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In 1603, King James VI of Scotland succeeded to the English throne, uniting the crowns of Scotland and England in a personal union known as the Union of the Crowns, though Scotland remained, in all other respects, a separate kingdom.Subsequent Scottish support for Charles Stuart's restoration to the throne of England resulted in Edinburgh's occupation by Oliver Cromwell's Commonwealth of England forces – the New Model Army – in 1650.According to the foremost historian of this development, "Unity of social feeling was one of the most valuable heritages of old Edinburgh, and its disappearance was widely and properly lamented." Although Edinburgh's traditional industries of printing, brewing and distilling continued to grow in the 19th century, and were joined by new rubber works and engineering works, there was little industrialisation compared with other cities in Britain.By 1821, Edinburgh had been overtaken by Glasgow as Scotland's largest city.

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The Union was opposed by many Scots, resulting in riots in the city.Edinburgh became a major intellectual centre, earning it the nickname "Athens of the North" because of its many neo-classical buildings and reputation for learning, recalling ancient Athens.From the 1770s onwards, the professional and business classes gradually deserted the Old Town in favour of the more elegant "one-family" residences of the New Town, a migration that changed the city's social character.It is the second largest financial centre in the United Kingdom Edinburgh is Scotland's second most populous city and the seventh most populous in the United Kingdom.The official population estimates are 464,990 (2012) for the Locality of Edinburgh (Edinburgh pre 1975 regionalisation plus Currie and Balerno), The city is the annual venue of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.

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