Adam Ferguson (soldier)

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The grave of Sir Adam Ferguson, Greyfriars Kirkyard

Sir Adam Ferguson (1770–1854) was deputy keeper of the regalia in Scotland.


He was born on 21 December 1770, the first son of Professor Adam Ferguson.

At Edinburgh University he was one of the companions of Walter Scott. He was also one of the nineteen original members of the society, ‘called by way of excellence the Club,’ among the members of which, from the accident of a Newhaven fisherman mistaking him for a brother of the craft, he obtained the cognomen of Linton. It was in company with Ferguson that Scott in 1793 first visited the scenes in Perthshire on the highland border which he afterwards described in his poems and romances.

About 1800 Ferguson entered the army; he became captain of the 101st regiment in February 1808, and afterwards he served in the Peninsular War under the Duke of Wellington. He was taken prisoner during Wellington's retreat from Burgos in 1812, and was not released till the peace of 1814. On 8 October 1816 he went on half-pay.

In 1817 Ferguson accompanied Scott in an excursion in the Lennox, and in the following year he and his sisters took up their residence in the mansion-house of Toftfield, which Scott had recently purchased, and on which, at the ladies' request, he bestowed the name of Huntly Burn. In the autumn of this year Ferguson, mainly through the exertions of Scott, was appointed keeper of the regalia of Scotland, which then had recently been discovered. About this time Sir David Wilkie executed for Scott the picture in which Scott and his family are represented as a group of peasants and Ferguson as a gamekeeper or poacher.

In 1819 Ferguson, in the capacity of secretary, accompanied Scott's friend, the Duke of Buccleuch, then in declining health, to Lisbon. In 1821 he married the widow of George Lyon of London, and daughter of John Stewart of Stenton, Perthshire. On the occasion of the visit of George IV to Edinburgh he was knighted on 29 August 1822.[1]

He died on 23 December 1854. He was buried on 1 January 1855 in the now sealed south-west section of Greyfriars Kirkyard known as the Covenanter's Prison with his wife Margaret Stewart of Stenton.

His younger brother, Admiral John Macpherson Ferguson (1784–1855), lies beside him.



 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainStephen, Leslie, ed. (1889). "Ferguson, Adam (1771-1855)". Dictionary of National Biography. 18. London: Smith, Elder & Co.  by Thomas Finlayson Henderson. That article cited "Lockhart's Life of Scott" and "Gent. Mag. new ser. (1855) xliii. 195." The Gentleman's Magazine.