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Traveller’s Tales

Francis Grose

Francis Grose

Born in 1731, Captain Francis Grose was the son of a Swiss jeweller who had settled in London. (His father had fashioned the crown for the coronation of George I.) During an eventful and mixed life as a soldier, militia paymaster, artist, herald, lexicographer, draughtsman and antiquary, Grose published several books, including 2 volumes entitled 'Antiquities of Scotland', which he compiled during an Antiquarian tour throughout Scotland. During his travels he met and became friends with Robert Burns who convinced Grose to include, in the second volume of his work, Alloway Kirk. Grose agreed to include it on the condition that Burns composed a poem to accompany the engraving. The poet agreed, and the supernatural tale of witchcraft, became, out of all his poems, his personal favourite and is also his best known and best loved poem today; Tam O'Shanter.

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