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A Contemporary of Burns, p.38.

[Anecdotes of Burns Contents]

MRS. CUNNINGHAM, a centenarian, who lived ay Newton-Mearns, near Glasgow, remembered the poet well. Her father occupied a neighbouring farm when Burns and his brother Gilbert leased Mossgiel, and she repeatedly saw and heard the poet crackin’ jokes with her elder sister, for whom he had a passing fancy. The statement seems probable from the fact that this same elder sister was in a “Shooin’-schule” (sewing school) with Jean Armour, afterwards the poet’s wife. The old lady “couldna understan’ what the folks mak’ sic a wark aboot Burns, for he was a lowse, thriftless fellow, and fain o’ a dram.” 

She distinctly remembered the local characters celebrated by Burns – “Racer Jess,” “Holy Willie,” “Auld Nanse Tinnock,” “Posie Nansie,” and others, immortalised by the wit and genius of the Bard. 

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