Welcome to
Burns Country - Home
 
Search This Site
 

Everything you wanted to know about Robert Burns, Scotland's national bard (and lots more besides). Please let us know if anything's missing, wrong, or just plain wonderful

Burns Country Collage

AULD LANG SYNE
Words | Karaoke!

Burns Shop
Poems and Songs
Burns Encyclopaedia
Burns Suppers
Burns Cottage and Park
Burns in English
Burns Chess Set
Burns Links
Scotweb Mall
 
robert burns store
View our exclusive range of distinctive Robert Burns related products.

Register with our Shopping Club for further offers and unique member offers.

Contact us:
info@robertburns.org


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

Mossgiel

The farm of Mossgiel or Mossgaville — to give it its old spelling — is in Mauchline parish, about three miles from Lochlea. It has just over 100 acres. Burns and his brother Gilbert entered into it in March 1784, in circumstances recorded by Gilbert: 'When my father's affairs drew near a crisis, Robert and I took the farm of Mossgiel, consisting of 118 acres, at the rent of £90 per annum, from Mr Hamilton, as an asylum for the family in case of the worst. It was stocked by the property and individual savings of the whole family, and was a joint-concern among us. Every member of the family was allowed ordinary wages for the labour he performed on the farm. My brother's allowance and mine was £7 per annum each. The farm lies very high and mostly on a cold wet bottom.' In the Autobiographical Letter, Burns told Dr Moore of his good resolutions on beginning life at Mossgiel: 'I read farming books; I calculated crops; I attended markets; and in short, in spite of "The Devil, the world and the Flesh", I believe I would have been a wise man; but the first year from unfortunately buying in bad seed, the second from a late harvest, we lost half of both our crops: this overset all my wisdom... My brother wanted my hare brained imagination, as well as my social and amorous madness, but in good sense and every sober qualification he was far my superiour.'

There was another cause of distraction, too. It is only necessary to glance at a list of the poems written by Burns between his arrival at Mossgiel and his departure for Edinburgh to realise that his mind was by no means wholly set on farming. For among the poems were 'The Vision'; the 'Address to the Unco Guid'; the two 'Epistles to Drake'; and the three 'Epistles to J Lapriak'; 'Hallowe'en'; 'The Jolly Beggars'; 'The Cotter's Saturday Night'; 'The Ordination'; 'The Author's Earnest Cry and Prayer'; the 'Address to the Deil'; 'The Holy Fair'; 'Holy Willie's Prayer'; 'Death and Dr Hornbook'; 'The Braes o' Ballochmyle'; 'Scotch Drink' and 'The Twa Dogs'.

In Burns's day, the farmhouse at Mossgiel was a single storey 'but an' ben' cottage, with a garret containing three small rooms, the centre one of which was occupied by Robert and Gilbert. Burns had a table, where, at the end of the day's work, he wrote out the verses he had composed in the fields. Today, Mossgiel is a two storey house, and the old thatched roof has been replaced by a slated roof.

Buy the Burns Encyclopedia online
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

Robert Burns Store

NEW!! robert burns store View our exclusive range of distinctive Robert Burns related products. Register with our Shopping Club for further offers and unique member offers.Click here...


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...