Family Research – English, Scottish and Irish Genealogy

25/1/2012

Robert Burns in the National Records of Scotland

One of the most important letters about Robert Burns was discovered in 2010 by Dr David Brown, a senior archivist in the National Records of Scotland (NRS).

Robert Burns’ letterIt is a letter from John Mitchell, Collector of Excise in Dumfries, describing in moving terms how Burns made an arduous journey to the Excise Office on 14 July 1796, in order to collect his salary. He recorded Burns’s understated summary of his creative output since he first published his poems:

“I’m only 36, 10 of which only I have been in the world &, in that time, all I shall say, My good sir, I have not been idle.”

NRS also holds the salary book which contains Burns’s last four signatures and, poignantly, each signature is more feeble than the last.

source-National Records of Scotland

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