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The Burns Encyclopedia
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Park, Helen Anne, 'Anna'

Niece of Mrs Hyslop, who kept the Globe Tavern in Dumfries. Very little is known of her, and nothing after the birth of her daughter by Burns. She was Burns's 'Anna of the gowden locks' and the inspiration of his 'Yestreen, I had a pint of wine' - the splendid lovesong Burns considered his best. Anna gave birth to a daughter, Elizabeth, according to Chambers, in Leith. Nine days later, on 31st March 1791, Jean Armour presented Burns with a son, William Nicol. Showing admirable tolerance, Jean brought up the child, Elizabeth, as one of her own family. See Park, Elizabeth.

Burns's relationship with Anna has usually been supposed to have been merely physical, but there is very little evidence of any sort about their association. One tradition alleges that she 'had other pretty ways to render herself agreeable to the customers at the inn than the serving of wine'. Nothing is known of her later life. De Lancey Ferguson says she died in giving birth to Elizabeth, while another tradition alleges that she obtained a position as a domestic servant in Leith or Edinburgh, where she married a soldier, and died in giving birth to his 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

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...