Robert Burns


1745

The Jacobite Uprising attempts to restore a Stewart king to the British throne.

1748

The Burnes (or Burness) family leave Kincardineshire - William goes to Edinburgh.

1750

RB's father moves to Alloway.

1757

William Burnes marries Agnes Brown of Kirkoswald.

1759

25 January: RB born in Alloway.

1766

The family moves to Mount Oliphant, near Alloway.

1772

James Murdoch employed to teach RB.

1776

The American War of Independence begins. The Burns family moves to Lochlie farm.

1781

RB becomes a Freemason; moves to Irvine to learn the trade of flax-dressing.

1784

Death of William Burnes. RB moves his family to Mossgiel and changes the spelling of the family name to Burns; probably meets Jean Armour in this year.

1785

RB completes many of the poems for the Kilmarnock edition including "The Cotter's Saturday Night".

1786

The Kilmarnock edition of RB's poems is published.

Jean Armour gives birth to twins.

death of Highland Mary.

1787

First Edinburgh edition of poems published by William Creech; first volume of the Scots Musical Museum (edited by Burns) published - five more follow.

1788

RB returns to Dumfriesshire and takes lease on Ellisland; marries Jean Armour.

1789

Storming of the Bastille and the start of the French Revolution; RB becomes an Exciseman.

1791

RB gives up Ellisland and moves his family to Dumfries (11 Bank Street).

1792

RB promoted to Dumfries Port Division; on 29 February the smuggling ship Rosamond is seized

1793

The Burns family moves to Mill Vennel, now 24 Burns Street; The Second Edinburgh edition of his poems published by William Creech - this includes "Tam o'Shanter".

King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette are executed in France.

1794

RB promoted to Supervisor; re-issue of the Second Edinburgh edition.

1795

RB joins the Royal Dumfries Volunteers; in September his daughter Elizabeth dies and he becomes gravely ill with rheumatic fever.

1796

Meal Riots in Dumfries; Burns continues to work until June in rapidly deteriorating health.

21 July: dies in Dumfries.

1817

19 September: RB's remains moved to the Mausoleum in St Michael's Kirkyard from their original burial place.

 

O wad some Power the giftie gie us
To see oursels as ithers see us!
It wad frae monie a blunder free us
An foolish notion:
What airs in dress an gait wad lea'es us,
An ev'n devotion!

 

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