NT2573 : Greyfriars Kirkyard and John Gray's Grave

near to Edinburgh, Great Britain

Greyfriars Kirkyard and John Gray's Grave
Greyfriars Kirkyard and John Gray's Grave
Greyfriars takes its name from the Franciscan friary on the site, which was dissolved in 1559. The churchyard was founded in 1562, to replace the churchyard at St Giles, which was considered full. The land, a former convent garden, was granted Mary Queen of Scots to be used as a burial ground.

The red granite headstone was erected in 1981 to mark the site of Greyfriars Bobby’s vigil at the grave of his master John Grey. The inscription reads:

John Grey
Died 1858
“Auld Jock”
Master of
“Greyfriars Bobby”
“And Even In His Ashes
Most Beloved”
Erected by
American Lovers of Bobby

See also NT2573 : Greyfriars Bobby's Grave.

The Kirk of the Greyfriars is in the background.
Greyfriars Bobby
Bobby was a Skye Terrier, belonging to Police Constable John Grey in Edinburgh’s Old Town. After John died of pulmonary tuberculosis in 1857, he was buried in Greyfriars Kirkyard and according to tradition his dog, Bobby was allowed to follow the funeral procession. After the grave had been closed, Bobby lay on the freshly made mound of earth. Gardeners and gravediggers attempted to shoo him away, but Bobby always returned.

After a few days, the curator took pity on the faithful animal and gave him some food. Bobby made the Kirkyard his home and kept up his vigil for many years, becoming a familiar sight in and around the church yard where he could be seen at almost any time during the day. He made many friends and became quite a celebrity. Kind neighbours gave him blankets and food and, when a law was passed requiring unlicensed dogs to be put down, Edinburgh’s Lord Provost paid for Bobby’s collar and licence.

Bobby died on 14th January 1872 aged sixteen (a grand age for a dog, particularly in nineteenth century Edinburgh). Friends buried him in the triangular flower bed beneath the tree in front of the old Greyfriars Kirk, near to his master. He could not be buried next to John Grey because it would not be allowed for a dog to be buried on consecrated ground. They marked the spot with a stone but it was later removed.

In 1981, two red granite headstones were erected, one marking Bobby’s Grave and one at John Grey’s Grave.

LinkExternal link - A more detailed account of Bobby’s Story

The story of Greyfriars Bobby is a heart warming tale and there are records backing up the details, but over the years, some people have tried to claim that the story was some kind of hoax, eg most recently in this Daily Mail report LinkExternal link
Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   © Copyright David Dixon and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
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2011
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NT2573, 4214 images   (more nearby)
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Geograph
Date Taken
Wednesday, 26 October, 2011   (more nearby)
Submitted
Wednesday, 2 November, 2011
Geographical Context
Burial ground, Crematorium  People, Events 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NT 2562 7329 [10m precision]
WGS84: 55:56.8121N 3:11.5525W
Photographer Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NT 2565 7329
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WEST (about 270 degrees)
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Place of Religious Worship  Church Yard  Churchyard  Kirkyard  Graves  Gravestones  Graveyard  Memorial 

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