12 Nicolson Square, Edinburgh
12 and 14 Nicolson Square are lovely old buildings in the old town of Edinburgh with distinctive old faded painted sign remnants in red. The square originally contained the properties of Sir James Nicolson, back pre-1800. Older maps reveal this at that time to probably be the extent of the city. Nearby Cabbagehall and Turnip Fields would have once produced food but were built over as the metropolis expanded. Nicholas Martinot looks to have been a prominent manufacturer of baskets and importer of other goods from 1890 or so onwards.
The text on the faded paint advertise 'Fancy Leathergoods' , 'Basket Manufacture', Rugs, Mats, walking Sticks, Hardware and Woodenware.
The Edinburgh Gazette of 1890 and 1892 note two 'bankrupt sequestrations' in which Martinot was elected joint commissioners. In issue 10128 (25th Feb 1890) page 180 they are involved in sequestration of Daniel S Johnston, fancy goods merchant at 103 Kirkgate and 131 Great Junction St Leith. In another issue 10363 the sequestration of a hardware, toy and Smallware merchant from 272 Canongate and 15 St Mary Street is involved ( www.edinburgh-gazette.co.uk/issues/10128/pages/180 & www.edinburgh-gazette.co.uk/issues/10364/pages/670 ).
The building is now used by Edinburgh University, School of Arts, Culture & Environment and the facilty is named Alison House.
(2010 week 13)
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