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The Burns Encyclopedia
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Gordon, John, seventh (but for the attainder tenth) Viscount Kenmure (1750 — 1840)

Served as John Gordon in the 17th Regiment of Foot. After 1780, was Member of Parliament of Kirkcudbright for a time. Though he was forced to sell part of his estates to pay off debts, assistance from his mother enabled him to retain Kells and Balmaclellan.

Burns stayed with him and his wife, for three days at Kenumre Castle, from 27th July 1793, which the poet an dhis friend Syme were making a tour of Galloway. Syme related than when Mrs Gordon's lapdog 'Echo' died, she asked Burns for an epitaph. This Burns rather reluctantly gave her — 'In wood and wild, ye warbling throng', one of his feebler efforts. Burns referred to him in his 2nd Heron Election Ballad as 'Kenmure sae gen'rous'.

Gordon was a grandson of the Jacobite Viscount Kenmure, who 'came out' in 1715 and lost his head in consequence, but became the subject of Burns's delightful song — or revision of an old song — 'O, Kenmure's on and awa, Willie,' which first appeared in the Scots Musical Museum in 1792. He became Vice Lieutenant of the Stewartry in 1822. In 1824, the family title was restored to Gordon. He was a subscriber to George Thomson's publications.

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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...


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