Actually By Robbie Burns
Curator’s Comment: Originally we thought that the anniversary of Grose’s death, which the present post celebrates, was this Friday, June 12th. Wikipedia says so. However, both The Scots Magazine (V. 53) and The Gentleman’s Magazine (V. 69)  published an obituary for Grose in 1791 which state his actual death date was May 12th. So it seems based on these primary sources we’re a month late in celebrating our hero. Nevertheless…
As we’ve mentioned oft times a’fore, Francis Grose, antiquarian, humorist, and butterball, is our hero. It is with that in mind that we thought to honor the anniversary of his death this year with a little something. It was recently the 224th anniversary of the Captain’s death. Grose’s dedication to research was such that he was in Ireland on an antiquing trip when he died.
This poem, written before his death but published afterwards in the June 1791 Scots Magazine, was written by Grose’s friend, occasional dinner companion, and well-known Scotsman, Robbie Burns.
The Devil got notice that Grose was a-dying,
So whip! at the summons, old Satan came flying;
But when he approach’d where poor Francis lay moaning,
And saw each bed-post with its burthen a-groaning,
Astonish’d, confounded, cries Satan, by God,
I’d want him, ere take such a damnable load.
Seems only fair that someone poke a little fun at Grose, as he did it to his fellow antiquarians.
1. The “Death” section seems to have the correct burial date
2. A third source, Dodsley’s Annual Register, includes the virtually the same text as the Gentleman’s Magazine because plagiarism was OK back then