Sir Eric Anderson Memorial Fund: Supporting The Abbotsford Trust
As a Trustee of Abbotsford from 2012 to 2015, Sir Eric Anderson (1936 - 2020) was a part of the team which transformed Scott’s house and the visitor experience. But his involvement with, and love for, Abbotsford preceded and outlasted his formal involvement by many, many years.
Eric’s love of literature and Sir Walter Scott began at the University of St Andrews where he studied English Literature. It was a love which continued throughout his life whilst he pursued a career as one of the country’s foremost educationalists. He taught at Fettes College and at Gordonstoun where he tutored Prince Charles, going on to become a young headmaster at Abingdon School, Shrewsbury, and finally Eton College. Following which he went on to become rector of Oxford’s Lincoln Inn College.
During his time teaching he taught three future Prime Ministers and an Archbishop, and became a highly successful modernising headmaster of Eton. His contribution to society did not stop there, with Eric becoming a valued advisor to and member of many cultural institutions, including acting as Chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund. In 2002 he was appointed a Knight of the Order of the Thistle.
But Eric came to Abbotsford first and foremost because of his abiding passion for and deep knowledge of Scott. From a young age he was close to both Dame Jean and Patricia and a regular visitor to Abbotsford, which he came to know exceptionally well. His seminal work was his 1972 edition of The Journal of Sir Walter Scott. Considered to be an outstanding academic achievement, his Journal is still widely sold. Indeed, together with other publications generously written by Eric for the Abbotsford Trust, you will find his Journal a popular choice in our shop.
Eric's support to a young Abbotsford Trust was exceptional. His advice and guidance, and his talent for fundraising was all put towards Abbotsford. He raised a significant part of Abbotsford’s Endowment Fund, as well as funds towards conservation works. He continued to speak at fundraising events on our behalf for many years. Eric’s generosity of sprit, and his humour, were well known. In the words of Malcolm Morrison, a long standing volunteer and guide at Abbotsford:
“We met often when he came up to the Borders, and had many email conversations when I wrote to ask him about Scott or run past him thoughts when compiling a specific "academic" tour. When I apologised to Poppy for taking up her husband's time with email requests etc, she replied that whenever "Scott" appears in his in-tray, everything gets dropped until he deals with it.”
It is a mark of the man that whenever his name was mentioned everyone spoke of him with warmth and affection. Together with Poppy, he remained a regular visitor to Abbotsford, where both Eric and Poppy offered words of wisdom, support and encouragement. His positivity and sense of what Abbotsford could become inspired us all. It still does.
The Abbotsford Trust has established a fund in Eric’s memory as a joyous, living legacy of his love of Sir Walter Scott and of Abbotsford, the beloved home Scott created in the Scottish Borders. All donations to the Sir Eric Anderson Memorial Fund will support the collections at Abbotsford.
If you wish to contribute towards the Sir Eric Anderson Memorial Fund, you may donate in one of the following ways:
Online: Simply click on the big DONATE button above
By Cheque: Please make cheques payable to The Abbotsford Trust and post to: Sir Eric Anderson Memorial Fund, Abbotsford, Melrose, Roxburghshire TD6 9BQ
Gift Aid: If you are a UK taxpayer, Gift Aid can increase the value of your donation to the Abbotsford Trust at no extra cost to you and may also be tax efficient for you if you are a higher rate taxpayer. We can send you a Gift Aid declaration form if we do not already have one for you: firstname.lastname@example.org
About Abbotsford and The Abbotsford Trust:
Abbotsford is the magnificent home created by Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832) in the Scottish Borders. Renowned internationally as the prototype of Scots Baronial architecture, its Category A listed historic house and gardens are designated as of outstanding national significance. Abbotsford is also home to Scott’s globally important collections of more than 9,000 books and 4,000 objects. The Abbotsford Trust is the independent Scottish charity which owns and cares for the house, chapel, gardens, estate and collections created by Scott and his descendants. The Abbotsford Trust is independent Registered Scottish Charity Number SC037425