In 1950, former City Councillor Stanley Cavaye was invited to a flat in St James Square to view some ‘old pictures’. He discovered an assortment of boxes which contained some 450 glass plate negatives by the little-known Edinburgh photographer, Thomas Begbie. Mostly taken between 1857 and 1860, they present a unique snapshot of life in mid-Victorian Edinburgh, from the splendour of the New Town to the squalor of the Old. In 1992 Mr Cavaye gifted this remarkable collection to the City of Edinburgh. David Patterson is Curatorial and Conservation Manager for Edinburgh Museums & Galleries.

All of our lecture mornings cost £9 and include a friendly lecture where you have the opportunity to meet our guest lecturer, have coffee and cakes and get a special tour.

Take advantage of our special offer, book 10 lectures for £80.

Thomas Begbie’s Edinburgh: A mid-Victorian portrait