In the same year in which Morton & Craig were setting down the roots of the firm's existence, our monarch was George IV, who ruled from 1820 to 1830, and after whom George IV Bridge in Edinburgh was named. It is along this bridge, morning and evening, that I walk as part of my route to and from our office premises at Quartermile (built on the site of the old Royal Infirmary - founded in 1729 and being the first voluntary hospital in Scotland). I try to practice a kind of mindfulness during this walk; taking in and appreciating my historic surroundings. This is a lot easier when there are fewer merry Edinburgh Festival goers occupying, what seems like every inch of pavement each summer.
I step off the train in Waverley Station, opened in 1846 and later named "Waverley" (in the 1850's) after Sir Walter Scott's novels, and begin the steep climb up the Fleshmarket Close steps, one of the many narrow atmospheric closes off the Royal Mile, which are unique to Edinburgh. This particular close is named after the meat markets once sited nearby at the side of what was the Nor' Loch. I have counted the steps, as a means of distraction from the leg ache they induce (there are 75!) and imagine past voices shouting "gardyloo" from the windows above.
Stepping out of the dark close, I arrive on the High Street portion of the Royal Mile, which runs from the Castle down to Holyrood Palace, and is divided into five named stretches - Castlehill, Lawnmarket, the High Street, Canongate and Abbey Strand. I pass Parliament Square - the site of the Scottish Parliament and Law courts from 1630 to 1707, and St Giles Cathedral, dating back to 14th century, and place of John Knox's fiery sermons at the time of Mary Queen of Scots. I step around the Heart of Midlothian, a heart shaped stone mosaic on the pavement, marking the site of the old Tollbooth (the law court and jail were demolished in 1817), and look up at the Mercat Cross, from where the succession of monarchs were announced to the Edinburgh public from the 14th century, before arriving at the corner of George IV Bridge and the Lawnmarket.
On the corner, outside the High Court, sits David Hume (1711 - 1776), one of Scotland's Enlightenment philosophers, his toe polished smooth from the superstitious passers-by who give it a rub for good luck. Ironic when he himself was opposed to superstitious thinking.
Onto George IV Bridge, and on a welcome downhill stretch, I pass the statue to Edinburgh's most famous little dog Greyfriar's Bobby who, for 14 long years until he died in 1872, faithfully guarded his master's grave. I then skirt the buildings of Edinburgh University, established in 1582, and where David Hume is just one on it's esteemed list of alumni, before I arrive at our very modern offices; a far cry, in terms of home comforts, from Morton & Craig's premises of 190 years ago.