Culture

Rabbie Burns’ engagement spot gets restoration go ahead

rabbie burns

Lovers, Slave’s and poems – Preserving Rabbie Burns  

The rumoured spot where famed poet and womaniser Rabbie Burns proposed to his lover Highland Mary is to be restored as part of a project to preserve Scotland’s history. 

South Ayrshire parks have secured £1500 from Scottish charity Paths to restore the ancient route in the Ayr Gorge Woodlands reserve. 

Poems such as ‘The Highland Lassie O’ were inspired by his lover, who he planned to emigrate with to Jamaica. He aimed to work as an overseer to the slave workforce on his friend’s sugar plantation.  

He met Mary while he was living near Tarbolton, Ayr. Sources claim that the pair were married in a traditional Scottish ceremony where they exchanged bibles over a stream. 

Colin Clark, the chairman of South Ayrshire Paths Initiative, said: “We’re all eager to restore a significant part of Ayrshire’s history, the route is incredibly scenic.” 

rabbie burns

Mary’s life was cut poetic short at the age of 23, shortly after contracting Typhus while nursing her brother. 

Burns was said to be distraught upon receiving the news, with him later penning ‘To Mary in Heaven’ as tribute to her. 

After her death he returned to his wife Jean Armour and begged publisher John Wilson to publish his work. Reluctantly, he published 612 copies of Burns first book of Poems. 

‘Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect’, better known as ‘Kilmarnock Volume’ was published in July 1786, as he finalised plans to leave for Jamaica. 

All copies were sold within a couple of weeks, prompting him to turn away from port, where a ship was waiting for him. He turned to Edinburgh to start a new life of fame with wife Jean. 

About Jordan Shepherd

Honest uncompromising journalism has always been at the heart of Jordans’ writing from his early work with the Press and Journal to enrolment on the HND Journalism and his further writing for the Daily Record. He was inspired to follow a career in journalism by investigative journalism and the effect it had on the wider world. Post education he hopes to follow a career in investigative journalism with the eventual goal to one day take over the editorship of the Morning Star.

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