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19 April 2019

First Scotswoman in print now commemorated in the Poets’ Corner of the North

4 July 2014

Elizabeth Melville, Lady Culross (c.1578-c.1640) was commemorated at Makars' Court on Saturday 21 June 2014 with an inscribed flagstone quoting her work. She was the first Scotswoman to see her work in print with the publication of Ane Godlie Dreame in 1603 which became a best-seller.

The flagstone, which has been sponsored by Dr Jamie Reid-Baxter, Rosemary Burton and the Scots Language Centre, bears the inscription:

'Though tyrants threat, though Lyons rage and rore, Defy them all, and feare not to win out.'

The flagstone was unveiled at a special ceremony at the 'Poets' Corner of the North' (Makars Court) in Edinburgh by Professor Germaine Greer and lecturer Dr Jamie Reid-Baxter, at the invitation of Councillor Richard Lewis, the city's Culture and Sport Convener. The great photos above are courtesy of the City of Edinburgh Council.

Elizabeth Melville is the thirty-ninth Scottish writer to be commemorated at Makars' Court. She is Scotland's most prolific Early Modern female writer, producing over 4,000 lines of verse in Scots.

The sponsors of the flagstone, Dr Jamie Reid-Baxter, Rosemary Burton and the Scots Language Centre, hosted a day of talks and events to mark Saturday 21 June as 'Elizabeth Melville Day'.


See the City of Edinburgh Council's website, for more information on the tribute to Elizabeth Melville and on Makars Court generally.

For more about the events that took place on 'Elizabeth Melville Day', see Previously Scotland's History Festival website.