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Lothian (Lowden in Scots, Lodainn in Gaelic) forms a traditional region of Scotland, lying between the southern shore of the Firth of Forth and the Lammermuir Hills. In Lothian there is Edinburgh City, West Lothian, Mid Lothian and East Lothian. The principal settlement in Lothian is the Scottish capital, Edinburgh. Towns include Livingston, Linlithgow, Bathgate and Dunbar.

Historically, the term Lothian is used for a province encompassing the present area plus the Scottish Borders region. The name is related to the legendary British King Loth or Lot. In the 7th century it came under the control of the northern part of the Angle Kingdom of Northumbria for a time, but Anglian grip on Lothian was quickly weakened following the battle of Nechtansmere in which they were defeated by the Picts. Lothian's distinction from Northumbria is indicated in the survival of its original Brythonic Celtic name, used even by English Chroniclers. In 1018 CE Lothian was annexed by the Kingdom of Scotland.[1]

Subsequent Scottish history saw Lothian subdivided into the shires of West Lothian, Midlothian and East Lothian — leading to the phrase "the Lothians". These were also known by the names of "Linlithgowshire", "Edinburghshire" and "Haddingtonshire".


Anglo-Saxon Lothian

The name of Lothian is said to derive from the Brythonic name "Lleuddiniawn" (in modernised spelling), from the time of the Gododdin.

For a time, Lothian came under the control of the Kingdom of Bernicia, to the south. In due course Bernicia was united with Deira to form the Kingdom of Northumbria.

Little is recorded of Lothian's history specifically in this time. After the Norse settlements in what became Yorkshire, Northumberland was effectively cut in two. How much Norse influence spread to the English north of the Tees is uncertain. Their position must have been weakened, and by 1018 AD the King of Scots had annexed all Lothian. William of Malmesbury wrote though that Edgar King of the English ceded Lothian to Scotland in exchange for a renewed oath of fealty in the tenth century.

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