• 1138

    Earliest surviving record of Haddington’s status as a royal burgh.

  • 1139

    King David I gives Haddington and its lands to Ada, daughter of the Earl of Warenne and Surrey, when she marries his eldest son, Prince Henry.

  • 1158

    Foundation of Cistercian Priory

  • 1178

    St Martin’s Kirk built as a Cistercian abbey

  • 1198

    King Alexander II is born in Haddington.

  • 1216

    Town subjected to pillage and is burned by the English under King John. Scottish royal family vacates the Palace of Haddington.

  • 1242

    Patrick, sixth Earl of Athol, is murdered in a ‘palace’ at the west end of the High Street.

  • 1244

    Haddington again destroyed by fire.

  • 1282

    First record of a bridge over the Tyne in the town.

  • 1297

    William Wallace prepares a document addressed to the mayors of Lubeck and Hamburg while he is in Haddington.

  • 1318

    King Robert 1 (Robert the Bruce) grants a new royal charter to the town.

  • 1356

    Town sacked by Edward III of England’s army.
    the first St Mary's Church, destroyed by English forces in 1356

  • 1358

    Huge flood. Most of the Nungate washed away.

  • 1375

    Building of St Mary’s Kirk begins.

  • 1400s – Early

    Haddington is the fourth largest Scottish town (after Edinburgh, Dundee and Aberdeen)

  • 1462

    St Mary’s is completed.

  • 1505

    John Knox born at Giffordgate.

  • 1548

    Treaty of Haddington
    The Scottish Parliament convenes in the abbey and resolves to send Mary Queen of Scots to France for her marriage to the French heir.

  • 1548-49

    Siege of Haddington
    Actually a series of sieges. James Hamilton, 2nd Earl of Arran and Regent of Scotland, takes Haddington in September 1547, with the help of the French. English troops take the town in February 1548 and hold out under siege until September 1549.

  • 1550

    The present three-arch Nungate Bridge across the River Tyne dates from around 1550 and may have been constructed using stone from the redundant parts of nearby St Mary's Church.

  • 1598

    Town is again burned, the calamity caused by a maid leaving a screen covered with clothes too near a fire.

  • 1648

    Haddington House on Sidegate, built in this year is the oldest domestic building in Haddington town centre.
    The property is now owned by the Lamp of Lothian Trust

  • 1676

    Founding of the Ancient Fraternity of Gardeners of East Lothian, the oldest fraternity of its kind.

  • 1717

    Death of Rev John Gray, who leaves his valuable collection of books to the town to create a public library.

  • 1719

    Adam Skirving, songwriter famous for composing Hey Johnnie Cope Are Ye Waukin’ Yet?, is born in the town.

  • 1748

    Town House is built to a design by William Adam (although little of his original design now exists)

  • 1770

    Holy Trinity Episcopal Church built in Church Street.

  • 1771

    Lady Kitty's Doocot by Nungate Bridge, was built by Lady Catherine Charteris Wemyss, the wife of Francis de June 7th Earl of Wemyss, as part of her garden.

  • 1775

    Another major flood, with the Tyne reportedly rising 17 feet.

  • 1801

    Birth of Jane Welsh, who was to become one of the great letter writers of her age. She married essayist Thomas Carlyle in 1826.

  • 1817

    Waterloo Bridge by the Poldrate Mill is built and is named after the battle of Waterloo (the foundation stone having been laid on the anniversary of the battle).

  • 1818

    Birth of Samuel Smiles, government reformer and author, best remembered for his work, Self-Help (1859).

  • 1826

    Jane Baillie Welsh married the renowned writer and historian Thomas Carlyle

  • 1831

    Additions made to the Town House – three cells, a spacious town hall, and a 150-feet spire from designs by Gillespie Graham.

  • 1832

    The Court Street Fountain which is topped with a statue of Samson was built along with the County Buildings

  • 1832

    County Buildings on Court Street is built it stands on the site of the medieval palace of King William I.

  • 1846

    Opening of Haddington railway station.

  • 1854

    The Corn Exchange in Court Street which was built in 1854 as a market hall for the trading of grain.
    Recently refurbished in 2020

  • 1862

    St Mary’s Roman Catholic Church is built in Poldrate.

  • 1866

    Jane Welsh Carlyle died in London on 21 April and is buried with her father in St Mary's Collegiate Church, Haddington.

  • 1880

    Completion of the Knox Memorial Institute to house the grammar school of Haddington (later Knox Academy).

  • 1880

    A memorial to George Hay, VIII Marquis of Tweeddale was erected in 1881 to commemorate the man who had been a distinguished soldier and Lord-Lieutenant of Haddingtonshire.

  • 1898

    Birth of William Gillies, renowned artist and principal of Edinburgh College of Art.

  • 1898

    The twin steel arched Victoria Bridge was commissioned from civil engineers Belfrage & Carfrae, Edinburgh.

  • 1906

    Neilson Park opens with funds left by George Neilson, a local shopkeeper, who passed away in 1897.

  • 1919

    Discovery of a hoard of Roman treasure (now on display at the Royal Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh) at nearby Traprain Law.

  • 1941

    Three people killed when German planes drop bombs on the town.

  • 1948

    Another huge flood damages much of the town.

  • 1949

    Haddington railway station closes to the public.

  • 1951-52

    Sean Connery working at Stark’s (joiners and undertakers) in the Nungate.

  • 1965

    Haddington is twinned with Aubigny sur Nère in France

  • 1965

    Poldrate Mill ceased operating as a mill.

  • 1967

    Lamp of Lothian Trust is founded by the late Duchess of Hamilton to bring together the community through restoration of derelict buildings in Haddington.

  • 1968

    The first Haddington Festival is held.

  • 1973

    Completion of the renovation of St Mary’s, including the re-roofing of the choir

  • 1978

    A sculpture, depicting two fighting goats, was gifted to the town by the Norwegian firm Tandberg Electronics who had a factory up at Gateside

  • 1996

    Dual carriageway of the A1 from Edinburgh is extended to reach Haddington.

  • 2000

    Church bells re-hung in St Mary's

  • 2009

    Haddington Pipe Band wins Scottish Pipe Band of the Year award

  • 2012

    Publication of new vision for Haddington town centre.

  • 2015

    Thanks to the work of Blooming Haddington, Haddington wins Best Medium Town trophy in the Keep Scotland Beautiful awards.

  • 2016

    Blooming Haddington wins a gold award and the overall title in the Town category in the RHS Britain in Bloom awards for the UK

  • 2018

    Haddington 700 events celebrated across the town

  • 2020

    The world is plunged into a pandemic with the outbreak of Covid-19 the whole of the UK a lockdown.
    Haddington is deserted as shops and businesses close everyone is ordered to stay at home
    Community council and volunteers rally around and help provide support and help for neighbours and the vulnerable.