Thomas Stuart Burnett

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Thomas Stuart Burnett, plaque on grave by John S. Rhind Thomas Stuart Burnett, plaque on grave, Dean Cemetery.jpg
Thomas Stuart Burnett, plaque on grave by John S. Rhind
Statue of Robinson Crusoe in Lower Largo by Thomas Stuart Burnett Alexander Selkirk Statue.jpg
Statue of Robinson Crusoe in Lower Largo by Thomas Stuart Burnett
Davie Deans and Effie Deans as found on the Scott Monument, sculpted by Thomas Stuart Burnett Davie Deans and Effie Deans as found on the Scott Monument, sculpted by Thomas Stuart Burnett.jpg
Davie Deans and Effie Deans as found on the Scott Monument, sculpted by Thomas Stuart Burnett
The grave of Thomas Stuart Burnett, Dean Cemetery, Edinburgh The grave of Thomas Stuart Burnett, Dean Cemetery, Edinburgh.jpg
The grave of Thomas Stuart Burnett, Dean Cemetery, Edinburgh

Thomas Stuart Burnett ARSA (4 July 1853 8 March 1888) was a Scottish sculptor in the 19th century.


His two principal claims to fame is as one of the chosen sculptors of the figures depicting characters from the novels of Sir Walter Scott on the Scott Monument on Princes Street in Edinburgh and for the famous sculpture of Robinson Crusoe at Alexander Selkirk’s birthplace of Lower Largo in Fife.

Scott Monument Victorian Gothic monument to Scottish author Sir Walter Scott

The Scott Monument is a Victorian Gothic monument to Scottish author Sir Walter Scott. It is the second largest monument to a writer in the world after the José Martí monument in Havana. It stands in Princes Street Gardens in Edinburgh, opposite the Jenners department store on Princes Street and near to Edinburgh Waverley Railway Station, which is named after Scott's Waverley novels.

Princes Street major thoroughfare in central Edinburgh, Scotland

Princes Street is one of the major thoroughfares in central Edinburgh, Scotland, and the main shopping street in the capital. It is the southernmost street of Edinburgh's New Town, stretching around 1 mile (1.6 km) from Lothian Road in the west, to Leith Street in the east. The street has virtually no buildings on the south side, allowing panoramic views of the Old Town, Edinburgh Castle, and the valley between. Most of the street is limited to trams, buses and taxis with only the east end open to all traffic.

Edinburgh City and council area in Scotland

Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland and one of its 32 council areas. Historically part of the county of Midlothian, it is located in Lothian on the Firth of Forth's southern shore.


He was born in Edinburgh, the son of James Burnett, a lithographic printer and Japanner living at 34 Toddrick's Wynd on the Royal Mile. [1]

Royal Mile succession of streets forming the main thoroughfare of the Old Town of the city of Edinburgh in Scotland

The Royal Mile is a succession of streets forming the main thoroughfare of the Old Town of the city of Edinburgh in Scotland. The term was first used descriptively in W M Gilbert's Edinburgh in the Nineteenth Century (1901), "...with its Castle and Palace and the royal mile between", and was further popularised as the title of a guidebook, published in 1920.

He studied under William Brodie and at the School Board of the Trustees on Picardy Place (run by the trustees of the Royal Scottish Academy). There he won their gold medal for the year in 1875. In 1876 he entered the RSA Life School, focussing upon the human form and won the Stuart Prize in 1880.

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The Royal Scottish Academy (RSA) is the country’s national academy of art. It promotes contemporary Scottish art.

In 1881 he is recorded as living with William Geddes at Gowan Brae Cottage, Perth Street, Perth. [2]

He was elected an Associate of the Royal Scottish Academy in 1883.

He died in Edinburgh in 1888 and is buried in the north section of the original Dean Cemetery, towards the western end, with his wife Margaret Irving. The red sandstone celtic cross is eroding but has a fine profile head of Burnett, sculpted by John Stevenson Rhind.

Dean Cemetery historic Victorian cemetery in western Edinburgh

The Dean Cemetery is a historically important Victorian cemetery north of the Dean Village, west of Edinburgh city centre, in Scotland. It lies between Queensferry Road and the Water of Leith, bounded on its east side by Dean Path and on its west by the Dean Gallery. A 20th-century extension lies detached from the main cemetery to the north of Ravelston Terrace. The main cemetery is accessible through the main gate on its east side, through a "grace and favour" access door from the grounds of Dean Gallery and from Ravelston Terrace. The modern extension is only accessible at the junction of Dean Path and Queensferry Road.

John Stevenson Rhind Scottish sculptor

John Stevenson Rhind was a Scottish sculptor based in Edinburgh.


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  1. Edinburgh Post Office Directory 1851
  2. "Thomas Stuart Burnett ARSA". Retrieved 26 December 2014.
  3. "The Character Statues". Retrieved 26 December 2014.
  4. "Thomas Stuart Burnett ARSA". Retrieved 26 December 2014.