Paisley Canal

On the 16th May 1810, Tannahill walked to Glasgow and called on his friend Alexander Borland, with whom he had a long  conversation; the poet was so incoherent in what he said that Borland thought it prudent to see him safely home to his dwelling in Queen Street Paisley., Borland, informed his brothers, who lived in different parts of the town, of his suspicions as to Robert’s condition.  

On the May, 17th, 1810, they hastened to their mother’s house, to find that Robert had returned to rest James and Matthew wished to remain overnight, as they were anxious as to Robert’s condition; but their mother reassured and advised her sons to go back to their own homes and she would see to Robert herself, which they accordingly did. 

During the night the mother had unconsciously dropped into sleep and was awakened by a slight noise and found Robert’s bed empty.

Robert’s mother at once sent for James and Matthew and also for Peter Burnet “Peter was a friend of the family.” Instantly a search for Robert was formed. Peter on enquiry learned that small-sized man had been seen hurrying from Queen Street across George Street westward. 

Peter made for the Brediland Road and soon found the poet’s coat and silver watch on the south side of the culvert of the Candren Burn.

Under the canal was the lifeless body of Robert Tannahill’s body was recovered and taken back to the house in Queen Street. 

Robert is buried in the family liar West Relief Churchyard in Paisley. The Castlehead graveyard is the resting place for all the Tannahill family.


The Tombstone was erected at the Poet’s grave, 1886,

Guided Walking Tours of The Paisley Canal, Paisley-Scotland,

 Guided Walking Tours of  The Paisley – Canal, Paisley – Scotland,
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