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Robert Burns

The Ploughman Poet

Robert Burns 

Robert Burns was the eldest of seven children.  He travelled the world and had many love interests and had 9 children. Robert Burns is buried in St. Michael’s Churchyard, Dumfries, Scotland. Robert Burns was born in Alloway 25 January 1759. At 7 years he moved with parents in 1766 to Mount Oliphant farm, southeast of Alloway.  He began to write poetry in 1774.  In 1777 he moved to Lochlea, near Tarbolton, where they stayed until 1784 when they moved to the Mossgiel farm at Mauchline Ayrshire.


Mauchline is where he met Jean Armour who he married in 1788. The story of a poet begins with a rejected job in Jamaica as he sold copies of his poems known as the Kilmarnock edition which sold out through undoubted help from his fellow masons. He then received an invite to Edinburgh from Henry Mackenzie and Dr Blacklock in 1786 after they had read Robert Burns poems.

Robert Burns Statue Leith
Robert Burns Statue Dumfries.
Jean Armour Robert Burns wife with his son
Robert Burns National Portrait Gallery Edinburgh

Robert Burns

First Edinburgh Lodging 

On arrival in Edinburgh the actual close Robert Burns Lived in was called Baxter’s Close, but has not survived. This was where Dr Thomas Blacklock (The Blind Poet) brought Burns from Ayrshire.  The first edition of his poems being reviewed by Henry Mackenzie. Blacklock and Mackenzie were taken by his poems, the invitation was sent for him to come to Edinburgh. Robert Burns came to Edinburgh and was introduced to the wealthy and prominent merchants of Edinburgh which began his success as a poet.

Robert Burns First Lodging in Edinburgh
Robert Burns Braid Hills Hotel.

Robert Burns Dumfries


Robert Burns first moved to Dumfries when he came on the visit in 1787. Dumfries Town Council made him an honorary Burgess. In May 1793 the family moved to a better quality house in Mill Street now called Burns Street where he wrote songs which included “my love is like a red, red Rose” and “man’s a man for all that” His days in Dumfries were spent as an excise man usually dressed in a decent suit of dark clothes.  He had a distinguished head with large dark brown eyes and a high forehead, his features were hard and he had a slight stoop. At nearly 5 foot 10 ins (1.8 m) in height he was well known around town. Robert Burns died in Dumfries in his house in Mill Street on the 21st July 1796. 

Ellisland Farm where Robert Burns lived
Robert Burns House where he died
Robert Burns Mausoleum Dumfries.JPG
Robert Burns Grave Stone Dumfries

Robert Burns 

Sir Walter Scott 1786

The one and only time Robert Burns and Sir Walter Scott met was in the house of Professor Adam Ferguson in Sciennes House Place, also present were Adam Smith, Dugald Stewart and Joseph Black. This was a meeting place of the hierarchy of Edinburgh society. Inscription reads, “This tablet commemorates | The meeting | of Robert Burns and | Sir Walter Scott | which took place here | In the winter of 1786”.

Burns and Scott meeting.JPG

Robert Burns

Writers’ Museum

The Writer’s Museum is dedicated to the lives and work of Scotland’s great literary figures. Rare collections include early editions, manuscripts, portraits, photographs, and personal belongings of Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott and Robert Louis Stevenson.

Writers' Museum Sign Lady Sair's Close Lawnmarket Royal Mile Edinburgh
Writers' Museum Lady Stair's House

Robert Burns

Makars’ Court Slab

Robert Burns 1759 – 1796 Poet Born in Alloway 

Inscription on slab;

Man to Man the world o’er shall brithers be for a’ that        

Robert Burns Slab Makars' Court

Robert Burns Monument

Regent Road Edinburgh

Robert Burns was born on Monday 25 January 1759 and died on Thursday 21st July 1796. The Robert Burns Memorial can be found opposite the Royal High School in Regent Road. Robert Burns died at the age of 37 and is the nation’s most famous poet. 

Robert Burns Memorial Regent Road Edinburgh

The Mauchlin Stane

Robert Burns

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Mauchline Stane Robert Burns, Calton Hil

Robert Burns Grassmarket

The White Hart Inn Edinburgh was established in 1516, The White Hart Inn is one of the oldest and most historic pubs in Edinburgh. Past visitors have included the poets Robert Burns and William Wordsworth.

Robert Burns White Hart Inn Grassmarket Edinburgh
Robert Burns Whitehart Inn Grassmarket Edinburgh

Robert Burns

Masonic Lodge Freemasons

Robert Burns was initiated an Entered Apprentice in Lodge St. David, Tarbolton on 4 July 1781. He became a master mason on lst October 1781 of the same lodge. He was made an honorary member of Lodge Kilmarnock Kilwinning St. John October 1786. Inaugurated Poet Laureate Lodge Canongate Kilwinning, 1 March 1787. Robert Burns was exalted a companion in the Holy Royal Arch Degree in May 1787 and Knights Templar at St. Ebbe's Lodge, Eyemouth.  On the 24th June 1788 he joined Lodge St. Andrew, In Dumfries. In 1792, he was elected Senior Warden.

Robert Burns Lodge Kilwinning Canongate Edinburgh 1878

Burns Supper


His birthday is celebrated every year worldwide when people come together at a Burns Supper. A dinner to celebrate the life of Robert Burns. Traditionally Haggis neeps and tatties are the menu with drams of whisky. Finally before the food is served a ceremony is performed called “Address to a Haggis” and a Grace is also performed.

Haggis Neeps and Tatties are the traditional meal at a Burns Supper & Whisky
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