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Rebellion & Enlightenment

The Scottish Enlightenment

Robert Burns' Copy of "A Treatise on Ploughs and Wheel Carriages"

Period:
18th Century
Description:
This copy belonged to Robert Burns. He is believed to have acquired it in the year it was published. This was the year in which his father had died making it necessary for him to become more involved and skilled in farming. However, given the good condition of the book it has been suggested that Burns did not study it in depth.

He has signed the title page "Robert Burns - Poet". There is also a holograph letter inserted in the book which reads;

"Mr Scott,
Give the gentleman who delivers this, Mr Richmond, my Small on Ploughs,
Robert Burns,
Saturday Morn"

Mr Scott was a farmer whom Burns met when he visited Wauchope. He was the husband of “the Guidwife of Wauchope” and it is believed that Burns leant him the book in 1785.

The book and the letter were reunited when, by some coincidence, they both came into the collection of a Mr Lamb of Dundee in 1894.

The author, James Small was a Plough and Cart Wright. He has illustrated the book with several diagrams.
Source:
The Dick Institute
Accession number:
1984/3
Digital Number:
EABK023a
Creation Date:
1784
Copyright:
East Ayrshire Council


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