About the Cemetery Project (superseded)

Grange Cemetery: Some notable burials.


In 2015 the Grange Association donated two information boards at the East and West Gates of the Grange Cemetery. These boards identify 24 interesting people who have headstones in the cemetery.

The project was initiated by Dorothy Ryle and supported by the Grange Association through their Legacy Subgroup. The group was coordinated at first by Alistair Keating then by Alison Bramley. Joanne Lamb was responsible for the considerable amount of research involved and wrote the biographies; Neil Davidson researched the history of the land; Erick Davidson led the design work; and Jenny Dawe led the editing task. Charlie Holt, Cemeteries Manager, Edinburgh City Council, was supportive throughout. Funding for the project came from the Legacy left to the Grange Association by Ronald Mackenzie.

Grange Cemetery was established in 1847 by the Southern Cemetery Company Ltd. on land donated by the Dick Lauder family of the Grange Estate. Designed by David Bryce the architect, the site occupied an open space of more than 12 acres and was built on a rectangular pattern around central vaulted catacombs which are built into the crest of the hill. Bryce also designed the lodge, modified by J.G. Adams in 1890, and a mortuary chapel which was never built. The cemetery lies on Beaufort Road and has been expanded to Kilgraston Road. It contains about 6,250 burial plots and is still in use today.  There is more about the history of the cemetery here.

Since the original project, a further 24 burials have been researched.  The full 48 can be found here.

Following is a list of the original 24 notable burials selected. The individual biographies, including a summary of the relationship to the other people on the headstones, can be found on the following pages.


If the image above is not clear or too small, click on it to get a higher definition version

Click on the names below to see more.

  1. Thomas Nelson (1780-1861), founder of Thomas Nelson publishers.
  2. Hugh Miller (1802-1856), the Cromarty stonemason and geologist.
  3. Thomas Oliver (1775-1853), co-founder of Oliver and Boyd, publishers.
  4. Rev Thomas Chalmers (1780-1847), leader of the Disruption and founder of the Free Church of Scotland.
  5. William Stuart (1820-1888), owner of Scotland’s largest net making factory.
  6. Charles MacLaren (1782-1866), co-founder of the Scotsman newspaper.
  7. Sir James Gowans (1821-1890), innovative architect.
  8. Ivan Szabo (1822-1858), photographer from Transylvania.
  9. James Moonie (1853-1923), musician and choirmaster.
  10. William Stewart Cruikshank (1855-1928), theatre entrepreneur.
  11. Michael Taylor (1793-1867), whose wife and daughter were poisoned by Dr Pritchard.
  12. James Smith (1824-1887), Scottish story writer.
  13. Sir Thomas Dick Lauder (1784-1848), owner of the Grange Estate.
  14. Robin Cook (1946-2005), Labour politician who opposed the Iraq war.
  15. David Kennedy (1825-1886), Scottish singer.
  16. Thomas Usher (1821-1896), of Usher brewery.
  17. Thomas Guthrie (1803-1873), theologian and philanthropist.
  18. James Thin (1824-1915), bookseller in Edinburgh.
  19. Andrew Usher (1826-1898) co-owner of Usher Distillery, who gifted the money for the Usher Hall.
  20. Alexander Cowan (1775-1859), papermaker and philanthropist.
  21. John Usher (1828-1904), co-owner of Usher Distillery and founder of the Usher Institute.
  22. John Bartholomew (1805-1861), founder of the map makers, Bartholomew.
  23. Robert Middlemass (1819-1904), founder of Middlemass biscuits.
  24. Canon Edward Hannan (1836-1891), founder of Hibernian Football Club.

Apart from the sources mentioned with each individual, we acknowledge:

Family Search, https://familysearch.org/

FreeCen, http://www.freecen.org.uk/

Scotland’s People, http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/

Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page.

Joanne Lamb. March 2015

Click here to see more about the history of Grange Cemetery