Friday, 25 October 2013

John Galt - Who Stole His Head?

John Galt (1779-1839) is perhaps one of Greenock's most famous inhabitants - chiefly known as a novelist and poet. 

Although he was born in Irvine, his family moved to Greenock when he was young, and he died here after a life spent in many other parts of Britain and abroad.  There are several plaques commemorating him in the town.

This plaque is on the wall of a building on the corner of Westburn Street and West Blackhall Street and marks the place where the house in which he died once stood.

 John Galt is buried in the Inverkip Street Cemetery in Greenock.  This plaque is at the entrance to the cemetery.  He is buried along with other family members - his parents and sister.

The grave is beautifully kept.

Galt is also commemorated by a fountain on the Esplanade at the bottom of Roseneath Street .  This was the idea of Allan Park Paton, former librarian of Greenock.

This is what should be in that space!
Unfortunately, the metal plate of his profile has been stolen by vandals.  Let's hope that a replacement will be put in place soon.

John Galt was a remarkable man.  I'll be writing much more about him in later posts.

The Greenockian


  1. Galt was a wonderful writer. (I discovered his work through the books of crime historian William Roughead.) Sorry to hear he's, uh, lost his head. An overzealous fan at work, perhaps?

  2. Undine - unfortunately more likely to be vandals! William Roughead sounds interesting - must check him out.

  3. I wonder... is this the same Galt who was in Upper Canada (and has a town named for him?) I've never read any of works, but he does have a poetic look about his face. I'll be interesting to read more what you have about him.

    1. Yes, it is the same John Galt. I visited Guelph in Canada recently and hope to write a post about the connection. Thanks for visiting.


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