Edinburgh honours Greyfriars Bobby at commemorative ceremony


14 January 2015
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imports_CESC_3-91746_87694.jpg Edinburgh honours Greyfriars Bobby at commemorative ceremony
The city of Edinburgh has today honoured the life of its most famous canine, Greyfriars Bobby, at a special event held at Greyfriars Kirkyard. ...
Edinburgh honours Greyfriars Bobby at commemorative ceremony Images
The city of Edinburgh has today honoured the life of its most famous canine, Greyfriars Bobby, at a special event held at Greyfriars Kirkyard.

Greyfriars Bobby, the loyal terrier known for guarding his master’s grave for fourteen years after his death, passed away 143 years ago and is buried in Greyfriars Kirkyard. On 14 January, City of Edinburgh Council marked the date with a commemorative ceremony, organised by the Library and Information Service.

Amongst the participants was Greyfriars Bobby look-alike Maggie the Cairn terrier (right), sporting a specially-designed coat and badge in honour of her double. Also in attendance were members of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, who spoke about the fire which gutted Old Greyfriars in the mid-19th century, shortly before Bobby’s arrival.

As the one o’clock gun sounded, the time at which Bobby is said to have left his master’s grave each day for a free meal at a nearby café, pupils from George Heriot School lay flowers on the grave. This was followed by ‘Tribute to Greyfriars Bobby’, played on bagpipes by Jennifer Hutcheon.

Deidre Brock, Depute Lord Provost, who hosted the event, said: 'Greyfriars Bobby, whose memorial reads "Let his loyalty and devotion be a lesson to us all", still inspires enormous affection and respect in people across the globe.

'Even now visitors flock to see his grave, his statue, and the many mementos of his life displayed in our Museum of Edinburgh, marvelling anew at the timeless story of the little dog who would not leave his master's grave.'

After the death of Bobby’s owner John Gray, the then Lord Provost, Sir William Chambers, ensured the dog’s freedom by purchasing a license and dog collar, allowing him to roam the graveyard. Capturing the hearts of passers-by every day, Bobby’s statue was erected a year after his death in 1872 by the Ladies Committee of the RSPCA, and has since become a landmark for the capital.

(Images copyright Edinburgh City Council)


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