George Heriot

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George Heriot / Goldsmith

  • Name  : Heriot
  • Born  : 1563
  • Died  : 1624
  • Category  : Other
  • Finest Moment : Counting the silver of James VI

He was an Edinburgh goldsmith whose name lives on in Heriot-Watt University and George Heriot's Hospital/School. He has been written up in one of Sir Walter Scott's books The Fortunes of Nigel (1822), where his nickname of 'Jingling Geordie' is used.

He succeeded his father, also a goldsmith in Edinburgh, and was soon one of its richest citizens. Holding the post of goldsmith to Anne of Denmark in 1597, and then her husband James VI in 1601, he was in effect their banker, as plate and jewellery were the bankable items of the times.

He moved down to London in 1603 with James, continuing to increase his wealth. His income was further sweetened by a cut of the lucrative sugar imports. He never forgot his native city however, and in his will he bequeathed a large sum allowing for the foundation of George Heriot's Hospital/School, for the education of impoverished burgesses.

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