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The Burns Encyclopedia
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Henri, Mrs James (d. 1792)

Susan, the 2nd daughter of Mrs Dunlop, married in 1788 James Henri of Bernaldean, a French refugee. They rented Loudon Castle in Ayrshire. Henri died there on 22nd June the following year, leaving his wife 4 months pregnant. A son was born, celebrated by Burns's lines 'On the Birth of a Posthumous Child'. In 1792, Mrs Henri went to France with him, presumably to establish her claim to the family estates, but died at Muges, Aigullon, near Bordeaux, while on the visit. Her son did heir the Henri estate.

Writing to Mrs Dunlop from Ellisland on 6th December 1790, Burns reproved that lady for not letting him know 'how poor Mrs Henri recovers. There is something so interesting in her situation that I cannot get her out of my head, morning, noon or night. The first tragedy I ever saw performed, was "Douglas"; and Mrs Henri eternally puts me in mind of the horrors I felt for Lady Randolph's distresses'. When Burns heard of her death, he wrote to Mrs Dunlop in October: 'What shall I say to comfort you, my much valued friend? I can but grieve with you; consolation I have none to offer, except that which religion holds out to the children of affliction...

'Alas Madam! Who would wish for many years? What is it but to drag existence until our joys gradually expire, and leave us in a night of misery: like the gloom which blots out the stars one by one from the face of night, and leaves us, without a ray of comfort, in the howling waste.'

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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

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...