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MOTTO.-"A MAN'S A MAN FOR A' THAT."
(KILMARNOCK INSTITUTED 1885).
Honorary Secretary :
D. M‘NAUGHT, Kilmaurs.
JOHN MUIR, Kilmarnock.
The object of the Federation shall be to strengthen and consolidate
the bond of fellowship presently existing amongst the members of Burns Clubs, by universal affiliation ; its motto being
“ A man's a man for a' that." The members of every Burns Club registered as belonging to the
Federation shall be granted a Diploma admitting them to
One Shilling, these payments being final and not annual.
Executive Council for the purpose of acquiring and preserving
of a like nature, as the said Council may determine. The headquarters of the Federation shall be at Kilmarnock, the
premier Club in the movement, the town in which the first
Affiliated Clubs, and other Gentlemen of eminence nominated
Mr. D. M‘Naught, Schoolhouse, Kilmaurs, Articles intended for pub-
The experiences of the first issue convinced the Executive of the Federation that some division of labour was necessary in the editorial department. It is hoped that the new arrangements will further aid in securing for the CHRONICLE a permanent footing as a Burnsiana Repository and Literary Annual of the limited pretensions which the title indicates.
The Federation having undertaken the financial responsibility, the duty of supporting the CHRONICLE is earnestly urged upon all Burns Clubs and admirers of the Bard at home and abroad. This can be done in many ways, and we will feel grateful for assistance in any department of the work. This appeal, we feel certain, will meet with all the more ready response, when it is mentioned that the labours of the editorial staff are given gratuitously for the good of the common cause.
Considerable additional expense has been incurred in the illustration of the present volume, and the letterpress has also been increased. Succeeding issues will continue to show further improvement, if the support accorded us warrant the necessary outlay. To those who so substantially aided us last year our warmest thanks are due. We also thank our contributors and other friends who have taken such a kindly interest in the preparation of this issue, and trust that their exertions on our behalf will be rewarded with the success they so well deserve.
LIFE AND WRITINGS OF ROBERT BURNS,
ABRIDGED FROM “KILMARNOCK EDITION”—
LIFE AND NOTES-W. SCOTT DOUGLAS.
(KILMARNOCK: D. BROWN & CO., SUCCESSORS TO JAMES M'KIE.)
TRADITION has assigned as the root of the Burness THE family-tree planted in Kincardineshire, a certain Walter POET's Campbell, from Argyleshire, who had, in the early part PEDIGREE. of the seventeenth century, for political or prudential
reasons, abandoned his native district, dropping his proper surname, and assuming that of Burnhouse or Burness, and settled in the parish of Glenbervie, in the Mearns. The public registers consulted by Dr. Burness, showed that this WALTER OF BURNHOUSE had descendants, as follow : (1.)-WALTER BURNESS, who possessed the farm of Bogjoran, in the
same parish : he had four sons, one of whom we shall follow. (2.)—JAMES BURNESS, born in 1656, became tenant of the farm of Braw
linmuir, in Glenbervie. He died in 1743, aged eighty-seven. Of several sons of his, we need follow only one, who ranks as number
three. (3.)–ROBERT BURNESS (grandfather of the poet,) who rented the farm
of Clockenhill, on the lands of Dunnotar, the estate of the Earl Marischal-attainted in 1716, for his concern in the rebellion. Robert became somehow involved in the ruin which overtook the Keiths : he had three sons and four daughters. The eldest son, JAMES, born in 1717, afterwards settled in Montrose, and attained a position of influence there : he became the head of that branch of the Burness family which produced the late Sir Alex. Burnes, the Eastern traveller, who, along with his brother Charles, was killed at Cabool, in November, 1841 ; and also Dr. James Burnes, physician-general of the Bombay army-likewise distinguished as a diplomatist in connection with the Government in India. The third son of Robert Burness was named Robert : family misfortunes at Clokenhill compelled him, while a mere lad, to leave home along with the poet's father, and seek labouring work in the south country.
