beaten before being hung up again, and dies a short while later, just before midnight on 7 September 1736.