146 years after his death, Edinburgh artist John McLeod will finally have a memorial stone for his resting place in the New Calton Cemetery, Regent Place.

The stone was donated by Edinburgh funeral directors William Purves who also came to the rescue when the headstone of Greyfriars Bobby’s master was vandalised last month.

Famed for his painting of the Greyfriars Bobby, the dog famous for faithfully guarding his master’s grave, which hangs in Greyfriars Kirk visitor centre. The portrait is one of the city’s most visited attractions.

Born in Golspie, Sutherland in 1812, John McLeod moved to Edinburgh in the 1830’s. His wife Mary Ann Carmichael was born in Perth. Specialising in painting animals, particularly dogs, horses and cattle the artist received commissions from wealthy landowners such as the Duke of Buccleuch and Lord Abercromby, many of which are still in private ownership throughout Scotland and further afield. The prolific artist’s paintings were shown annually at the RSA’ s annual exhibition from 1839 till 1871.

Unveiling ceremony

The One o’Clock Gun Association has organised a special ceremony tomorrow (17 February) to honour the artist. Bailie Alex Staniforth will be representing Lord Provost and the Edinburgh City Council.

Secretary of the One o’Clock Gun Association, George Robinson, explains, “John McLeod who had a large family to support was one of the city’s hard working residents whose graves are unmarked but not forgotten. We’re delighted that an Edinburgh based family firm of funeral directors has donated a memorial stone to the artist, whose painting is a valuable asset to our city.”

The ceremony will take place at 12.45pm and will be attended by Bailie Alex Staniforth, Tim Purves from William Purves Funeral Directors, a representative from the RSA, Skye Terrier Club and Willie Telford representing the minister of Greyfriars Kirk and Derek MacLeod, a direct descendant of the artist. Bob the One o’ Clock Gun Asscn’s mascot will also be present, representing the city’s four-footed residents.


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