Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Scott, Robert (1777-1841)

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SCOTT, ROBERT (1777–1841), engraver, son of Robert and Grizell Scott, was born on 13 Nov. 1777 at Lanark, where his father was a skinner. He attended the grammar school at Musselburgh, and at the age of ten was articled to Andrew Robertson, an engraver at Edinburgh; there he also worked in the Trustees Academy. Scott first became known by some plates in Dr. James Anderson's ‘The Bee’ for 1793 and 1794, and a set of ‘Views of Seats and Scenery chiefly in the Environs of Edinburgh,’ from drawings by A. Carse and A. Wilson, published in 1795 and 1796. Though possessed of very limited abilities, he was esteemed in his day for his small book illustrations, of which he carried on an extensive manufactory in Parliament Stairs, Edinburgh, employing many assistants. Scott's best work was in landscape, which he rendered with much truth of detail. He engraved all the illustrations to Barry's ‘History of the Orkney Islands,’ 1805, and to ‘Scenery of Allan Ramsay's Gentle Shepherd,’ 1808; he also for many years contributed plates to the ‘Scots Magazine,’ and put in the landscape backgrounds of some of those for Bell's ‘British Poets,’ which were sent to him from London for the purpose. He was employed by Henry Mozley, a publisher at Gainsborough (father of Thomas Mozley [q. v.] and James Bowling Mozley [q. v.]), for whose edition of Thomson's ‘Seasons,’ 1804, he engraved four plates after John Burnet. Scott's latest work was a set of twenty views of ‘Scenery of Edinburgh and Midlothian,’ 1838, from drawings by his son, W. B. Scott. He died early in 1841. By his wife Ross Bell, to whom he was married in 1800, he had two sons, David Scott and William Bell Scott, who are separately noticed. Among his pupils were John Burnet [q. v.], John Horsburgh [q. v.], and James Stewart (1791–1863) [q. v.]

[Bryan's Dict. of Painters and Engravers, ed. Armstrong; W. B. Scott's Memoir of David Scott; Autobiography of W. B. Scott, 1892.]

F. M. O'D.