MS: 'The Heron Ballads' by Robert Burns

Robert Burns, Author 
Object Number:


This is one of four works known collectively as the Heron Ballads which Burns wrote in support of the Whig party candidate Patrick Heron. Patrick Heron (1736 - 1803) was the party's candidate for the 1795 Parliamentary by-election for the Stewarty of Kirkcudbright.

Burns had met Heron a year earlier and had known of him for quite some time - Heron was involved in the establishment of the Ayr bank of Douglas, Heron, and Company which failed disastrously in 1773. Nonetheless, Burns found Heron to be an able and just politician.

The ballad, which celebrates 'Kirrochtree's Laird' against the Tory opponent Thomas Gordon of Balmaghie, is set to the tune of For a' that and a' that. Heron subsequently won the election.

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