Sir Walter Scott

Prolific novelist, poet, historian, lawyer and alumnus.

Scott plaque


Sir Walter Scott, son of an Edinburgh lawyer, was born in College Wynd. The site of the house is marked by a commemorative plaque at the top of Guthrie Street.

He was brought up at 25 George Square and attended the Royal High School and The University of Edinburgh. He was called to the bar in 1792.

He married Charlotte Mary Carpenter in 1797 and lived in Castle Street before moving to Ashestiel on the Tweed in 1804.

Scott continued his legal career, while also making his name as a poet and a collector and editor of ballads.

He was a lifelong friend and collaborator of James Hogg and of Professor John Wilson.


Scott became a partner in James Ballantyne’s printing business in 1809 and purchased Abbotsford on the Tweed in 1812.

His first novels (‘Waverley’, 1814, etc.) were published anonymously.

He had to use the security of his copyrights and the publication of his later novels to meet the debts incurred as a result of the 1826 failure of Constable and Ballantyne, his publisher and business partner.

He masterminded King George IV's 1822 visit to Edinburgh and did much to create the historically romantic image of Scotland.

He is also remembered for his support for the retention of low-denomination banknotes.

The plaque

Scott's plaque is adjacent to the main portico of the west facade in the former Royal High School Building, High School Yards.


In honour of Sir Walter Scott


Novelist, poet, historian, father of the historical novel, alumnus of the University

Related links

Scott's entry in the Gazetteer for Scotland