can you have a story without a beginning? Until now the story of Robert
Burns, our national bard, has been told with the opening of “born in
Alloway on the 25th of January 1759………”. All the Burns’ trails promoted
nationally ignore completely the life of Burns’ parents prior to their
move to Alloway shortly before he was born, although many do include their
deaths by way of directions to their gravestones! Also omitted is the town
of Maybole, possibly the most important place in the story because, if it
were not for the market there, Burns’ parents might never have met and
there would have been no story at all! Maybole Historical Society would
like to see Maybole being given its proper prominence in the story
alongside Alloway, Tarbolton, Irvine, Mauchline, Dumfries and other
locations connected with the bard and will be working to correct all the
omissions and promote Maybole as
START OF BURNS’ COUNTRY RIGHT IN THE VERY HEART OF IT!”.
is fairly safe to say that, had it not been for Maybole and the
Fair in the High Street where William Burnes met and fell for Agnes Broun,
our national Bard might never have existed.
and Agnes married in Maybole on 15th December 1757 and just over a year
later, on 25th January 1759, Robert was born in nearby Alloway. Maybole
has many other connections with Burns in his later life and one of the
subscribers to his Kilmarnock Edition of poems was
Baillie Niven of Maybole. Returning to collect the money from his
childhood friend, Robert Burns spent a convivial night in the Kings Arms,
sadly no longer extant.
Burns Trail rightfully begins here - at the cemetery gate where stood a
church. The Bard's parents were wed there on December 15, 1757. Maybole
Davie Anderson and
Frances Dryburgh, who both featured in Burns
an' a' That, are pictured at the scene.