Lothian ((; ; , archaic Gaelic Labhdaidh) is a traditional region of the Scottish Lowlands, lying between the southern shore of the Firth of Forth and the Lammermuir Hills. It includes Edinburgh City, West Lothian, Mid Lothian and East Lothian. The principal settlement is the Scottish capital, Edinburgh. Other towns include Livingston, Bathgate, Linlithgow 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 Anglian Bernicia, the northern part of the later Kingdom of Northumbria, for a time, but the Anglian grip on Lothian was quickly weakened following the Battle of Dun Nechtain 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 AD Lothian was annexed by the Kingdom of Scotland.
Subsequent Scottish history saw Lothian subdivided into the shires of East Lothian, Midlothian and West Lothian — leading to the popular term "the Lothians". These were also known by the names of "Edinburghshire" (Midlothian), "Linlithgowshire" (West Lothian) and "Haddingtonshire" (East Lothian).
Lothian Regional Council (1975–1996)
The Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973 abolished the counties and burghs as local government units, replacing them with Regions and Districts. Lothian Regional Council formally took over responsibility in May 1975.
Lothian Region was responsible for education, social work, water, sewerage, transport (including local buses within Edinburgh).
The two-tier system of local government was ended by the Local Government etc. (Scotland) Act 1994, resulting in the abolition of Lothian Regional Council, and its replacement by a unitary system of local government. The former District Council areas of West Lothian, City of Edinburgh, Midlothian and East Lothian were used as the basis for the new Councils. The last convener of Lothian Regional Council was Eric Milligan, who later served as Lord Provost of Edinburgh. Lothian Regional Council also organised a series of lectures known as the Lothian Lectures. A notable speaker was Mikhail Gorbachev.
Lothian Joint Valuation Board handles valuation and electoral registration in the region. Lothian Health Board (NHS) was not a local government responsibility.