Sir Walter Scott was born in Edinburgh in 1771 on August 15th. Educated for the law, he obtained the office of sheriff-depute of Selkirkshire in 1799 and in 1806 the office of clerk of session, a post whose duties he fulfilled faithfully for some twenty-five years. His lifelong interest in Scottish antiquity and the ballads which recorded Scottish history led him to try his hand at narrative poems of adventure and action. The Lay of the Last Minstrel (1805), Marmion (1808), and The Lady of the Lake (1810) made his reputation as one of the leading poets of his time. A novel, Waverley, which he had begun in 1805 was published anonymously in 1814. Subsequent novels appeared with the note "by the author of Waverley"; hence his novels are often called collectively "the Waverley novels." Some of the most famous of these are Old Mortality (1816), Rob Roy (1817), Ivanhoe (1819), Kenilworth (1821), and Quentin Durward (1823). In recognition of his literary work, Scott was made a baronet in 1819. During his last years he held various official positions and published biographies, editions of Swift and Dryden, tales, lyric poetry, and various studies of history and antiquity. He died on September 21,1832 at the age of 61 and is buried at Dryburgh Abbey. His sons did not produce a male heir.
The City of Edinburgh has honored Sir Walter Scott with a monument in the Princes Street Gardens (see above). The Clan Scott Society celebrates Sir Walter Scott's birthday each August 15th.
Last Updated 15March2006
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