The History of Leith

April 11, 2007

Robert Fergusson


Robert Fergusson (September 5, 1750 – October 16, 1774), Scottish poet, son of William Fergusson, a clerk in the British Linen Company, was born at Edinburgh.

Robert, Edinburgh’s most gifted but least recognised poet, was educated at the High School of Dundee, and at the University of St Andrews, where he matriculated in 1765. His father, who was originally from Aberdeenshire but had moved to Edinburgh, died while Robert was still at college; but a bursary enabled him to complete his four years of study. He refused to study for the church, and was too nervous to study medicine as his friends wished. He quarrelled with his uncle, John Forbes of Round Lichnot, Aberdeenshire, and returned to Edinburgh, where he obtained employment as copying clerk in a lawyer’s office. In this occupation he passed the remainder of his life. While at college he had written a clever elegy on Dr David Gregory, and in 1771 he began to contribute verses regularly to Ruddiman’s Weekly Magazine. for more click here

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