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Pollok House
Pollok House

Glass panel by George Walton
Glass panel by George Walton

Sir Walter Scott

Mitchell Library, Glasgow Collection

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Sir Walter Scott

A Thomas Annan photograph of a portrait of the Scottish poet and novelist Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832). The original painting was by Sir Henry Raeburn.

A statue of Scott stands in front of the City Chambers in George Square. There has been speculation that the statue should not have depicted him wearing his plaid on the left shoulder. This would indeed have been the case had he been a Highlander, but Scott is from the Scottish Borders where it is the custom to wear the plaid over the right shoulder.

In his novel Rob Roy, Scott wrote vividly of Highlanders visiting Glasgow in the early 18th century:

"The dusky mountains of the western Highlands often sent forth wilder tribes to frequent the marts of St Mungo's favourite city. Hordes of wild shaggy, dwarfish cattle and ponies, conducted by Highlanders as wild, as shaggy, and sometimes as dwarfish, as the animals they had in charge, often traversed the streets of Glasgow. Strangers gazed with surprise on the antique and fantastic dress, and listened to the unknown and dissonant sounds of their language..."

Reference: Mitchell Library, GC 920.041435 COR

Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Libraries Information and Learning

Keywords:
Borderers, Glasgow City Chambers, Highland dress, Highlanders, novelists, plaids, poets, portraits, Rob Roy, statues



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