Edinburgh Jewish History
Jewish presence in enlightened Edinburgh can be traced back to 1691, the year in which the minutes of Edinburgh Town Council recorded the application of David Brown, a professing Jew, to reside and trade in the city. The first Jew to buy a burial plot in Edinburgh was Herman Lyon. He came to Edinburgh from Germany in 1788 and described himself as a dentist and “corn operator” ie podiatrist and wrote a remarkable book on the subject. In 1795 he petitioned Edinburgh Town Council to purchase a plot of land on Calton Hill for a burying place for himself and his family. There is no trace of the plot today, but it is marked on the Ordnance Survey map of 1852 as “Jew’s Burial Vault”.