Holyrood Blockbusters #3 – The Adventures of Greyfriars Bobby


Greyfriar's Bobby - the statue, not the real thing

The story of Greyfriars Bobby story began in the 19th century and has had worlwide appeal ever since.

This huge interest lead to the story being developed into books and films across the globe. For those of you not familiar with the Bobby story, here’s a quick synopsis.

Greyfriars Bobby was a Skye Terrier who spent 14 years guarding the grave of his owner, John Gray, until Bobby died on the 14th January 1872. Moved by this sad story of loyalty, in 1873 Lady Burdett-Coutts comissioned a statue and fountain to be erected on the George IV Bridge, near Greyfriars Kirk, to commemorate Bobby.

Eleanor Atkinson 1912 book Greyfriars Bobby brought the story to a wider audience. However, Eleanor did dramatise the story and tinkered with some of the facts. John Gray became a farm labourer called ‘Auld Jock’ (old Jock). The book then went on to inspire the 1961 film Greyfriars Bobby: The True Story of a Dog.

The Greyfriars Booby was then reimagined in 2005 and starred Christopher Lee and Oliver Golding. The Edinburgh Castle scenes on this film were actually filmed in Stirling Castle. To the shock of many Bobby enthusiasts, the film used a West Highland White Terrier as Bobby and portrayed Edinburgh as a northern English cotton-mill town.

Almost more accurate is the episode in Futurama where Seymour, the adopted dog of Philip Fry (Philip is accidentally cryogenically frozen) waited for the last years of his life waiting outside the pizza delivery shop that Fry worked in, waiting in vain for his master to return.


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One Response to Holyrood Blockbusters #3 – The Adventures of Greyfriars Bobby

  1. Marina says:

    You have really interesting blog, keep up posting such informative posts!