SIR Walter Scott was penning songs when he should have been recording details of court cases in his job as a clerk of court, it has been revealed.
A rare manuscript of Scott’s celebrated song The Pibroch of Donuil Dhu – or the Pipes of Donald the Black – has sold at auction for a world record sum of £8750.
It was was written in 1816, when he was a principal clerk at the Court of Session in Edinburgh.
However, a note with it has revealed it was penned “at the clerk’s table” on February 9, 1816 – while he should have been recording details of a court case.
Professor Peter Garside, honorary secretary of The Edinburgh Sir Walter Scott Club, said: “This gives a very curious and interesting little record of Scott at work.
“From 1808 virtually until he died he held a job as a principal clerk. The position gave him security and when the court was sitting he lived in his home in North Castle Street.
“His job at the Court of Session was to record details of cases. This note, however, suggests he also composed his own work while he sat at the clerk’s table.
“Perhaps he also wrote chapters of his books there.”
The rare signed work was sold at Bonhams in London, to a Scottish collector.