Bannock Toaster: wedding gift to Jean Armour

Date:
1788 
Location:
Mauchline 
Creator:
Mauchline Blacksmith, creator 
Object Number:
3.8502

Summary

Robert Burns first met Jean Armour, his future wife, in Mauchline in 1785. Their relationship became serious when Jean became pregnant with twins a year later. Robert may have entered into a marriage agreement with her at this time, but Jean’s family was so angry with the match that they forced Robert to destroy any evidence of such a union. Jean was sent away in shame to await the children’s birth in Paisley while Robert, feeling hurt and rejected, turned his attentions elsewhere.

In the midst of his most professionally successful period in Edinburgh, Burns returned to Mauchline in 1787 and renewed his relationship with Jean. She again became pregnant with twins. This time her family banished her from the house and Robert returned to Mauchline to assist her.

Burns, once the rakish playboy, had a change of heart. By spring 1788 Robert and Jean were officially married, thus ending the ongoing domestic drama.

This toaster was made in Jean Armour’s home town of Mauchline and given to her as a wedding present. It shows her new initials ‘JB’ and the year of her marriage.

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