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The Burns Encyclopedia
Home | Introduction | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

McAdam of Craigengillan, John

A rich man and an agricultural improver whose lands included Barbeth, Straiton, and Dunaskin, Dalmellington.

McAdam wrote to Burns, who replied with 'To Mr McAdam of Craigengillan, in answer to an obliging letter he sent in the commencement of my poetic career.' The second stanza

"Now deal-ma-care about their jaw,
The senseless, gawky million.
I'll cock my nose aboon them a',
I'm roos'd by Craigengillan !"

shows that Burns was by no means always averse from being noticed by the gentry.

Writing to Dr Mackenzie from Edinburgh on 11th January 1787, Burns told him that Sir John Whitefoord's son, John: 'who calls very frequently on me, is in a fuss today like a coronation. This is the great day — The Assembly and Ball of the Caledonian Hunt — and John has had the good luck to pre-engage the hand of the beauty-famed and wealth-celebrated Miss McAdam, our Country-woman.' She was Craigengillan's daughter.

McAdam, together with William Chalmers, was also the recipient of a humorous mandate ordering them to have destroyed 'a certain [bawdy], nefarious, abominable and wicked Song or Ballad, a copy whereof We have here inclosed'. The 'Mandate' was dated Mauchline, 20th November 1786.

Burns referred to the McAdam girls as 'loosome kimmers' in the 'Epistle'.

Buy the Burns Encyclopedia online
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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...