Poor Uncle Robert" died in the poet's house at Ellisland, in 1789. (4.)—WILLIAM BURNESS, second son of Robert Burness, was born in
1721, left the Mearns about the year 1740, and finally settled in
Ayrshire, where, on 25th January, 1759, he became the father of (5.)-ROBERT BURNS, THE POET OF SCOTLAND.
“ WILLIAM BURNESS, born at Clockenhill, in The Mearns, 11th November, 1721, and AGNES BROWN, born in the Carrick district of Ayrshire, 17th March,
1732, were—according to the record in their Family A.D. 1757. Bible, now in possession of Gilbert Burns, nephew of
the poet, presently resident in Dublin
THE PARENTS OF BURNS.
THE CLAY BIGGIN.
MARRIED TOGETHER, 15TH DECEMBER, 1757.” “ AGNES BROWN, was the daughter of Gilbert Brown, in Craiginton, Kirkoswald.”—Original document in possession of Mr. D. Sneddon, Kilmarnock.
WILLIAM BURNESS had been settled in Ayrshire ten or twelve years before I knew him in 1765, and had been in the service of Mr. Crawford of Doonside. He was
afterwards employed, as a gardener and overseer, by Provost Ferguson of Doonholm, in the parish of Alloway, which is now united with that of Ayr. In this parish, on the road-side, a Scots mile and a half from the town of Ayr, and half a mile from the old Bridge of Doon, William Burness took a piece of land, consisting of about seven acres, part of which he laid out in garden ground, and part of which he kept to graze a cow, &c., still continuing in the employment of Provost Ferguson. Upon this little farm was erected a humble dwelling, of which William Burness was the architect. It was, with the exception of a little straw, literally a tabernacle of clay.”—John Murdoch's Narrative. William Burness was first employed at Fairlie, in Dundonald parish.
“ ROBERT BURNS, lawful son of William Burns, in THE POET'S Alloway, and Agnes Brown, his sponse, was born
January 25, 1759: baptised by Mr. William Dalrymple. 1759. Witnesses—John Tennant and James Young."-Extract
from the Session Books of Ayr Parish.
The farm being a considerable distance from the 1766. school, the boys could not attend regularly, and some (AGE 7.) changes taking place among the other supporters of the
school, I left it, having continued to conduct it for nearly two years and a half.”-Murdoch's Narrative.
“The Farm of Mount Oliphant was upwards of seventy acres : the rent was £40 annually, for the first six years [Martinmas 1765 to Martinmas 1771,) and afterwards [1771 to 1777] £45. My father endeavoured to sell his leasehold property* for the purpose of stocking this farm, but at that time was unable, and Mr. Ferguson lent him £100 for that purpose.”—Gilbert's Narrative.
WILLIAM BURNESS and AGNES BROWN were Married
together, 15th December, 1757 :FAMILY.
.ROBERT, .25th Jan., 1759 1771.
.Gilbert, 28th Sept., 1760 (AGE 12.) Had a daughter, .....Agnes, .30th Sept., 1762 Had a daughter, . Annabella, ... 14th Nov., 1764
William, .30th July, 1767
..John, .10th July, 1769 Had a daughter,
.Isabel, .27th June, 1771.".
--Family Bible Record. “ Mount Oliphant is almost the very poorest soil I know of in a state of cultivation. My father in consequence of this, soon fell into difficulties, which were increased by the loss of several of his cattle by accident and disease. To the buffetings of misfortune, we could only oppose hard labour and the most rigid economy.
6. Had a son,
Had a son,
Had a son,
We lived very
* When the poet's father, in 1777, removed to Lochlea, he sold the leasehold right of the clay biggin and land adjoining, to the Corporation of Shoemakers of Ayr, who are still its proud owners. The Cottage was long a country ale-house, and one of the apartments was converted into a sale-shop for “relics of Burns." A considerable addition was, some years ago, built to it, in the form of a fine large Hall to the back, in which the Burns Anniversary is regularly celebrated. It is, happily, an ale-house no longer.