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The Anecdotage of Glasgow
Lord Provost Aird's epitaph, by a Glasgow hostess

THE death of Provost Aird occurred about fourteen years after the erection of the Ramshorn Church, which was built under his dictatorship. The provost, with his brethren of the council, were wont to assemble at the house of Neps Denny, at the head of Saltmarket, who kept one of the most comfortable hostelries which Glasgow could at that time boast of. At one of the meetings, shortly after the worthy mans decease, it was proposed that an epitaph should be composed by one of the members of the club; but whether it was that the magistrates of those days were less poetical than their successors, or that this is an office not easily assimilated to the ordinary duties of a civic functionary, it was found that the assistance of the buxom landlady was necessary.

Perfectly familiar with her subject, and under no fear of severe criticism, Neps produced the following lines :

Here lies our late Provost Aird,
He was neither a merchant nor great laird;
At bigging o kirks he had right gude skill;
He was twice Lord Provost, and thrice Dean o Gill."

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