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Robert Burns

Rev George Lawrie DD

19th Century

A stippled steel plate engraving from an earlier (c 1790) portrait of the minister of Loudon and friend of Robert Burns.


George Lawrie was ordained as minister of Loudon in Ayrshire in 1763 and remained there for the rest of his life. His importance in the life of Robert Burns comes from the fact that, having purchased a copy of the Kilmarnock edition of Burns poems, he was sufficiently impressed to recommend the poet to his contacts in Edinburgh.


Dr Blacklock, at that time a figure of some influence in Edinburgh Society, wrote to George Lawrie, commending Burns' work and Lawrie ensured that Burns heard of this. This happened at a time when Burns' plans for emigration to Jamaica were well in hand and he later wrote, "I had composed my last song I should ever measure in Caledonia, when a letter to a friend of mine overthrew all my schemes by rousing my poetic ambition".  Burns' path now took him to Edinburgh and growing recognition of his worth as a poet.


This portrait of George Lawrie was published in "The Land of Burns - A series of Landscapes and Portraits, Illustrative of the Life and Writings of the Scottish Poet". This was published in 1846 by Blackie and Son of Glasgow. At this time the development of steel plate engraving made it possible for images to be reproduced in much greater numbers than previous printing technology had allowed. Books such as this one, illustrated by engravings of works by eminent artists became popular, although they were still expensive and beyond the pocket of most people.

width: 110 mm, length: 120 mm
Dumfries Museum & Camera Obscura
Accession number:
DUMFM:0199.72 [Land of Burns, Volume II]
Digital Number:
Creation Date:
Dumfries & Galloway Council