Scottish independence: Scott ‘Yes’ claim challenged

Alex Salmond: Walter Scott could have been tempted to vote 'Yes'. Picture: Jane Barlow

Alex Salmond: Walter Scott could have been tempted to vote 'Yes'. Picture: Jane Barlow

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Sir Walter Scott enthusiasts have taken issue with Alex Salmond’s claim that the great Scottish novelist could have been tempted to vote ‘Yes’ in the independence referendum.

The First Minister expressed his view on a BBC news item, which reported on the reopening of Abbotsford House, Sir Walter Scott’s residence in the Borders.

Speculating how the author might vote in the independence referendum were he still alive today, Mr Salmond added: “In terms of the modern age, he would have been certainly been for a parliament, certainly for a monarchy.

“I’d like to think he might have moved towards a ‘Yes’ vote.”

However, Professor David Purdie, a member of the Council of the Edinburgh Sir Walter Scott Club, disagreed.

“Sir Walter Scott would not (have voted ‘Yes’),” he said.

“He was a very patriotic Scotsman, like me and many others, who are nationalists with a small ‘n’. He was very much a Unionist all his days and promoted the Union through his choreographing of the great 1822 visit of George IV to Edinburgh, which was his great statement about the necessity of Scotland moving forward within the Union.

“He was a Tory all his days. He would have voted ‘No’.”

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