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The Burns Encyclopedia
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Hamilton of Allershaw, Capt John

Burns rented 3 small rooms and a kitchen in a 2nd floor tenement from Hamilton in Wee Vennel, now Bank Street, when he and his family first came to Dumfries. Shortly after his daughter Elizabeth's birth, Burns rented, again from Hamilton, a bigger detached house near the southern end of Mill Vennel, now Burns Street. He moved in on 19th May 1793. Because of his generosity to a friend called Crombie, in 1791, when he endorsed a note for him, and now, in 1795, had to pay upon it, Burns found that he was in arrears to Hamilton for rent. This caused him undue embarrassment. When the poet paid 3 guineas towards his rent, the Captain wrote asking if he had in any way offended the poet. To this, Burns replied on 31st January 1795, that his 'backwardness' had arisen 'not from his taking offence,' but 'from the abashing consciousness of obscure station in the ranks of life'. More probably it came from the bitter memories of the humiliation debt had brought to his father.

Hamilton was a Captain in the Dumfries Volunteers.

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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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