George Harrison (Lord Provost)

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Monumental arch, Observatory Road Monument at the foot of the road leading to Edinburgh University's observatory and the Blackford Hill. Erected in 1888 to commemorate 'the work and character' of George Harrison MP 'whose life was devoted to the public good'

Sir George Harrison (1811 – 23 December 1885) was Lord Provost of Edinburgh and a Liberal politician.


Harrison was a merchant of Edinburgh. He established the firm of Harrisons of Edinburgh in 1863.[1]

He was Lord Provost of the city for 1882 to 1885 and was responsible for the acquisition of Blackford Hill by the Corporation of Edinburgh. He was also particularly interested in education. His contributions to social life included providing the land for the Whitehouse and Grange Bowling club in 1872[2] and acting as president of the Edinburgh Chess Club from 1884 to 1885.[3]

In 1885 Harrison was elected Member of Parliament for Edinburgh South. However he died at the age of 74 within 5 days of the election's closure (18 December), and never took his seat.[4]

Sir George Harrison's grave, Warriston Cemetery

He lived his final years at 7 Whitehouse Terrace in the Bruntsfield district.[5]

He is buried in Warriston Cemetery just to the south-east of the vaults.


In 1888 the Harrison Arch in Observatory Road was built "to commemorate the work and character of Sir George Harrison". It is a red sandstone triumphal arch.[6] Two streets in Edinburgh — Harrison Road, and Harrison Gardens — were also named after him.[7]


He was married to Jane Archbald (1819-1878). They had several children, including John Harrison FRSE CBE LLD (1847-1922).


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Whitehouse and Grange Bowling Club History". Archived from the original on 9 October 2011. Retrieved 29 September 2009.
  3. ^ Edinburgh Chess Club
  4. ^ Hansard Millbank Systems - Sir George Harrison
  5. ^ Edinburgh Post Office Directory 1884-5
  6. ^ Historic Environment Scotland. "OBSERVATORY ROAD, HARRISON ARCH  (Category B) (LB30584)". Retrieved 19 March 2019.
  7. ^ Edinburgh Streets Archived 25 February 2006 at the Wayback Machine

External links[edit]

Honorary titles
Preceded by
Sir Thomas Jamieson Boyd
Lord Provost of Edinburgh
Succeeded by
Sir Thomas Clark, Bt
Parliament of the United Kingdom
New constituency Member of Parliament for Edinburgh South
November 1885 – December 1885
Succeeded by
Hugh Childers