Maida (1813–1824)[1] was a dog belonging to Sir Walter Scott.[2] Sometimes called a Deerhound, Maida was a crossbreed from a Pyrenean Wolfdog and a Highland Deerhound,[3] and was reported to be his favourite dog.[4] The animal was named after the Battle of Maida, which took place in 1806, and was a gift from Alexander Macdonell of Glengarry (Alexander Ranaldson Macdonell), a friend of Scott, and whose brother led the 78th Highlanders in the battle, a victory for the British against the French in the Napoleonic Wars.

Maida depicted on the Sir Walter Scott statue designed by John Steell, located inside the Scott Monument
BreedPyrenean Wolfdog and a Highland Deerhound crossbreed
Born1813 (1813)
Died1824 (aged 10–11)
OwnerSir Walter Scott
Named afterBattle of Maida

Scott wrote to his son Charles that "Old Maida died suddenly in his straw last week, after a good supper, which, considering his weak state, was rather a deliverance; he is buried below his monument, on which the following epitaph is engraved in Latin [Maidae marmorea dormis sub imagine Maida / Ante fores domini sit tibi terra levis],[5] thus Englished by an eminent hand : -

'Beneath the sculptured form which late you bore,
Sleep soundly Maida at your master's door.'"[6]

The monument mentioned is a statue of the dog at the hall door of Scott's home, Abbotsford House.[6]

A statue of Scott at the Scott Monument in Edinburgh includes Maida gazing up at the seated figure.[7] William Allan painted "Sir Walter Scott with His Dog 'Maida'" in 1831.[8] Alexander Nasmyth painted the dog alone.[9]

The part of Scott's statue in Perth featuring Maida was stolen, for a second time, in 2020.[10]



  1. ^ Graham p231
  2. ^ Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable
  3. ^ Landseer's painting of Maida and a Deerhound
  4. ^ Thomas Brown's written portrait of Maida
  5. ^ "Sir Walter Scott's dog, Maida". Edinburgh City of Literature. Retrieved 28 November 2014.
  6. ^ a b Abbotsford and Sir Walter Scott. Mabbott and Co. 1854. p. 218. Retrieved 28 November 2014. Sir Walter Scott Abbotsford Maida.
  7. ^ "Scott Monument: About". Edinburgh Museums and Galleries. Retrieved 28 November 2014.
  8. ^ "Sir Walter Scott in His Study with His Dog 'Maida'". Art UK. Retrieved 28 November 2014.
  9. ^ "Alexander Nasmyth (Edinburgh 1758-1840) Maida, Sir Walter Scott's Dog 22 x 27 cm. (8 11/16 x 10 5/8 in.)". Bonhams. Retrieved 28 November 2014.
  10. ^ "Police hunt as Sir Walter Scott’s faithful hound goes walkies in Perth" - The Courier, 6 July 2020