250-year-old paper on its way to Fraser Suites earning positive hotel PR
A PREVIOUSLY undiscovered copy of a rare Scottish newspaper has been returned to its original home – after more than 250 years.
The management team at Fraser Suites Edinburgh spent months trying to track down a vintage edition of the Edinburgh Courant after discovering the newspaper’s offices and printing presses were previously located on the site of the hotel.
And now after sourcing a copy from a collector in America, the archive is to be framed and displayed and given pride of place in the reception area of the St Giles Street venue.
The Edinburgh Courant was one of the UK’s first regional newspapers with the first copy published at another location in Edinburgh in 1705, with the cover price of a single penny.
Its editors included Robinson Crusoe author Daniel Defoe.
The full front page of the recovered edition from March 17, 1759 – St Patrick’s Day – details the “Natural History of the Island of Guardaloupe” – more commonly known today as the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe.
And on the inside page, a small article appeals for the return of a “blue great coat with brass gilt buttons, and a piece of velvet round the neck” which was stolen from the playhouse in Edinburgh’s Canongate.
Check out the full gallery of images showing Heather Gilchrist, Regional General Manager of Frasers Hospitality Scotland with the rare 250-year-old newspaper, an eyecatching suite of powerful PR photography
Another small piece of news urges private unlicensed teachers to lodge their details with the deputy town-clerk of Edinburgh.
Heather Gilchrist, Regional General Manager Frasers Hospitality Scotland, said as soon as they realised the historical connection with the Edinburgh Courant they set out on a mission to find an original copy.
She said: “I think we all thought that the chances of finding a historic copy of the Edinburgh Courant were pretty slim, that’s why we were delighted to finally track down a collector in America who was happy to part with it when we explained the significance.
“The copy is in great condition, despite its age and the fact it found its way across the Atlantic. No one knows how it got to America but we are delighted to soon have this piece of Scotland’s and Edinburgh’s history back on display in its original home in Fraser Suites Edinburgh.
“The hotel has a strong sense of history with its location in the heart of Edinburgh and I’m sure our guests and visitors will be very interested to learn about the connection between the Edinburgh Courant and Fraser Suites Edinburgh.”
St Giles Street was initially created during the construction and subsequent remodelling of the nearby Bank of Scotland Headquarters by renowned Scottish architect David Bryce in the 1860s.
The 12-18 St. Giles Street part of the hotel was designed by Bryce in 1871 as the head office for the Edinburgh Courant newspaper.
From the late 19th century until the middle of the 20th century, St. Giles Street was known as the ‘Fleet Street of Scotland’, hosting (over the years) the offices of not only the Edinburgh Courant and Edinburgh Daily Review, but also the Glasgow News, Glasgow Herald, Glasgow Evening Citizen, the Edinburgh Daily Mail and the Mercat Press.
Fraser Suites Edinburgh – a restored Grade B listed building – was officially opened last November. The hotel boasts four elegant suites – including one called the Courant – as well as 75 rooms and blends jaw-dropping Victorian opulence with super-stylish contemporary cool.
The stunning new destination offers guests a unique style of luxury accommodation in the most enviable city centre location with spectacular views across Scotland’s capital.
For more information or reservations on Fraser Suites Edinburgh – www.edinburgh.frasershospitality.com
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