15th July 1790

Architect William Henry Playfair is born

William Henry Playfair left his mark on the Scottish capital. He graduated from the University of Edinburgh and, after working in London, returned to Edinburgh and designed many of the buildings for which he is remembered. These include the National Gallery of Scotland, the National Monument, and the building housing the Royal Scottish Academy.

Playfair paralysed

Playfair died in March 1857 after an illness that had left him partially paralysed, and he is buried in Edinburgh’s Dean Cemetery. His death was announced in the Morning Advertiser of 24th March, which quoted the Edinburgh Courant, calling him the greatest of our northern architects and “the man who, more than any other, has filled the Scottish capital with monuments of his genius”.

In 1989, the Post Office issued an air mail letter in Scotland to mark the 200th anniversary of his birth. It featured illustrations of several of his buildings that changed the Edinburgh landscape.



Other events that occured in July

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