MS: Letter from Robert Burns to Peter (Patrick) Miller, dated Edinburgh, 20 October 1787

Robert Burns, Author 
Object Number:


Robert Burns met his supporter and future landlord Patrick Miller through an anonymous donation. In December 1786, an unknown patron left ten guineas for Burns with James Sibbald, the publisher of the Edinburgh Magazine. Burns, discovering the identity of the donor, then began a friendship Miller.

This letter, written in October 1787, follows on from previous correspondence between Burns and Miller concerning Burns's interest in the lease of Ellisland Farm. The farm was part of the Dalswinton estate owned by Miller.

Burns explains to Miller how he would go about being Miller's tenant farmer. He wants 'to be a farmer in a small farm, about a plough-gang' ( 110 Scots acres) 'in a pleasant land under the auspices of a good landlord.'

Robert then indicates that his cold should be sufficiently better to allow him to ride down to Dumfries the following week.

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