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Satire on a Scottish Baillie - "The Hermit's Visit to the New Jail", New Calton Jail, Edinburgh

 Fonds — Box: CLX-A-1532
Identifier: Coll-1714

Scope and Contents

This satirical illustration entitled "The Hermits [sic] Visit to the New Jail" shows what is assumed to be a Baillie (bearded, with top-hat and walking with a stick) holding a large key... presumably to open the jail or to lock it. The castellated building is in the background. There are posters on a wall...: "Waterloo subscription", "Self-Defence Taught", and "List of Improvements in the City and Suburbs".

In pencil below the drawing is written "Baillie Johnson, January 1817".


  • Creation: 1817

Language of Materials


Biographical / Historical

Calton Jail was situated on the southern side of Regent Road under the shadow of Calton Hill. At the time of opening for its first prisoners in 1817, this new jail was the largest in Scotland. It had been constructed to replace the ageing and dilapidated Old Tolbooth on the High Street as Edinburgh’s main correction facility.

It is believed that the jail's architect Archibald Elliot designed the building in a distinctive castellated fashion so that it matched the style of other structures in the area such as the Robert Adam debtors jail of 1791 known as 'the Bridewell' and James Craig’s Old Observatory on top of Calton Hill.


1 folder

Physical Location


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Acquired February 2016. Accession no: SC-Acc-2016-0031.

Processing Information

Catalogued by Graeme D. Eddie, 17 February 2016.

Satire on a Scottish Baillie - 'The Hermits Visit to the New Jail', New Calton Jail, Edinburgh
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the University of Edinburgh Library Heritage Collections Repository

Centre for Research Collections
University of Edinburgh Main Library
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Edinburgh EH8 9LJ Scotland
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