Maida (dog)

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The Sir Walter Scott statue designed by John Steell, located inside the Scott Monument.

Maida (1816-1824[1]) sometimes called a deerhound, was a crossbreed from a Pyrenean shepherd and a Scottish greyhound,(Landseer's painting of Maida and a Deerhound), belonging to Sir Walter Scott,[2] and reported to be his favourite dog. Named after the Battle of Maida, which took place in 1806, he was a gift from Alexander Macdonell of Glengarry,[1] a friend of Scott, and whose brother led the 78th Highlanders in the battle, a victory for the British against the French in the Napoleonic Wars.

Scott wrote to his son Charles that "Old Maida died suddenly in his straw last week, after a good supper, which, considering his weak state, was rather a deliverance; he is buried below his monument, on which the following epitaph is engraved in Latin [Maidae marmorea dormis sub imagine Maida / Ante fores domini sit tibi terra levis],[3] thus Englished by an eminent hand : -

'Beneath the sculptured form which late you bore,
Sleep soundly Maida at your master's door.'"[4]

The monument mentioned is a statue of the dog at the hall door of Scott's home, Abbotsford House.[4]

A statue of Scott at the Scott Monument in Edinburgh includes Maida gazing up at the seated figure.[5] William Allan painted "Sir Walter Scott with His Dog 'Maida'" in 1831.[6] Alexander Nasmyth painted the dog alone.[7]


  1. ^ a b "Sir Walter's [sic] Scott's Great Hound, Maida". University of Edinburgh. Retrieved 28 November 2014.
  2. ^ Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable
  3. ^ "Sir Walter Scott's dog, Maida". Edinburgh City of Literature. Retrieved 28 November 2014.
  4. ^ a b Abbotsford and Sir Walter Scott. Mabbott and Co. 1854. p. 218. Retrieved 28 November 2014.
  5. ^ "Scott Monument: About". Edinburgh Museums and Galleries. Retrieved 28 November 2014.
  6. ^ "BBC - Your Paintings - Sir Walter Scott in His Study with His Dog 'Maida'". BBC. Retrieved 28 November 2014.
  7. ^ "Alexander Nasmyth (Edinburgh 1758-1840) Maida, Sir Walter Scott's Dog 22 x 27 cm. (8 11/16 x 10 5/8 in.)". Bonhams. Retrieved 28 November 2014.