Robert Tannahill’s Cottage
Robert Tannahill’s Cottage in Queen Street Paisley was the Tannahills’ family home. Robert Tannahill lived in the cottage till he died in 1810. In 1775, James Tannahill acquired Bailie Slater’s steading in Queen Street, and erected upon it a one-storey thatched cottage, with a passage through the centre, the north side being occupied as a dwelling-house and the south side as a four-loom weaving shop.
James Tannahill was a very accurate individual, and he kept an account of the whole cost of the building, which has been preserved in his memorandum or note pocketbook to the present day. The book was a precious relic of the Tannahills and is still in existence, carefully preserved by one of the daughters of James Tannahill, the immediate elder brother of the Poet. The handwriting of the father is even better than that of any of his sons. The building of the house was one of the important acts in the life of James Tannahill. The house was built at a cost of £60 16s /4d.
Admission and access by arrangement only.
11, Queen Street
Paisley, Scotland, UK, PA1 2TT
Paisley’s weaver poet born in Castle Street, son of a well-respected ‘bien’ weaver to whom Robert was apprenticed in 1786. Described by a contemporary as the ‘prettiest shuttler’ he had ever seen, Robert had a wee box on his loom-post for jotting down his ideas.
At his cottage in Queen Street he composed, most of his best known songs. An admirer of Burns, he helped found the Burns Anniversary Society in 1805 in Paisley – the world’s first Burn’s club. In 1807, encouraged by friends, he published “The Soldiers Return” with poems and songs which made him famous.
When a publisher declined a revised edition in 1810, and after a mental illness, the poet drowned himself in a culvert of the Candren Burn. The portrait shown was drawn one day after his death by another friend, John Morton. history page info here..
Tanahill’s poems and songs are still popular today – ‘Jesssie the Flower o’ Dunblane’,’Will ye go Lassie go’,’ Thou Bonnie Woods o’ Craigielee’.