250 Years of Sir Walter Scott

In 2021 Scotland celebrates the birth of Sir Walter Scott. Born 250 years ago, through the power of his imagination and the magic of his pen, he championed the history and landscapes of Scotland in a string of best-selling books that dominated the 19th century.

A Fellow and Vice President of the Society and a keen antiquarian, explore the links below to learn more about Scott’s life, work and legacy.


The following publications are free to download or read online:

  • Abbotsford and Sir Walter Scott by Dr Iain Gordon Brown FSAScot (2003) – Sir Walter Scott’s Abbotsford remains a literary touchstone and is intrinsically linked the the author himself. This volume includes chapters on all aspects of Abbotsford and Sir Walter Scott’s life.


The following entries are references to Scott in the Society’s 18th-century transactions, Archaeologia Scotica, which indicate that the author researched his novels with assistance from the Society:

  •  Vol 3 (1831) Archaeologia Scotica, 296-297 – A letter from the Society’s manuscript collection that Scott highlighted to the Fellows; it describes the escape of Rob Roy. This may have contributed to Scott’s book, Rob Roy.
  • Vol 4 (1857) Archaeologia Scotica, 217-219 – A response to Scott’s request for information about ancient torcs. It includes an editor’s note mentioning the Welsh name for torcs: eudorchawg. The same word then comes up in Scott’s The Waverley Novels: The Betrothed.

Recorded Lectures

The following Society talks focus on or reference the life and works of Sir Water Scott. All of our recorded lectures are available to watch free on our YouTube channel.


Help us to do more

Help us: champion research; stimulate discussion; enhance public understanding; and share our extraordinary heritage. Donate directly to the Society now.