Other letters and documents

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Original letters of Robert Burns

The Club possesses two original letters from Robert Burns to his friend David Sillar (purchased in 1975 from the Rev. David Sillar, Wetherby, Yorkshire, a great-great-grandson of Sillar).

Both letters were written from the poet's farm, Ellisland, Dumfriesshire, and are dated 5th August, 1789, and 22nd January, 1790. They are warm friendly letters and deal with Burns obtaining eleven subscribers for Sillar's own book of poems published in 1789.

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Burns family letters

A letter to Robert Burns from his brother Gilbert Burns dated Mossgiel, Mauchline, 4th September, 1790, dealing with family and farming matters.

A letter from Robert Burns, eldest son of the poet to his sister Betty, dated 29th March, 1834, recounting the death of their mother Jean Armour Burns.

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Testimony of Mary Lapraik, daughter of John Lapraik (1727-1807), farmer, Dalfram, Muirkirk, Ayrshire. Burns wrote two very fine verse epistles to Lapraik as "An Old Scottish Bard". The testimony details her personal knowledge of the Poet and was given before a panel of club members in 1840. It is signed Mary Lapraik.

The text reads: "The following certificate regarding the striking resemblance which Mr Dick's plate bears to the illustrious Bard is from Mrs McMinn, Wellwood, Muirkirk & dated July 25, 1840:

I well remember Burns giving my father his long promised visit, and I do well remember the fascinating deportment of the Bard on that occasion & when viewing the picture, it strikes me as being an exact likeness, any alteration tbat I can discern is in the dress, he appears to be in his church dress, whereas, when he visited my father, he seemed to have been just hauding the plough, although he was clean and respectable. [signed] Mary Lapraik."

A copy of a speech partly in poetical form given by David Sillar, as Vice-President of Irvine Burns Club at the inaugural celebration dinner in January, 1828. The manuscript is in Sillar's handwriting and was presented to the Club by his son Dr Zachariah Sillar, M.D., President of the Club 1830-31

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  • Irvine, Ayrshire, KA12 8AS