Lothian (/ˈloʊðiən/; Scots: Lowden; Scottish Gaelic: Lodainn
[ˈɫ̪ot̪aɲ]) is a region of the Scottish Lowlands, lying between
the southern shore of the
Firth of Forth
Firth of Forth and the Lammermuir Hills. The
principal settlement is the Scottish capital, Edinburgh, while other
significant towns include Livingston, Linlithgow, Queensferry,
Dalkeith, Musselburgh, North Berwick, Dunbar, and Haddington.
Historically, the term
Lothian referred to a province encompassing
most of what is now southeastern Scotland. In the 7th century it came
under the control of the Anglian kingdom of Bernicia, the northern
part of the later kingdom of Northumbria, but the Angles' grip on
Lothian was quickly weakened following the Battle of Nechtansmere in
which they were defeated by the Picts.
Lothian was annexed to the
Scotland around the 10th century.
Subsequent Scottish history saw the region subdivided into three
shires—Mid, East, and West Lothian—leading to the popular
designation of "the Lothians".
Lothian under the control of the Angles
4 Local government
7 External links
Lothian (Burdiehouse) Burn as it passes through Little France,
The origin of the name is debated. It perhaps comes from the British
*Lugudūniānā (Lleuddiniawn in Modern Welsh spelling) meaning
"country of the fort of Lugus", the latter being a Celtic god of
commerce. Alternatively it may take its name from a watercourse
which flows through the region, now known as the
Lothian Burn,[note 1]
the name of which comes from the British lutna meaning "dark or muddy
A popular legend is that the name comes from King Lot, who is king of
Lothian in the Arthurian legend. The usual Latin form of the name is
Lothian under the control of the Angles
Traprain Law in East Lothian, said to have been the site of King Lot's
Lothian was settled by Angles at an early stage and formed part of the
Kingdom of Bernicia, which extended south into present-day
Northumberland. Many place names in the Lothians and Scottish Borders
demonstrate that the English language became firmly established in the
region from the sixth century onwards. In due course
Deira to form the Kingdom of Northumbria. Important Anglo Saxon
structural remains have been found in
Aberlady along with various
artefacts such as an early 9th century Anglo Saxon coin.
Little is recorded of Lothian's history specifically in this time.
After the Norse settled in what is now Yorkshire,
effectively cut in two. How much Norse influence spread to the English
north of the
River Tees is uncertain.
Bernicia continued as a distinct
territory, sometimes described as having a king, at other times an
Bernicia became distinct from other English
territories at this time due to its links with the other Christian
kingdoms in what is present-day
Scotland and seems to have little to
do with the Norse-controlled areas to the south. Roger of Wendover
wrote that Edgar, King of the English granted Laudian to the King of
Scots in 973 on condition that he come to court whenever the English
king or his successors wore his crown. It is widely accepted by
medieval historians that this marks the point at which
under Scottish control. The
River Tweed became the de facto
Anglo-Scottish border following the
Battle of Carham in 1018.
William the Conqueror
William the Conqueror invaded
Lothian and crossed over the River
Forth but did not re-annex it. At this time
Lothian appears in the
Anglo-Saxon Chronicle as Loðen or Loþen. As late as 1091, the
Chronicle describes how the Scottish king, Malcolm, "went with his
army out of
Scotland into Lothian", and in the reign of King David,
the people living in
Lothian are described as "English" subjects of
In the post-Roman period,
Lothian was dominated by British-speakers
whose language is generally called
Cumbric and was closely related to
Welsh. In Welsh tradition
Lothian is part of the "Old North" (Hen
Ogledd). Reminders exist in British place-names like Tranent,
Linlithgow and Penicuik.
Although one of the few areas of mainland
Scotland where the Gaelic
language was never dominant, the presence of some Gaelic
place-names, e.g. Dalry, Currie,
Balerno and Cockenzie, has been
attributed to the "temporary occupation...[and] the presence of a
landowning Gaelic-speaking aristocracy and their followers for
something like 150–200 years."
Over time and due to various factors, the language of
Northumbria, a northern variety of Middle English, came to displace
Gaelic as the language of the Lowlands. The dialects of the modern
Lothians are sometimes considered to be part of Central Scots.
Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973
Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973 abolished the county councils
and burgh corporations, replacing them with regions and districts.
Lothian Regional Council formally took over responsibility from the
old county councils in May 1975. The
Lothian region was split into
four districts: East, Mid and West Lothian, and the City of Edinburgh.
The former had more or less identical boundaries to the county council
it replaced, but West and Mid
Lothian had large amounts of land taken
from them to form the City of
Edinburgh district. The council was
responsible for education, social work, water, sewerage, transport
(including local buses within Edinburgh).
The two-tier system was ended by the Local Government etc. (Scotland)
Lothian Regional Council was replaced by four unitary
councils based on the former districts.
Pentland Hills in rural Lothian.
^ Also known as the Burdiehouse, Niddrie, or
Brunstane Burn as it
passes through those neighbourhoods.
^ In contrast to the nearby Peffer Burn, the name of which comes from
pefr, 'clear stream'.
^ "Estimated population by sex, single year of age and administrative
area, mid-2014" (PDF). National Records of Scotland. Retrieved 17 May
^ "Dictionary of the Scots Language :: SND :: Lowden prop.
n". Dsl.ac.uk. Retrieved 2016-05-26.
Lothian Timeline". Cyberscotia.net.
^ Koch, John, Celtic Culture, ABC-CLIO, 2006, p. 1191.
^ a b Harris, Stuart (2002). The Place Names of Edinburgh: their
Origins and History. London & Edinburgh: Steve Savage Publishers
Ltd. ISBN 1904246060.
^ "Important Anglo Saxon remains discovered in East Lothian".
www.historyscotland.com. Retrieved 18 March 2018.
^ Anglo-Saxon Chronicle
^ a b "Ancient Lothian". Cyberscotia.net.
^ Craig Cockburn (2005-11-02). "Gaelic roots need to be unearthed".
^ W. F. H. Nicolaisen (2001). Scottish Place Names. John Donald
Publishers. p. 240. ISBN 0-85976-556-3.
Herman Moll's map of the
Lothian shires (c.1745)
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Lothian.
Traditional provinces and districts of Scotland
Major districts (former counties, provincial lordships and rural
Clydesdale (or Strathclyde)
Ross (Easter and Wester)
The Black Isle
Howe of Fife
Howe of the Mearns
Muir of Ord
Rhinns of Kells
Strath of Kildonan
For smaller islands, usually districts in their own right, see List of
Islands of the Clyde
Rinns of Islay
Ross of Mull
Harris (North Harris, South Harris)
Lewis (The Lochs, West Side, Point, Back)
Hoy and Walls
Mainland (Central Mainland, North Mainland, South Mainland, West
Former local government regions of Scotland
Dumfries and Galloway
Coordinates: 55°54′33″N 3°05′04″W / 55.90917°N