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The Burns Encyclopedia
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Alison, The Reverend Archibald (1757-1839)

An Edinburgh man educated at Glasgow University and Balliol College, Oxford, he took Anglican orders in 1784 and in the same year married a daughter of Dr John Gregory (originator of Gregory's Powder) of Edinburgh. After holding a number of English pluralities, he became senior minister of the Episcopal Chapel in Edinburgh in 1800, a position he held until his retirement in 1831.

He met Burns in Edinburgh during February 1789. The following year Alison published Essays on the Nature and Principles of Taste, a copy of which he sent to the poet. After some delay in acknowledging the book, Burns wrote Alison an enthusiastic letter from Ellisland dated 14th February 1791. One wonders how the worthy minister reacted to being told by the poet that, except for Euclid's Elements of Geometry, 'I never read a book which gave me such a quantum of information and added so much to my stock of ideas as your Essays on the Principles of Taste'.

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Robert Burns Store

NEW!! robert burns store View our exclusive range of distinctive Robert Burns related products. Register with our Shopping Club for further offers and unique member offers.Click here...


Complete Burns Songs

linn recordings of burns Linn Records have completed their landmark recording of all 368 Burns songs, available as individual CDs or a 12 volume presentation box set. We have full details. Click here...


Burns Music & Recordings
Search our huge CD and music store for any Burns-related phrase!
Hint: Type "lang syne" or "peck maut" etc. into the Search box there for all artists, titles, descriptions or track listings with the words entered.
Burns Chess Sets

Burns Chess SetsUnique collectors' pieces based on Burns' life and works. (The ideal gift for your Burns Supper guests!) Click here...

Scotweb Store

ScotwebThe finest Scottish shopping site in the world, with the world's largest choice of kilts and tartans, exclusive jewelry, Highland Dress, Bagpipes and piping supplies, cashmere, and much more. Buying from these sites helps pay for the upkeep of Burns Country! Click here...