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Robert Burns

Cross at Edinburgh

18th Century

An image of the Market Cross of Edinburgh made around the time that Robert Burns lived in the city.


Burns spent some time in Edinburgh in 1787 where he was acclaimed as a poet following the success of the first edition of his work, published in Kilmarnock. The 3,000 copies of his first Edinburgh edition sold rapidly and he was popular in Edinburgh Society.


When Burns first arrived in Edinburgh he took lodgings with his friend, John Richmond, in a tenement in Baxter's Close, off the Lawnmarket. The size and bustle of Edinburgh delighted Burns who had never left his native Ayrshire until then.


This copper plate engraving was printed by S Hooper of London and published in Captain Francis Grose's two volume, "Antiquities of Scotland". Robert Burns and Francis Grose met and became friends whilst Grose was researching his book. Burns wrote the poem, "Tam O'Shanter" as a "witch story" to accompany the engraving of Alloway Kirk which was published in it.

width: 168 mm, length: 125 mm
Dumfries Museum & Camera Obscura
Accession number:
Digital Number:
Creation Date:
15 April 1789
Dumfries & Galloway Council