Robert Fergusson, 1750–74, Scottish poet, b. Edinburgh. He was a precursor of Robert Burns, who proclaimed his debt to Fergusson's Poems (1773). After careers in the clergy and in medicine, he worked as a public official and periodical contributor. Graphic and amusing pictures of life among the Edinburgh poor are found in his best poems—
"The Farmer's Ingle,"
See his works (ed. by M. P. McDiarmid, 1954–56); study by A. H. MacLaine (1965).