Ambrose's Tavern Edinburgh Pub Token

Ambrose's Edinburgh (Lothian) bronze token undated. Obverse: Legend on eight lines, the top and bottom curved: "AMBROSE'S TAVERN No. 1 GABRIEL'S ROAD NEAR THE REGISTER OFFICE EDINBURGH". Reverse: Legend on nine lines: "W. A. WHOLESALE & RETAIL WINE & SPIRIT MERCHANT ---*--- LONDON PORTERS EDINBR. BURTON & ALLOA ALES &c.". Plain edge. Ex-Michael Paterson Collection. Good collectable condition, see photograph.

Ambrose's Tavern was the location for meetings of the publisher William Blackwood and visiting writers as it was located near his office at 17 Princes Street. From these meetings came 71 contributions of the imaginary "Noctes Ambrosianae" published in the popular "Blackwood's Magazine". Authors involved were John Wilson (pseudonym Christopher North), John Gibson Lockhart, James Hogg (The Ettrick Shepherd) and William Maginn.

William Ambrose, who owned the tavern at 1 Gabriel's Road, was a Yorkshireman with a reputation of being an excellent host, providing his guests sumptuous and often eccentric meals. It is recorded that in 1828 he produced a dish of reindeer tongues gifted by the Emperor of Russia. His contributions to the various discussions were often included in the Noctes.

Further information can be found in Christopher Reekie's excellent article: "The Real Mr. Ambrose and his Tavern", in  "History Scotland" Vol. 20, No. 5, September/October 2020.

ST. No: 583.  Diameter 27.5mm. F+. £30.00

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