City Readers Digital Historic Collections at the New York Society Library
Edward Burt (? - 1755)
Edmund Burt also known as Edward Burt (died 4 January 1755) was a Scottish military figure, engineer and author.
He wrote Letters from a Gentleman in the North of Scotland, largely quoted by Sir Walter Scott and Macaulay. He has been variously described as: an engineer officer who served with General Wade in Scotland in 1724–28; an army contractor, and an illiterate hack-writer who ended his days in dire distress. War office records fail to show that Burt held military rank.
Evidence in the ‘Letters’ shows that they were written in 1725–26, although not published until long afterwards. Burt's death was announced in the Scots Magazine’ for 1755. The announcement, in Volume xvii January 1755 page 52, states, "At London. Edmund Burt Esq; late agent to Gen. Wade, chief surveyor during the making of roads through the Highlands, and author of the letters concerning Scotland." The Scots Magazine reviewed the book in Volume xvi (July 1754) page 359.
The first edition of the ‘Letters’ appeared in London in 1754. Subsequent editions appeared in Dublin in 1755, in London in 1759 and 1815, and at Haarlem and Hanover. The latest was edited by R. Jamieson, with contributions by Sir Walter Scott, London in 1818.