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Monday, 8 November 2010

On this day in Scottish history

8 November 1736 - The poet and playwright Allan Ramsay opened Scotland's first public theatre in Carrubber's Close, Edinburgh.

Unfortunately the strict Presbyterian Kirk's disapproval was swiftly felt as magistrates declared Ramsay's theatre illegal soon after it opened, forcing its closure. The theatre was not reopened until 1767 when David Ross, a London actor, managed to fulfil Ramsay's dream. As well as theatre, Ramsay had a passion for books, and indeed was responsible for providing Edinburgh residents with the world's first lending library from his bookshop on the Royal Mile.

You can find out more about the history of Edinburgh in Scottish Miscellany: Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Scotland the Brave, by Jonathan Green.

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