The Boswell Trust
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The Boswell Trust

The Boswell Trust, was formed in 2010 to create a lasting memorial to the literary genius, James Boswell (1740-1795) who despite his achievements as founder of modern biography and as a diarist equal to Pepys, has until now lain neglected in the Boswell family mausoleum in the church yard of Auchinleck in Ayrshire. As broadcaster, Andrew Marr put it in his recent televised homage to Boswell: “It’s odd, don’t you think, that one of our greatest writers has no memorial?”

Founded in 2010 by a group of literary activists, including Boswell’s senior direct descendant, Margaret Boswell Eliott, the Trust is empowered under its charitable status to promote “heritage, literary arts and education, and specifically to restore James Boswell’s Mausoleum in Auchinleck Churchyard and to create a visitor attraction in the adjoining seventeenth century Boswell Aisle.”

The square neo-classical mausoleum, built in 1754, with its stone pyramid roof, houses the remains of Boswell and his immediate family members in recesses hewn out of the original rock.  It is attached to the seventeenth century Boswell Aisle, once the original Auchinleck Church.  The interior of the building (which was re-roofed in the 1970s) is now derelict, and requires careful conservation and restoration.  The aim of the Trust is to restore this space as a visitor experience about James Boswell and his world, to celebrate Boswell’s literary achievements, and to enrich the social and economic life of the village of Auchinleck by recognizing its status as one of the highpoints of Ayrshire’s – and Scotland’s – cultural tourism.

Boswell Turst Aisle and Mausoleum

Creating a lasting memorial.

Boswell Book Festival

The world’s only festival of biography and memoir.


Engaging with primary and secondary schools in Ayrshire.

Heritage, literary arts and education

“Death makes as little impression upon the minds of those who are occupied in the profession of the law as it does in an army.”