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Elizabeth A.Sackler Center for Feminist Art

Alison Rutherford

b. 1712, Selkirkshire, Scotland; d. 1794, Edinburgh

Widowed in 1753, Alison Rutherford Cockburn settled in Edinburgh and her home became the “rallying ground” for the city’s literati, including philosopher David Hume, novelist Walter Scott, and poet Robert Burns. Herself a poet, singer, and songwriter, Rutherford’s best-known work is a version of a popular Scottish folk song, “The Flowers of the Forest” (1765), in which she incorporated a lyric discussing a financial crisis in Scotland.