Glasgow & West Scotland

Museum to show rediscovered Robert Burns manuscript

Robert Burns Image copyright Getty Images

A rediscovered original Robert Burns manuscript is to go on display at a Renfrewshire museum in the new year.

The short verse has been in Paisley Museum and Art Gallery's collection for almost 100 years.

It was verified last year by Professor Gerard Carruthers of Glasgow University Centre for Robert Burns Studies.

The parchment will go on display at the museum in January to coincide with Burns Night and when light levels are low enough to protect the delicate ink.

The verse, which was written in reply to a party invitation, is said to be in typical Burns style and uses wordplay combining the tradition for indicating the day of writing, with something that suggests he is worse for wear, in "Foorsday".

'Authentic manuscript'

The Bard also highlights his joy at the invitation and promises to attend whether by horse or by cart.

Prof Carruthers said: "The manuscript is clearly in the handwriting of Robert Burns. The ink and paper are a good match to other authentic Burns manuscript productions.

"The poem dates from 1785 to 1786.

"The first publication to give an indication of its origins and how it came to be in the collection of Paisley Library is The Works of Robert Burns Volumes 1-5, edited by The Ettrick Shepherd and William Motherwell."

The poem will be on display annually at the museum between 17 January and 19 February starting next year.

Councillor Jim Harte, chairman of Renfrewshire Leisure, said: "I am absolutely delighted that the only existing manuscript of a lovely piece of Burns social verse will be on display in Paisley Museum in the new year for a limited period and each subsequent January thereafter.

"We are proud to possess this charming piece and thrilled to share it with visitors during what is an extremely important time for Scotland's largest town."

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites