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Papers of Tom Scott

Identifier: Coll-1077

Scope and Contents

Collection is composed of circa 100 letters from between 1956 and the late-1970s.


  • Creation: c1955-c1975

Language of Materials


Biographical / Historical

The poet, Tom Scott, was born in Glasgow on 6 June 1918. He was the son of a Clydeside boilermaker. In the Depression years of the 1930s, the family moved from Glasgow to St. Andrews where an uncle of Tom had a stonemason's business. After a brief apprenticeship to a butcher, Tom became an apprentice stonemason. His poetic spirit first manifested itself in his singing voice (described variously as tenor, or bass). During the Second World War, although a pacifist, he contributed to the war effort - believing that fascism had to be fought against - through his service in the Pay Corps. It was at this time he began to write poetry.

Scott's earlier work was in English, and after the war, settling in London, his circle included Kathleen Raine, and Dylan Thomas. Visits to Europe encouraged his Scots poetic voice and he translated the 15th century work of the French poet Villon into Scots. Other work includedSea dirge,The ship,The tree,The dity business, andBrand the builder. In 1966 he completed a Ph.D on the work of William Dunbar which appeared as a book, and he editedThe Penguin book of Scottish verse(1970). In 1963, Scott had married Heather Fretwell and they wrote children's books. Their home was in the Portobello district of Edinburgh.

In the 1980s, he contracted myeloma, a rare form of leukaemia, but he survived this. Tom Scott died in Edinburgh Royal Infirmary on 7 August 1995.


1 folder

Physical Location


Papers of Tom Scott (1918-1995)
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the University of Edinburgh Library Heritage Collections Repository

Centre for Research Collections
University of Edinburgh Main Library
George Square
Edinburgh EH8 9LJ Scotland
+44(0)131 650 8379