Robert Fergusson

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Statue of Robert Fergusson in the Canongate - a section of the Royal Mile - of Edinburgh

Robert Fergusson (born September 5, 1750 in Edinburgh , † October 16, 1774 there ) was a Scottish poet .


After attending high schools in Edinburgh and Dundee , he graduated from the University of St Andrews and then worked in the Edinburgh Police Department. With its since 1771 in the magazine Weekly Magazine published poems he achieved local notoriety. After a strong religious interest influenced by the clergyman John Brown , he fell into a deep depression . After falling off a flight of stairs, he went insane and eventually died in a public mental hospital .

Robert Fergusson's grave in Canongate Kirkyard

Fergusson left 33 poems in Scots and fifty poems in English . His best-known poem Auld Reekie (1773) is about a day in the life of the city of Edinburgh, which was his main place of work.

His other well-known poems include Elegy on the Death of Scots Music , his first published poem The Daft Days , Hallow Fair , To the Tron Kirk Bell , Leith Races and the satirical The Rising of the Session .

With his works, Fergusson influenced both contemporary poets such as Robert Burns , who had a tombstone erected on Fergusson's final resting place in 1789, and the works of later poets such as Robert Garioch , who wrote a sonnet for the tombstone and dedicated the poem The Muir to him.


  • W. Davison: Poetical works of Robert Ferguson: with his Life. Engravings on wood by Bewick. 1800.
  • Alexander Balloch Grosart : The Works of Robert Fergusson. With Life of the Author. 1851.
  • Alexander Balloch Grosart: Robert Fergusson. 1898.
  • Walter Ruddiman: The poetical works of Robert Fergusson: with biographical introduction, notes and glossary, etc. 1905.
  • A. Law: Robert Fergusson and the Edinburgh of his Time. 1974.
  • Benjamin Chapman: The Poems of Robert Fergusson. Reprinted from 1815. 2004, ISBN 9781419173592 .
  • James Robertson: Robert Fergusson. Selected Poems. 2007, ISBN 9781846970351 .
  • Chambers Biographical Dictionary. Edinburgh 2002, ISBN 0550-10051-2 , p. 520.

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