Robert Pollok, the Scottish poet, died in Southampton in 1827, a month before his 29th birthday. At the time he was staying with his sister at Woodside Cottage (see newspaper clipping below) on Shirley Common in the hope of restoring his frail health. He was buried in the churchyard of St Nicholas, Millbrook, where in 1831 a red granite obelisk was erected to his memory, funded by subscribers, with the inscription

THE GRAVE OF ROBERT POLLOK, A.M.
AUTHOR OF "THE COURSE OF TIME"
HIS IMMORTAL POEM IS HIS MONUMENT
HE WAS BORN AT MUIRHOUSE EAGLESHAM
RENFREWSHIRE SCOTLAND
ON THE 19TH OF OCTOBER 1798
HE DIED AT SHIRLEY COMMON
ON THE 17TH OF SEPTEMBER 1827
THIS OBELISK WAS ERECTED
BY SOME ADMIRERS OF HIS GENIUS


When St Nicholas's Church was demolished in 1939 the memorial at first remained in the part of the churchyard which was left, but some time in or after 1984 was moved to the churchyard of Holy Trinity Church in Millbrook.

Woodside Cottage is thought to have been Ashley House, 2, Nightingale Grove (notes made in 1927 by Mr FC Richardson for the National Building Record), but this property does not appear to have survived.

Robert Pollok

Image Unavailable

Engraved by H Robinson (From The Life of Robert Pollok)


Newspaper clippings (available online or from the Local Studies Library):

Robert Pollok at Southampton - (Southampton Times, 06/03/1910)
"Memories of a Scottish hero" - (Southampton Advertiser, 26/04/1985). Describes the then neglected state of the Pollok memorial in St Nicholas's churchyard. The vicar, the Reverend Rex Holyhead, is quoted scathingly around the complaints about the memorial: "It's expensive keeping up a place like that up together and we do our best. You can't expect Southampton ratepayers to fall in with some Scottish society on a whim."


Further reading:

Relics of Old Southampton, by F. J. C. Hearnshaw, p123, 128-129. (HS/h)
Life of Robert Pollok, by David Pollok. (HS/t)


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