Robert Fergusson

(1908 words)
  • Alan McKenzie (Purdue University)

Robert Fergusson might well be called the thinking person’s Robert Burns. While Burns was pretty much the “heaven-taught ploughman” Henry Mackenzie had called him, Fergusson was much better educated, and much more urbane. Born in Edinburgh 5 September 1750, Fergusson attended Edinburgh High School, the Grammar School of Dundee, and the University of St Andrews, the latter on a scholarship open only to members of the Fergusson clan. His years at St Andrews (1764-68) remained a matter of pride and a topic of poems for the rest of his short life. Never having put his hand to the plough, or lived or worked on a farm, Fergusson spent the rest of his short life in Edinburgh, where, in spite of his good education, he scraped out a living …

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McKenzie, Alan. "Robert Fergusson". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 07 January 2005
[, accessed 12 February 2016.]