MS: Letter from Robert Burns to James Johnson, dated Ellisland, 1791

Robert Burns, Author 
Object Number:


When Burns visited Edinburgh in the late 1780s, he met the engraver James Johnson who had begun collecting Scottish songs for publication. When the two met in 1787, Johnson’s first volume of The Scots Musical Museum was well-underway.

Johnson, recognising a fellow lover of music, invited Burns to contribute to the subsequent volumes. Over the next few years, Robert contributed over 150 original songs to Johnson as well as many more traditional songs he had collected and re-worked with new lyrical arrangements.

In this letter, Burns writes to Johnson regarding recent proofs of songs he has contributed to the publication as he has found errors on the song Craigieburnwood. He also encloses several new songs and promises many more are on the way.

Robert also praises his recent acquisition of Oswald's Scots Music and describes his hopes to purchase both John Andersons's A Collection of New Highland Strathspey Reels and Robert Riddell's New Music for the Piano Forte or Harpsichord.

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