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Robert Mennon, The Ayton Bard
1797 - 1885

Robert Mennon lived at 71 High Street (above what is now Beauty From Above) in Dunbar for 19 years, between 1850 - 1869, and composed many of his poems there.

He was known as the ‘Ayton Bard’ and was born on 29th April 1797 at Ayton where his father worked as a slater and glazier. After a simple education at the Parish School, Mennon proceeded to London in 1824 where he made his home for 26 years. 

In 1828 he married Sarah Bridges who had been a domestic servant with his employer. The union lasted for 48 years until her death in Ayton in 1876. In 1850 he returned to Scotland and began a business in Dunbar and after 19 years of successful enterprise he retired to his native village where he died on 30th January 1885 in the same house in which he had been born 87 years before.

Robert Mennon began early in life to cultivate the writing of verse and in 1869 he issued a massive collection of his work entitled Poems, Moral and Religious which had wide circulation. He was a man of genuine piety, a keen observer of nature, of lively and cheerful disposition, racy and good humoured in conversation, a most agreeable companion, full of sage counsel and kindly warm hearted encouragement.

His poetical productions are not of the highest merit, but they are generally pleasing and show the writer to have been a man of refined feeling and a good example of an honest, God-fearing and patriotic Scot.