David Macbeth Moir wreath laying ceremony

A wreath laying ceremony is undertaken annually by The Old Musselburgh Club to mark the birth of Musselburgh man, David Macbeth Moir. This takes place on the Sunday nearest to the actual date of 5th January. Members of the Club attend a religious service in each of the Musselburgh churches in a yearly rotation after which they gather at the statue where a tribute is read by their President.

Poet and physician, David Macbeth Moir, was born at Musselburgh in 1798. Moir, hailed locally as a genius, started writing poetry from an early age. At eighteen he obtained the diploma of surgeon and became a partner at a local practice to support his widowed mother, but his love of literature was such that he would return home late after working as a doctor by day to study literature and write into the early hours of morning producing many contributions, in both prose and verse, to Constable’s Edinburgh Magazine. 'Soon after the establishment of "Blackwood’s Magazine", Moir became one of its most frequent and popular contributors, and was known to its numerous readers under the name of Delta, from the Greek letter.' In addition to the more serious work submitted under 'Delta' he also published humourous pieces in Blackwoods imitating famous poets and writers such as Scott, Wordsworth, and Coleridge. 'In 1823, he had for his neighbour and acquaintance John Galt, who was then residing near Musselburgh; and so well was the literary reputation of Moir now established, that the distinguished novelist, on being suddenly called off to America before he had finished the "Last of the Lairds," intrusted the winding-up of the tale to Delta, which be accomplished to the author’s satisfaction.' His poems, received with such success in Blackwoods, were collected and published as Legend of Genevieve, with other Tales and Poems in 1824, but Autobiography of Mansie Wauch - from a series of chapters published in the magazine over a three year period - was much more populalry received.

[Source: contemporary piece written on Macbeth Moir's death published on electricsscotland.com]

The Old Musselburgh Club was 'formed in 1961, it's aims being the cultivation of local sentiment; the preservation of the ancient customs and institutions of the town of Musselburgh,and of it's history and traditions; the fostering of local art and literature;the commemoration of important local incidents, and the perpetuation of the memories of worthy local people.'

[Source: 2010 Secretary of the Old Musselburgh Club]


2006 ceremony: members of Old Musselburgh Club with Marion and Ian Moir, a descendant of Macbeth Moir
2006 ceremony: members of Old Musselburgh Club with Marion and Ian Moir, a descendant of Macbeth Moir

Key Facts



Time of Year:


Connect With Us