Looking At Edinburgh

15 September 2008

Anne Rutherford’s Grave

Filed under: history, people, photos — Tags: , , , , , , — EdinburghEye @ 8:00 am

gravestone in a garden

Anne Rutherford was born in 1739: she descends from the Haliburtons of Newmains, who have the hereditary right of burial in Dryburgh Abbey. The Rutherfords were a clan of Border warriors and reivers, “celebrated in many a family legend”. Jean Swinton, her mother, was of “one of the oldest families in Scotland, claiming descent from the Earls of Douglas”. John Rutherford, her father, was Professor of Medicine in the University of Edinburgh: he had been appointed to the Chair of Theory and Practice of Medicine in 1726 after studying in Leyden under Herman Boerhaave. (Family Background)

In April 1758, Anne Rutherford married Walter Scott: the Scotts are described as “a bellicose and litigious clan who since the tenth century had played a prominent role in the warfare and internecine strife that wracked the Border region”. She had 13 children: six of whom died in infancy. The ninth son, born 15th August 1771, was named Walter after his father, and survived an early bout of polio to become one of the most successful and influential writers in Scotland: his memorial stands at the East End of Princes Street, and Waverley Station is named after his most famous novel. (Poet, Novelist)

Anne Rutherford’s husband Walter Scott died in 1799: Anne Rutherford died in 1819. As Scottish custom was until well into the 20th century, she was buried under her own name, in the small enclosure at the east end of St Johns Cathedral at the West End of Princes Street.

This photo is available on Redbubble: Anne Rutherford.

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