|Robert Tannahill was originally
buried in an unmarked grave in Castlehead Cemetery, Canal
Street, Paisley, Scotland. However, in 1866 a granite
momument - funded by public subscriptions - was put up close
to the spot in recognition of his growing
Robert Tannhill's Grave ©
Tannahill was the son of a handloom weaver and was
apprenticed to his father at the age of 12. A delicate child
with a deformed right leg - he developed a skill for poetry at an early age.
His father died when he was young and he was left to support
his ailing mother.
At the age of 17 - he paid homage to
Robert Burns by embarging on a
walking tour of Ayrshire - though he probably did not meet
Burns. He then went on to found the
Paisley Burns Club - which is still active today.
From 1805 onwards Tannahill's work began to
appear in newspapers and journals and in 1807 he
published a collection of poems and songs which sold out.
However, some of the poems were attacked by critics and when
a revised edition was declined by a publisher Tannahill committed
suicide by drowning himself in a culvert near Paisley. As he
had taken his own life, he was buried in an unmarked grave.
In 1883 a statue of Tannahill, made by David Watson
Stevenson, was erected in
Fellow Renfrewshire poet Douglas Dunn
paid tribute to him in his poem Tannahill which
appeared in his 1981 collection St Kilda's Parliament.
Written in a Burns stanza - it contains the lines:
'Composing verses at your bench/Lines woven inch by linen
Today Tannahill is best remembered for
landscape poems such as Gleniffer Braes. He is
held in high regard and often favourably compared to his