Welcome to
Burns Country - Home
Search This Site

Everything you wanted to know about Robert Burns, Scotland's national bard (and lots more besides). Please let us know if anything's missing, wrong, or just plain wonderful

Burns Country Collage

Words | Karaoke!

Burns Shop
Poems and Songs
Burns Encyclopaedia
Burns Suppers
Burns Cottage and Park
Burns in English
Burns Chess Set
Burns Links
Scotweb Mall
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.

Contact us:

The Burns Encyclopedia
Home | Introduction | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z


Four Bibles associated with Burns have been preserved:

(I) The Armour Family Bible, which contains the record of the marriage of James Armour and Mary Smith, 7th December 1761, and the register of the birth of their children, is in the Burns house, Mauchline. The imprint on the title page is: 'Edinburgh, printed by Adrian Watkins, 1756'.

(II) The 'Big Ha' Bible, which belonged to William Burns, and is mentioned in 'The Cotter's Saturday Night', is in the Cottage Museum, Alloway. It was bought at Sotheby's on 12 July 1921, for £450. It carries the imprint: 'Edinburgh: Printed by Alexander Kincaid, MDCCLXII'. A 'Ha Bible' was the one kept in the hall of a mansion, from where it was carried into the room where the servants had assembled for household worship.

(III) The Poet's Family Bible, which on the reverse of the title of the New Testament, contains an entry in Burns's own hand recording his birth date and that of his wife, as well of his first seven children by her. There are also entries by James Glencairn Burns and William Nicol Burns, sons of the poet.

This Bible passed from Jean Armour Burns to the eldest son, Robert, and from him to William Nicol Burns. He gave it to his niece, Mrs S E M T Burns Hutchinson, on whose death it was sold at Quaritch's for £1,700. It is now in the Cottage Museum, Alloway. It bears the imprint: 'Edinburgh: Printed by John Reid, 1766'.

(IV) Highland Mary's Bible. A two volume copy bearing the date on the title page, 1782, and the price, five shillings and sixpence, marked on volume one. (For the story of Burns's exchanges of Bibles with Mary, see Campbell, 'Highland' Mary) On the fly leaf on volume one is written in Burns's hand: 'And ye shall not swear by My Name falsely: for I am the Lord — Levit. Xix 12'.

In the second volume, also in Burns's hand, there is: 'Thou shall not forswear thyself but shall perform unto the Lord thine oaths — Math. V.33'

The names inscribed on the fly leaves of both volumes have been mutilated, apparently by smudging. Mary's name is inscribed in volume one — the 'M' and part of the 'a' remain — and Robert's in volume two — the 'Robert' and the 's' of Burns remain, together with 'Mossgaville', the old spelling of Mossgiel and his mason's mark.

The Bible — incidentally, no trace has ever been found of the bible Burns is supposed to have received from Highland Mary — passed from Mary's mother to her grandson, William Anderson, a mason from Renton, Dunbartonshire, who took it to Canada with him in 1834. There, he was forced to sell it. It was bought by a group of Burns lovers in Montreal for £25 and sent to the Provost of Ayr, who hand it over on 25th January 1841 to the Custodian of the Alloway Monument, where it still is. A lock of Highland Mary's hair has been pressed in volume one.

Buy the Burns Encyclopedia online
Home | Introduction | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

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...