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Robert Burns

The Grave Of Robert Fergusson

19th Century

A steel plate engraving from a painting by J Drummond of the gravestone erected by Robert Burns in memory of Robert Fergusson. 


When Robert Burns first came to Edinburgh in 1788, he visited the grave of the poet Robert Fergusson, who had died twelve years earlier. Burns greatly admired Fergusson's work and was taken aback by the neglected state of the grave and the lack of recognition which this implied.


In 1789 he arranged for a gravestone to be erected there and wrote the following lines to be inscribed upon it, "No sculptured Marble here, nor pompous lay, No storied Urn nor animated Bust: This simple stone directs pale Scotia's way, to pour her sorrows o'er the Poet's dust".


The gravestone, in Canongate Churchyard was painted by James Drummond and engraved by W Richardson. At this time the development of steel plate engraving made it possible for images to be reproduced in much greater numbers than previous printing technology had allowed.

width: 118 mm, length: 167 mm
Dumfries Museum & Camera Obscura
Accession number:
Digital Number:
Creation Date:
c 1850
Dumfries & Galloway Council