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Follow the path of Robert Burns
Robert Burns
Robert Burns, Scotland's national bard, was acclaimed in Edinburgh

Robert Burns lived in Edinburgh after the success of the 'Kilmarnock edition' of his poems.

Here he went on to greater success and developed useful contacts.

He stayed in and visited Edinburgh often, arranging for the second edition of his poems to be published.

The poet was celebrated in Edinburgh and became the guest of lords and the toast of society.


It was love at first sight when Burns met Agnes 'Nancy' McLehose in Edinburgh. Agnes was separated but never divorced, so the two took pen names - Clarinda and Sylvander - to protect their identities in correspondence. Burns sent Agnes love letters to woo her, but Agnes retreated as Burns' literary advances grew more heated. In December 1791 Burns wrote 'Ae Fond Kiss', arguably the greatest love poem ever written, for his beloved Clarinda.

William Creech was the chief publisher in Edinburgh. He published the first edition of Burns Poems and is buried at Greyfriars Kirkyard in the city. A plaque in his memory can be viewed at Newbattle Kirk.

A plaque in Edinburgh
A plaque in Edinburgh commemorating Robert Burns' time in Edinburgh

James Cunningham was a Scottish nobleman and the 14th Earl of Glencairn. He was a great supporter and friend of Robert Burns and was instrumental in the production of the second edition of Burns Poems.

James Johnson, a struggling music engraver and music lover with a passion for preserving old Scots songs, met Burns in early 1787. Burns became an enthusiastic contributor to The Scots Musical Museum, responsible for one third of the 600 songs in the collection.

Henry MacKenzie was a Scottish novelist and miscellaneous writer from Edinburgh who dedicated his 1785 paper, The Lounger, to the genius of Robert Burns. He is buried at Greyfriars Kirkyard in Edinburgh.


The Burns' Monument on Regent Road, opposite the old Royal High School, was built by Thomas Hamilton in 1830.

The Beehive Inn
Robert Burns lodgings were next door to the Beehive Inn in Edinburgh

The Writers' Museum on Lady Stair's Close in Edinburgh is a treasure trove of artefacts, manuscripts, portraits and personal effects belonging to Sir Walter Scott, Robert Louis Stevenson and Robert Burns, including his writing desk.

When Burns first came to Edinburgh in the winter of 1786/7 he stayed in the neighbouring Baxter's Close.

When Burns lodged next door to The Beehive Inn, in Edinburgh's Grassmarket, he allegedly went to the Inn to watch cockfights.



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