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In The Artists' Footsteps
 Francis Grose

Francis Grose

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About the Artist

Francis Grose

Artist: Francis Grose

Date of Birth: 1731
Date of Death: 1791
Place of Death:

Residence in Dumfries & Galloway:
Stayed with the Riddells at Friars Carse, near Dumfries, in 1789, beginning his two volume Antiquities of Scotland.


Professional Bodies:

Exhibited at:




The Antiquities of Scotland, Francis Grose, London, 1797.  A number of Grose's watercolours of Dumfries and Galloway are to be found in the 9 volume Riddell collection at the Royal Scottish Museum (SAS 585).  Riddell's manuscript indicates the date on which Grose did particular drawings. 


The image of Grose is from the engraving after the portrait by Nathaniel Dance published in the Land of Burns, Glasgow, 1840.

Was invited to Friars Carse, near Dumfries, by Robert Riddell, where he met Robert Burns.  Burns wrote to Mrs Dunlop: "I have never seen a man of more original observation, anecdote and remark".  It is said that Tam O'Shanter was written in return for the inclusion of Kirk Alloway in Grose's Antiquities (see bibliography).  At page xxi he wrote: "To my ingenious friend Mr Robert Burns, I have been variously obligated; he was not only at the pains of making out what was most worthy of notice in Ayrshire, the county honoured by his birth, but he also wrote for this work the pretty tale annexed to Alloway church" Volume 2 of the Antiquities contains the poem.  The Dumfries plates are : Hoddom Castle, Spedlin's Castle, Torthorwald, Cowhill, Friars Carse, Morton Castle, Sanquhar Castle, Bow Butts, Closeburn Castle, Lag Castle, Aimsfield House, Dumfries Bridge, (After Sandby) Caerlaverock Castle.  Galloway plates are: Lincluden College, Threave, Sweetheart Abbey, Buittle Castle, Abbot's Tower, Mote of Galloway, Dundrennan, Glenluce, Hills Tower, Kirkcudbright Castle, Kenmure Castle, Laggan Stone (By his servant Thomas Cocking ), Castle Kennedy, Dunskey Castle.  Grose indicated that his Dumfries bridge was taken from Paul Sandby's drawing of 1747.