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Heriot’s is Scotland’s leading independent school (as voted by The Sunday Times 2020 and the Independent School Parent magazine 2021). We welcome children of all backgrounds who will flourish in our happy, caring and stimulating environment.
Pupils aged 4 to 18 learn side by side, as part of one big Heriot’s family.
Every former pupil continues to belong to our family, connected across the miles and generations by shared values, experiences and memories.
We are also grateful to have so many loyal friends and supporters.
Our Development Team is dedicated to keeping all former pupils and friends of Heriot’s involved in the life of the school and in contact with each other.
The Foundation makes Heriot’s unique, enabling us to offer free places at our school for children who have lost a parent.
Care and compassion are central to all that we do, and our pupils strive to live up to the motto that adorns every blue blazer.
Heriot’s exists only because of the charitable foundation at its core, so it is perhaps unsurprising that our concern for others runs deep.
George Heriot was born on 4th June 1563 in Gladsmuir, East Lothian.
George Heriot becomes jeweller and goldsmith to James VI with a right to all the profits of that office.
George Heriot dies and is buried in St Martin-in-the-Fields, London. He bequeaths his estate to the city of Edinburgh for a hospital for the upbringing and education of “puire fatherless bairns, friemenes sones of that Toune of Edinburgh”.
The Foundation stone of George Heriot’s School (hospital) is laid and building begins.
The school is commandeered by Oliver Cromwell’s military government and converted into an army hospital.
The first boys, 30 in total, are admitted to Heriot’s. The Foundation and bursaries were established.
Planting of the gardens began with ‘all sorts of Phisical, Medicinal, and all sorts of other herbs, such as the country can afford’. It became the first public botanical garden in Edinburgh.