Robert Burns – a short history

robert-burns-portraitRobert Burns, also known as Rabbie is Scotland ‘s favourite son. The Bard of Ayrshire, The Ploughman Poet and in Scotland, simply “The Bard.”

He is best known of the poets who have written in the Scot’s language. Born 25 January 1759 just 2 miles south of Ayr in a house built by his father where he lived until 1766. His father William sold the house and took up tenancy of the Mount Oliphant farm southeast of Alloway. Here Burns grew up in poverty and hardship. He had little regular schooling and got most of his education from his father.

By the age of 15 Robert Burns was principal labourer at Mount Oliphant farm and during the harvest of 1774, he was assisted by Nelly Kilpatrick , who inspired his first attempt at poetry, O, Once I Lov’d A Bonnie Lass. In the summer of 1775, he was sent to finish his education with a tutor at Kirkoswald, where he met Peggy Thomson, to whom he wrote two songs, Now Westlin’ Winds and I Dream’d I Lay.

He continued to write poems and songs and began a Commonplace Book in 1783.

As well as making original compositions, Burns also collected folk songs from across Scotland, often revising or adapting them. His poem (and song) Auld Lang Syne is often sung at Hogmanay (the last day of the year), and Scots Wha Hae served for a long time as an unofficial national anthem of the country. Other poems and songs of Burns that remain well-known across the world today, include A Red, Red Rose, A Man’s A Man for A’ That, To a Louse, To a Mouse, The Battle of Sherramuir, Tam o’ Shanter and Ae Fond Kiss.

Burns Night, effectively a second national day is celebrated on 25 January with Burns Suppers around the world, and is recognised as well as St.Andrew’s Day.

Read about our special Land o Burns Tour.

What our clients say

Our holiday with Scotland’s Chauffeur Tours was better than we ever imagined. The entire trip was well organised, accommodation was first class and our guide was a credit to Scotland. One of the many highlights was experiencing our Scottish New Year celebration…a most memorable travel experience for all the right reasons! We would love to come back with all of the family for our next adventure.

Liz & Frank Morad

Erskine Park

Sydney N.S.W.

It was great to meet you last week and thanks for your wonderful service. We and the Harmons certainly appreciated your great professional work as well as your wonderful personality and terrific service. You are so kind in every way and really made our trip and we thank you for it.

We made it safely back home and now we need to arrange a vacation to rest from our travels! Seriously, it’s good to be back home and there’s lots to do as we move into the fall and college football season in the U.S.

Again, thanks for all you did for us and we look forward to seeing you on our next trip to Scotland.

Best regards

Michael R. Wilcox

Chairman & CEO

Wilcox Sports Management, Ohio

Alice and I had an outstanding tour despite the rain. You are an excellent guide and gentleman. We both had a wonderful trip.

We found you not only very knowledgable but also just a nice person. We enjoyed your company very much. We learned a lot about Scotland during the tour and both of us had a real great time. Thanks for arranging it!!!!
You exceeded our expectations. We plan to go onto Cruise Critic and write a report about the fantastic service you provided. If your website has a posting area, I wiil be glad to post on your site as well.

The trip was Brilliant!!

Roy and Alice Wainwright – USA

Passengers from Grand Princess at Greenock