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The Burns Encyclopedia
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Kennedy, Margaret or Peggy (1766 — 95)

The daughter of the factor to the Earl of Cassilis, Robert Kennedy of Daljarrock, near Colmonel, and younger sister of Mrs Gavin Hamilton, at whose house Burns met her when she was 18. Being much impressed by her beauty and wit, he wrote the song, 'Young Peggy' in her honour, enclosing it in a letter to her. It was published in 1787 in Johnson's Scots Musical Museum.

The year previous to their meeting, Miss Kennedy had met Capt. (later Col.) Andrew M'Dougal of Logan, Wigtonshire, who is mentioned in the Second Heron Election Ballad as 'Sculdudd'ry', and in 1794 bore him a daughter. She tried to get him to declare that she had been married to him privately, but the Captain denied both his paternity and the marriage. An action was raised, but she died before it concluded.

In 1798, the Consistorial Court declared in favour of the marriage and the child's legitimacy, but the legitimacy decision was reversed by the Court of Session, who, however, awarded damages of £3,000 to the dead woman, and ailmentary provision for the child.

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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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