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Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Robert Burns and George Lawrie

Robert Burns and George Lawrie. Rev Dr George Lawrie (1727 — 99)

Son of a Kirkmichael minister, George Lawrie was educated at Edinburgh University and ordained at Loudoun, near Galston in 1763. He remained there all his life. The following year, he married Mary Campbell, daughter of Archibald Campbell, Professor of Divinity at St Andrews University. Lawrie`s eldest daughter, Christina was something of a musician. Lawrie`s son, Archibald, born in 1768, married Dr Adair`s sister Anne. In 1791, Glasgow University gave Lawrie a Doctorate of Divinity. Lawrie occupies a place of importance in the story of Robert Burns because in 1786, impressed with the worth of Burns’ poems in the Kilmarnock Edition, he sent a copy to Dr Blacklock, then a figure of some influence in polite Edinburgh`s society. On 4th September, Blacklock wrote enthusiastically to Lawrie, and expressed high praise for Burns`s work. Lawrie showed Blacklock`s letter to Gavin Hamilton, who in turn showed it to Burns. In the Autobiographical Letter to Dr Moore, Burns said: “I had taken the last farewel of my friends; my chest was on the road to Greenock; I had composed my last song I should ever measure in Caledonia, “The gloomy night is gathering fast", when a letter from Dr Blacklock to a friend of mine overthrew all my schemes by rousing my poetic ambition.”

There were probably deeper reasons why Burns finally decided that he need not flee the country, but the importance of Lawrie`s interest in promoting the poet`s reputation should not be minimised. Biography of Robert Burns. Burns Supper. Robert Burns Books. Robert Burns Songs. Free Robert Burns Books. Robert Burns Tours of Scotland.

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