Greyfriars Bobby


John Gray worked in Edinburgh as a night watchman back in 1850. To keep him company on the long night shift John got himself a dog, a wee Skye Terrier named Bobby. The pair became a familiar sight around the town but in 1858 John died from tuberculosis and was buried in Greyfriars Kirkyard.

Bobby refused to leave his master's grave despite the best efforts of the Greyfriars Kirkyard gardener who eventually gave up and made him a small shelter. Bobby's fame soon spread and crowds would gather to watch him as he left the grave for lunch each day. Bobby would follow local joiner William Dow to a nearby coffee house which his master used to take him to. He would be fed here and indeed was well taken care of by the residents of Edinburgh.

When a new law came into effect in 1867 which required dogs to be licensed the Lord Provost himself paid the fee for Bobby and gave him a collar with a brass inscription which can now be seen at the National Museum of Scotland.

Bobby continued to watch over his master's grave for fourteen years until his own death in 1872. The year after his death a granite fountain with a statue of Bobby on top was erected just opposite the entrance to Greyfriars Kirkyard at the end of George IV Bridge. His headstone reads "Greyfriars Bobby - died 14th January 1872 - aged 16 years - Let his loyalty and devotion be a lesson to us all".


Greyfriars Bobby Statue