Celebration of Sir Walter Scott’s Birthday in Glasgow, on the 15th of August, 1895

On page six of The Glasgow Herald, on Friday the 16th of August, 1895, the paper reported on the events which took place on the 15th, the birthday of Sir Walter Scott:


“CELEBRATION OF SIR WALTER SCOTT’S BIRTHDAY. – Yesterday being the anniversary of Sir Walter Scott’s birth, the occasion was celebrated by the local club which was established a few years ago to perpetuate the memory of the great novelist. The monument in George Square was tastefully decorated under the supervision of Mr Whitton, the superintendent of the city parks. Shields were sent by the two hon. vice-presidents of the Sir Walter Scott Club. Two of these, the gift of Sir John Stirling-Maxwell, were placed on the southern and northern panels of the pedestal, and bore the dates of the birth and death of Sir Walter – 1771 and 1832 – florally executed in yellow on a background of fir and flowers. Those on the east and west sides, which were the gift of the Duke of Argyll, had each the letter S in marigolds and asters on heather. Underneath the front shield was a heart, symbolic of the Heart of Mid-Lothian, gifted by Mr James Campbell of Tullichewan, and composed of chestnut leaves, Scotch thistles, and flowers. On the opposite side was the word ‘Waverley,’ the floral contribution of Mrs Glen of Carlibar, Barrhead. Underneath the shield on the western side was a circular wreath of lilies and maidenhair ferns, from the gardens at Dalmeny, the Earl of Rosebery also contributing the rowan branches with which the corners of the pedestal were decorated. On top of the pedestal were variegated flowers from the Duke of Buccleuch’s gardens at Drumlanrig. Flowers and foliage were also gifted by the Earl of Aberdeen and the widow of Professor Veitch, and the Corporation lent hothouse plants. In the evening a concert was given at the monument by the Glasgow Male-Voice Quartette, under Mr McKinnon, and the band of the Gordon Highlanders, under Mr Windram. Rev. Mr Somerville presided, and delivered a short address, after which he moved a vote of thanks to Mr Gibb, of the City Chambers, who had made the arrangements for the event. The City Chambers were also illuminated in honour of the occasion. The Sir Walter Scott Club had a smoking concert in the North British Station Hotel. Sheriff Spens, the president, occupied the chair, and in proposing the toast – ‘The Immortal Memory of Sir Walter Scott’ – said they were commemorating the birthday in connection with the local monument which the West of Scotland had reared to his immortal genius. Although, as a matter of fact, Sir Walter was born in the East of Scotland, they held him as a national genius, and did not for a single moment attempt to make him more and East of Scotland man than a West of Scotland man. Sir Walter Scott was one of the great national geniuses and powers of Scotland. (Cheers.) The Sir Walter Scott Club had well fulfilled its raison d’etre [sic]. That he took to be that they endeavoured to do all they could to keep Sir Walter’s memory green. They considered that he was one of the very greatest of Scotchmen – some thought he was the greatest of all Scotchmen. Be that as it may, what they endeavoured was to do honour to the man, to disseminate his writings, because they believed they were calculated to do good in many ways. They thought that the wholesome and healthy tone of all his writings was a thing deserving of all praise. They thought also that the dissemination of historical knowledge which they found in his historical dramas was a thing which was good for everybody. In conclusion, Sheriff Spens dwelt on some of the characteristics of Sir Walter which had earned enthusiastic love and admiration wherever the English language was spoken. (Applause.) Dr Ross moved a vote of thanks to the Corporation of Glasgow for the aid they had given on the present occasion. Musical selections were given throughout the evening, a most enjoyable concert being provided.”