George Thomson, 1757 - 1851. Collector of Scottish songs

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George Thomson, 1757 - 1851. Collector of Scottish songs 1780 - 1899
  • Scottish Art
This drawing is a copy of a portrait by Sir Henry Raeburn. George Thomson was a good friend of Robert Burns, and is best known for his collection of Scottish songs. Thomson had the idea of matching traditional Scottish tunes to words by leading writers of the day, as outlined in a letter he sent to his good friend Robert Burns in 1792: 'For some years past, I have, with a friend or two, employed many leisure hours in collating and collecting the most favourite of our national melodies, for publication... To render this work perfect, we are desirous to have the poetry improved wherever it seems unworthy of the music.' In June 1793, Thomson brought out the first part of his ‘Select Scottish Airs’ which included twenty-five songs by Burns.


  • Acc. No. D 2595
  • Medium Oil on paper
  • Size 33.70 x 25.40 cm
  • Credit William Findlay Watson Bequest 1881