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The Burns Encyclopedia
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Stewart, John, seventh Earl of Galloway (1736-1806)

Succeeded to the Earldom in 1773, and from 1774 to 1790 he was a Representative Peer for Scotland in Parliament. He supported Gordon of Balmaghie when he contested the Stewartry of Kirkcudbright in 1795. See Gordon of Balmaghie. He was a Tory and Burns disliked both him and his politics. The Earl is rigorously satirised in Burns's Third Election Ballad, 'John Bushby's Lamentation.' The poet also wrote some bitter verses 'On the Earl of Galloway':
"What dost thou in that mansion fair?
Flit, Galloway, and find
Some narrow, dirty, dungeon cave,
The picture of thy mind !"

When he heard, erroneously or otherwise, that the Earl resented this, Burns retorted with:

"Spare me thy vengeance, Galloway I
In quiet let me live:
I ask no kindness at thy hand,
For thou hast none to give."

The other side of the coin is shown in a newspaper obituary notice on the Earl's death: 'His loss will be extensively and deeply felt; his numerous friends and connections profited by his advice and assistance; his active frame and mind he never spared; he did nothing by halves. As a husband and father he was exemplary; as a friend, indefatigable; he adored the Supreme Being; he loved his king; his affairs prospered. He was admired for his taste in music; and had great skill in agricultural pursuits.'

He married, first, Charlotte Mary, a daughter of the first Earl Brooke and Earl of Warwick. Two sons died in infancy. Galloway then married Anne, second daughter of Sir James Dashwood, second Baronet of Kirtlington. By her he had sixteen children.

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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

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