Sir Walter Scott
Born: 15 Aug, 1771
Died: 11 Jul, 1832
Field: Writer
Location in the Abbey: South transept, poets corner
Type of memorial: Bust

A white marble bust of eminent novelist Sir Walter Scott was unveiled in Poets' Corner Westminster Abbey in 1897 by the Duke of Buccleuch. It was the gift of a group of Scott's admirers and is a copy by John Hutchison of the bust by Sir Francis Chantrey at Abbotsford, Scott's home in Scotland. The inscription on the green marble bracket reads:

Walter Scott 1771-1832

He was a son of solicitor Walter Scott and his wife Anne (Rutherford) and was born in Edinburgh on 15 August 1771. He was educated there and also became a solicitor. He married Margaret Carpenter (originally Charpentier) and they had children Charlotte, Walter, Anne, Charles and Sophia. In 1799 he was appointed sheriff-depute of Selkirkshire. While a partner in James Ballantyne's printing business he published Marmion in 1808. He went on to write many more popular novels and poems such as The Lady of the Lake, Waverley, Rob Roy, Ivanhoe and Peveril of the Peak. His works influenced several writers including the Bronte sisters and Elizabeth Gaskell and he is credited with inventing the historical novel. In 1812 he moved to Abbotsford and was created a baronet in 1820. He died on 11 July 1832 and is buried with his wife in Dryburgh Abbey, Berwickshire.

A photo of the bust can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library.

Further reading:

Life by J.G.Lockhart, 1837-8

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 2004.

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