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The Burns Encyclopedia
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Rose of Kilravock, Mrs Elizabeth (1747 - 1815)

Born Elizabeth Rose, she married Dr Hugh Rose, who died two years later.

Henry MacKenzie, her cousin, gave Burns, a letter of introduction to her before the poet set out on his Highland tour in 1787. Her son, Hugh, became the twentieth Laird of Kilravock.

Burns met her at Kilravock, and on hearing her niece, Miss Rose, of Kildrummie sing two Highland airs, he requested Mrs Rose to send him copies of them. This she did.

Burns, writing to her from Edinburgh on 17th February 1788, thanked her, and added: 'There was something in my reception at Kilravock so different from the cold, obsequious, dancing-school bow of politeness, that it almost got into my head that friendship had occupied her ground without the intermediate march of acquaintance.'

She must indeed have been a remarkable woman, for Cosmo Innes in his Genealogical Deduction of the Family of Rose of Kilravock describes her as: 'the choice companion, the leader of all cheerful amusements, the humorous story-teller, the clever mimic, the very soul of society... she sung the airs of her own country, and she had learned to take a part in catches and glees, to make up the party with her father and brother. The same motive led her to study the violin... She was enthusiastic and yet steady in her friendships; benevolent, hospitable, kind, and generous beyond her means.... '

Burns noted in his Journal of the tour that she was 'a true chieftain's wife, a daughter of Clephane'. And again: 'Old Mrs Rose, sterling sense, warm heart, strong passions, honest pride, all in an uncommon degree - Mrs Rose jnr. a little milder than the Mother, this perhaps owing to her being younger.'

She was the recipient of many letters from Ramsay of Ochtertyre. See Ramsay, John.

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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

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Scotweb Store

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