Betty Burns or Park, Mrs Elizabeth Thomson

A sepia toned monochrome photographic print on a carte de visite card from a Burns family album.   Betty Burns was the illegitimate daughter of Robert Burns and Helen Anne or Anna Park, whom he met in 1790. Her aunt and uncle, Mr and Mrs Hyslop were the proprietors of Burns' favourite inn, the Globe Inn, Dumfries.   Betty was born in 1791 at much the same time as Burns' son Francis Wallace and with remarkable humanity his wife, Jean Armour Burns adopted the little girl and raised her as part of the family. She married a soldier, John Thomson in 1808 when only sixteen and spent most of her adult life in Glasgow. She had eight childen and lived to be eigthy-two years old.   Carte de visite cards were almost always studio portraits, they were produced to be sold or exchanged and were collected in elaborate albums, specially made for the purpose, often with window mounts to display the cards. This carte de visite card dates from the 1860s when they were at the height of their popularity it comes from an album which belonged to Jean Armour Burns Brown, the poet's great granddaughter.
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width: 59 mm, length: 90 mm
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