New insight into dying days of poet Robert Burns unveiled


By Shaun Milne

A NEWLY discovered letter giving a rare insight into the dying days of Scots poet Robert Burns is to go on display in Edinburgh this month.

The letter, from Burns’ superior officer to the Commissioner of Excise, explains how the then very ill writer made a journey to Dumfries to collect and sign for his salary exactly a week before his death on July 21, 1796.

It was uncovered by David Brown, head of collections development at the National Archives of Scotland.

Tomorrow (tues) Culture Minister Fiona Hyslop will visit the National Archives where she will meet staff and view the letter.

The piece will then go on display from Monday August 9 until Friday September 3, as part of the National Archives of Scotland’s “I have not been idle – Roberts Burns’ farewell” exhibition at West Register House in the city’s Charlotte Square.


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