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Burns and Graham - A Poet and His Patron

Saturday 21 January – Sunday 15 April
This exhibition describes the friendship between Robert Graham, 12th Laird of Fintry in Forfarshire, and Robert Burns. The poet first met Robert Graham, an Excise Commissioner, in 1787 and the latter soon became a patron and friend, supporting the poet’s application to become an Excise Officer.
In 1793, a two volume edition of “Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect” by Robert Burns was published in Edinburgh.  Burns presented several copies to his friends, including the Grahams. Theirs has been cherished by the family ever since.  The current owner, the 18th Laird of Fintry has kindly loaned the books to Robert Burns House for this exhibition.
The first volume has a telling dedication to Mrs Graham, written by the Poet – “It is probable, Madam, that this page may be read when the hand that now writes it is mouldering in the dust.”
As well as the books, we have been able to borrow a group of delicate miniature portraits of the Graham family.  They include a portrait of Robert Graham, along with portraits of several of his children.  A couple of keepsakes from the Duchess of Atholl to members of the Graham family complete the display.