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Thursday, 13 January, 2000, 19:07 GMT
Scots novelist laid to rest

Piper at Tranter funeral The lone piper plays a lament as Nigel Tranter is buried

Renowned Scottish novelist Nigel Tranter was laid to rest in a small country church yard to the haunting sounds of a piper's lament.

The 90-year-old who died on Sunday after contracting flu was one of the country's finest writers and a noted historian.

He always said 'I'm just a storyteller', - his stories won the hearts of people the world over
Ian Gilmour, friend
A simple funeral service, attended by more than 100 friends and family, took place before burial in the church yard St Aidan's in the village of Gullane on the Firth of Forth.

The author had more than 130 works published, mainly novels and historical books.

Mourners included Sir David Steel, Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament, and Ian Hamilton QC, who as a young man in 1950 was one of four Scots students who spirited away the Stone of Destiny from Westminster Abbey.

Nigel Tranter Nigel Tranter (left) died after contracting flu
The Scottish National Party Dorothy-Grace Elder MSP also attended.

She said after the funeral: "It is very rare to have known a real multipurpose Scottish genius.

"I believe that Nigel Tranter, more than any other single person, created the parliament in which I am privileged to sit."

Mr Tranter was born in Glasgow, educated in Edinburgh at George Heriot's School and trained as an accountant before becoming a writer.

The service included Mr Tranter's favourite hymn, Be Thou My Vision, Oh Lord of My Heart.

Sir David Steel Sir David Steel attended the funeral
In a eulogy, one of his friends, Ian Gilmour, paid tribute to "a great man and a great Scot".

"He always said 'I'm just a storyteller'," said Mr Gilmour.

"His stories won the hearts of people the world over."

Mr Gilmour, a friend for 50 years, said Mr Tranter's generosity of spirit was such that he was always prepared to surrender precious working time to support a cause he believed in, like the Forth Road Bridge and the Scottish Covenant, precursor to the fight for a Scottish Parliament.

And among his historical works, his greatest legacy was a five-volume publication on fortified houses in Scotland.

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See also:
09 Jan 00 |  Scotland
Death of Scottish historical author
10 Jan 00 |  Scotland
Flu epidemic spreading

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