RPG: Britain In The Gas-Lamp World (extract)

haddingtonshireNote: This is an extract from the supplement Britain In the Gas-Lamp World, for the Gas-Lamp Fantasy Role-playing Game. The book is available on the Amazon Kindle store, and features short articles on the towns and counties of Britain; a coup[le of short adventures, and a large section on life in London during this period.


This is a south-eastern county in Scotland. It has an area of about 267 square miles. It has a population of around 37,000 people. It is sometimes referred to as East Lothian, but its official name is Haddingtonshire.

The main river is the Tyne.

The rocks underfoot tend towards sandstone and limestone.

Potatoes, especially the Dunbar Red, are grown by the people of this county. Other crops include oats, barley and turnips. Cattle are kept.

The county includes Fidra Island.

Mining: Coal is extensively mined.

HISTORY: In 1018 the area became part of Scotland.

In 1198 Alexander II was born in Haddington.

In 1216 Haddington was put to the torch by the English.

In 1356 Haddington was sacked by the English.

In 1514 John Knox was born near Haddington.

In 1650 the Battle of Dunbar was fought in the county.

In 1676 the Ancient Fraternity of the Gardeners of East Lothian was established in Haddington.

In 1745 the Battle of Prestonpans was fought in the county.

In 1797 there was the Massacre of Tranent, when local residents, protesting about being enlisted into the British Army, were killed by soldiers.

In 1817 the alchemist Samuel Morrison Brown was born in Haddington.

In 1819 Pressmennan Loch was constructed.

In 1859 the newspaper the Haddingtonshire Courier began.

FAUNA: Trout can be found in some of the rivers. Cod, haddock and whiting can be found in the waters around the coast.

TOWNS: The county town is Haddington. It dates back to the 6th century.

Important buildings include St Mary’s Church (completed 1487); the Town House (1748); a county courthouse (1833); and the Corn Exchange (1854).

St Mary’s was begun in 1375. It was consecrated in 1410, despite being incomplete. The church had to be restored following the siege of Haddington in the 16th century. The choir and the transepts, though, have not been fully restored.

Other towns include Dunbar, Prestonpans and Tranent.

Dunbar has a population of over 3,000 people. It was the scene of a battle in 1650, when Roundhead forces defeated an army of Presbyterian Covenanters.

Prestonpans has a population of around 2,500 people. It was the site of a battle in 1745, where Charles Edward, the Young Pretender, defeated the government forces.

Tranent has a population of a few thousand people. The town is ancient.

TRANSPORT: The main areas of population are on the railway. The railway reached Haddington in 1846.

Haddington is on a branch line, and any travellers for Edinburgh are required to change trains at Longniddry. Other stations on the branch line, between those two, are Coatyburn Siding and Laverocklaw Siding.

MAGICK: There are no schools of Magick in the county.

LANGUAGES: Only a few hundred people speak Scots Gaelic, in addition to English.


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