History - inspiration for Victoria ChristmasA Christmas Carol was written and published in early Victorian Era Britain by Charles Dickens, in a period when there was both strong nostalgia for old Christmas traditions and an initiation of new practices such as Christmas trees, ornaments and greeting cards.
In his diaries, Dickens states that Scrooge stems from a grave marker which he saw in 1841, while taking an evening walk in the Canongate Kirkyard, situated next door to "Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe" in Edinburgh.
The headstone was for the vintner Ebenezer Lennox Scroggie, a relative of Adam Smith, who had won the catering contract for the visit of George IV to Edinburgh and the first contract to supply whisky to the Royal Navy.
The marker identified Scroggie as a "meal man" (corn merchant), but Dickens misread this as "mean man", due to the fading light and his mild dyslexia. Dickens wrote that it must have "shrivelled" Scroggie’s soul to carry "such a terrible thing to eternity".