By birth Scott was connected with both the rising middle class of Britain and the aristocratic Scottish heritage then passing into history.
Walter Scott was born on August 15, 1771 in Edinburgh, Scotland, a son of Walter Scott and Anne Rutherford. He survived a childhood bout of polio in 1773 that left him lame, a condition that was to have a significant effect on his life and writing. To cure his lameness he was sent in 1773 to live in the rural Scottish Borders at his paternal grandparents' farm at Sandyknowe, adjacent to the ruin of Smailholm Tower, the earlier family home.
He spent much time with his grandparents, but it was "Aunt Jenny" who took a special interest in him and influenced him to write. His visits to an uncle, Dr. Rutherford, professor of botany at the University of Edinburgh, brought him into contact with scholarly people.