views updated May 17 2018

Lothian is the name applied to the tract of land bounded by the Forth and Tweed rivers, which was absorbed into Northumbria in the 7th cent. and became firmly part of Scotland in the 10th cent. Its name was perpetuated in the counties of East, West, and Midlothian and, from 1973 to 1996, in an administrative region of Scotland, comprising the city of Edinburgh and the counties of East Lothian, West Lothian (except Bo'ness), and Midlothian (except Heriot and Stow). The region was dominated by Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, with a population of about 435,000, whose employment was derived mainly from administrative, financial, professional, and tourism services; for the remainder of the region's 750,000 people, including those in Livingston new town, manufacturing, including electronics, was more important. The region was abolished in 1996 and its territory divided between four all-purpose councils, Edinburgh, East Lothian, Midlothian, and West Lothian. Whatever the administrative structure, the number and strength of the institutions based in Edinburgh—notably, the banks, the Church of Scotland, the Scottish Office, the Parliament—cannot fail to ensure that the area round Edinburgh retains a large part of the leadership which it acquired when medieval kings of Scotland made it their capital and when ships at the quayside at Leith unloaded French claret and Calvinist theology.

Charlotte M. Lythe


views updated Jun 27 2018

Lothian Region in e central Scotland, bounded n by the Firth of Forth, e by the North Sea, and s by the Lammermuir, Moorfoot and Pentland Hills; the capital is Edinburgh. Industries: coal-mining, engineering, whisky distilling. Area: 1755sq km (677sq mi). Pop. (2001 est.) 779,180.

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