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The Burns Encyclopedia
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Laigh Kirk

The parish church of Kilmarnock, which stands near the centre of the town. In Burns's day, the building dated from about the middle of the 18th Century, though it stood on the site of a much older church. The Rev William Lindsay was the first minister of the Moderate School to be inducted there. The church is mentioned in 'The Ordination' — 'Swith in the Laigh Kirk, ane an' a''. Lindsay's induction was so much against popular sentiment, that a riot took place. The living belonged to the Earl of Glencairn. The church — rebuilt in 1802 after a fall of plaster caused a disaster which resulted in the death of 29 people — stands on the other side of the Cross in Bank Street, into which the tower and its basement project. Tradition has it that the ground floor of the old church was once used as a prison.

Burns gives the internal history of the Laigh Kirk from the time of the Rev William Lindsay to that of the Rev James Mackinlay in 'The Ordination'.

The 3 people mentioned in the first verse of 'Tam Samson's Elegy — Mackinlay Roberson and Tam Samson himself — are buried next to each other, at the western angle of the north gable of the church.

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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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Burns Chess Sets

Burns Chess SetsUnique collectors' pieces based on Burns' life and works. (The ideal gift for your Burns Supper guests!) Click here...

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