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The Burns Encyclopedia
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Court of Equity, The

The title of a secret bachelors' association, whose members met sporadically at the Whitefoord Arms Inn, Mauchline. The purpose of the association was 'to search out, report and discuss the merits and demerits of the many scandals that crop up from time to time in the village', and to determine what punishment should be meted out to the offenders. Burns was 'Perpetual President'; John Richmond 'Clerk of the Court'; James Smith 'Procurator Fiscal'; and William Hunter 'Messenger at Arms'. The association became defunct when Burns left the Mauchline district.

Its meetings were commemorated in a humorously bawdy poem, 'The Court of Equity', which has hitherto been excluded from collected editions of the poet's work, but which is printed in full as an appendix to Catherine Carswell's excellently human study, The Life of Robert Burns (1930), in Cyril Pearl's Bawdy Burns (1958) and in James Kinsley's The Poems and Songs of Robert Burns (1968) as 'Libel Summons'

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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
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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

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...