Celebrating Burns 2021

Today all of Scotland, and across the globe, people will be celebrating with suppers of haggis, tatties and neeps the birth of Robert Burns, born in Alloway in Ayrshire on this day in 1759. Robert Burns, also known familiarly as Rabbie Burns, the National Bard, Bard of Ayrshire and the Ploughman Poet and various other names and epithets, was a Scottish poet and lyricist. He is widely regarded as the National poet of Scotland.

Burns may well have come to Dundonald, and we know that his father William Burns, did for a year or so come and give worship at Dundonald Parish church up until late November 1752 whilst employed as a gardener and living in cottage by the walled garden at Fairlie Estate nearby. Robert Burns’ aunt married a carpenter on the estate and the poet stayed at their cottage for some time.

In 1843, a Free Church was established in Dundonald overseen by the Rev Thomas Burns, a nephew of the poet. And in the churchyard here in Dundonald can be found the grave of the Rev. Dr. Robert Duncan – Minister of Dundonald 1783-1815, who is the ‘Duncan deep’ in the Burns’ poem ‘The Twa Herds; or The Holy Tulyle, An Unco Mournfu’ Tale’ where he penned a none-too-flattering satire about the fire and brimstone preachers in and around Ayrshire at the time, after hearing two ministers squabbling loudly in the street in Kilmarnock.  This was thought to have been written when he worked as a ploughman at Mossgeil Farm near Mauchline.

We’ll raise a toast to Robert Burns and wish you a Happy Burns Night 2021.

“A’ ye wha tent the gospel fauld,

Thee Duncan deep, an’ Peebles shaul’,

But chiefly great apostle Auld,

We trust in thee,

That thou wilt work them hot an’ cauld

Till they agree! “