George Meikle Kemp might have been a shepherd had it not been for a trip to Roslin Castle and Roslin Chapel. Here he was inspired to architecture. Kemp developed his interest, travelling throughout Britain for work, and to study gothic architecture. Ultimately he found work at Melrose Abbey.
In the spring of 1833, after Sir Walter Scott had died (the previous September, Kemp entered a contest to build a monument to Scott. Against the odds, Kemp emerged the winner, and built the monument situated in Edinburgh today (John Steell sculpted the statue of Scott from carrara marble; later a cast bronze statue in New York's Central Park). Kemp unfortunately died before the completion of his memorial, falling into a canal one foggy night - March 6, 1844.