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Robert Burns

Friars Carse

19th Century

A steel plate engraving of the mansion house built by Captain Robert Riddell.


Robert Burns' neighbour at Ellisland was Robert Riddell of Friar's Carse, a country estate upstream from the farm. Immediately recognising Burns' talent, Riddell offered him the use of a summer house on the estate in which to meditate and write, away from the demands of the farm.


It was here that Burns composed the poem beginning, "Thou whom chance may hither lead" as a tribute to Robert Riddell and their growing friendship. They collaborated on several songs, with Riddell supplying the airs for Burns lyrics. He was a collector of traditional Scottish music, a passion which he shared with the poet. This view of Friars Carse is engraved  from a painting by J Ramage and was published in "The National Burns".


"The National Burns", edited by Rev. George Gilfillan was published by William Mackenzie of Glasgow and contained "The airs of all the songs and an original life of Burns by the editor". It was also illustrated throughout, both by engraved plates and within the text. It was published in 15 parts, costing two shillings each making it an affordable way for people to purchase the complete works of Robert Burns.

width: 166 mm, length: 112 mm
Dumfries Museum & Camera Obscura
Accession number:
DUMFM:0198.223 [The National Burns, Part 13]
Digital Number:
Creation Date:
Dumfries & Galloway Council