MS: Letter from Robert Burns to Stephen Clarke, dated 16 July 1792

Robert Burns, Author 
Object Number:


Stephen Clarke entered Burns's life during his time in Edinburgh. Clarke was the organist for the Episcopal Chapel and was later employed by James Johnson to harmonize the arrangements for the Scots Musical Museum. Burns was not fond of the man: he thought him lazy, careless (as when he lost songs Burns had sent to Johnson, see 3.6345), and unreliable.

This mocking letter was written by Burns to Clarke in response to Clarke failing to respond to an earlier request. Burns had asked Clarke to visit the McMurdo family at Drumlanrig in order to give music lessons to two of the family's daughters. Clarke evidently ignored this original plea but this letter brought about action, as Clarke soon made the journey.

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