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The Burns Encyclopedia
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Campbell, John , fourth Earl of Breadalbane (1762 — 1834)

One of the Scottish representative peers from 1784 to 1802. He was made Baron Breadalbane of Taymouth Castle in 1806, and Marquis in 1831. In 1786, the Highland Society met in London to discuss the encouragement of Scottish projects, among them, fishing. The Marquis of Breadalbane told the Meeting that 100 people from Macdonald of Glengarry's estates had raised money to emigrate. The meeting agreed that they should try to move the Government to frustrate this wholesale emigration by helping Scottish fishing, agriculture and industry, and by raising money to achieve this end. Their announcement appeared in The Edinburgh Advertiser of 30th May.

Burns wrote his 'Address of Beelzebub' on this subject, prefacing it with the satiric comment: 'To the Rt Hon. The Earl of Breadalbane, President of the Rt Honorable and Honorable the Highland Society, which met on 23rd May last, at the Shakespeare, Covent Garden to concert ways and means to frustrate the designs of 500 HIGHLANDERS who, as the Society were informed by Mr M'Kenzie of Applecross, were so audacious as to attempt an escape from their lawful lords and masters whose property they were, by emigrating from the lands of Mr M'Donald of Glengarry to the lands of Canada, in search of that fantastic thing — LIBERTY.'

Dr Johnson commented: 'The great business of insular policy is now to keep the people in their own country. As the world has been let in upon them they have heard of happier climates and less arbitrary government... all that go may be considered lost to the British crown.' Johnson, notoriously anti-Scottish, failed to see that political and sociological events stemming from the Union of 1707 had reduced the Highlanders, one of whom, at Anoch, had once reminded the Doctor that 'no man willingly left his native country'.

Even so, it is wryly amusing to find Burns supporting a cause which, within half a century, had become transformed into the tragic, compulsory evacuations of the Clearances!

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Robert Burns Store

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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
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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

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