A collection of holograph poems and letters of two Renfrewshire poets: Robert Tannahill (1774-1810) and William Motherwell (1797-1835), from the collection of David Stephen Robertson

Scope and Content

  • Common place book, correspondence and literary manuscripts of Robert Tannahill
  • Commonplace book, correspondence and literary manuscripts of William Motherwell

Administrative / Biographical History

David Stephen Robertson was born in Scotland in 1874 . He graduated MA from the University of Glasgow in 1895 and began a career in the army. By the time of the First World War he was a Major in the Royal Scots Fusiliers. He died on 1919  at Tientsin, China, a Lieutenant Colonel in the same regiment. The connection with the Renfrewshire poets came from his family who owned David Robertson, the Glasgow publisher of William Motherwell's works.

Robert Tannahill was born in 1774  in Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland. Educated in Paisley, he was brought up as a silk weaver but is remembered as a song writer and poet. He drowned himself at Paisley in 1810 .

William Motherwell was born in 1795 . As well as being a poet, he was also Sheriff-clerk depute of Renfrewshire between 1819 and 1829 and became editor of the Paisley Advertiser in 1828. In 1930 he became editor of the Glasgow Courier and in 1932 issued his own works in Poems, Narrative and Lyrical. He died in 1835  .

Source: Dictionary of National Biography: Index and Epitome (London, 1903)


The arrangement of this material reflects the original order in which it was received

Access Information


Acquisition Information

Deposit : David Robertson : 1907 : ACCN 1207

Other Finding Aids

Item level descriptions are available via the department's online manuscripts catalogue available at http://special.lib.gla.ac.uk/manuscripts/  searching by the call number MS Robertson

Alternative Form Available

No known copies

Archivist's Note

Compiled by David Powell, Hub Project Archivist, 21 March 2002

No alterations made to date

Conditions Governing Use

Applications for permission to quote should be sent to the Head of Special Collections

Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use & condition of documents

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with standard GB 247 procedures

Custodial History

Held by David Robertson


None expected

Related Material

GB 237 La iv 6: Correspondence with David Laing (Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections)

For contact details of all repositories with a GB code, see the ARCHON repository search page at http://www.hmc.gov.uk/archon/archon.htm


No known publications using this material


Geographical Names