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The Burns Encyclopedia
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MacPherson, Peter

Said to be the husband of a cousin of Mary Campbell's mother, he was a ship-carpenter at Greenock. Mary's younger brother, Robert, was probably apprenticed to MacPherson, although one account says it was to Messrs. Scotts, shipbuilders of Greenock.

It was whilst staying with the MacPhersons that Mary Campbell died in the autumn of 1786, and it was in one of his 'lairs', which he had just purchased, or inherited, in the old West Churchyard in Greenock, that she was interred. In 1803, MacPherson gave the Greenock Burns Club permission to erect a memorial tablet on the grave, though in fact the memorial was not erected for another forty years. On 8th November 1920, because of the expansion of Messrs Harland & Wolff's shipyard, the grave was opened. As well as the remains of at least three people, an infant's coffin board was found, strengthening the suspicion, though by no means proving, that while Mary Campbell may in fact have died from a fever contracted from her brother Robert, premature childbirth may at least have been a contributory cause. The remains were transferred to the new Greenock cemetery without, unfortunately, any proper examination of them having been carried out.

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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
Search our huge CD and music store for any Burns-related phrase!
Hint: Type "lang syne" or "peck maut" etc. into the Search box there for all artists, titles, descriptions or track listings with the words entered.
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...