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KILMARNOCK
THE FIRST PRINT

Kilmarnock is of course well known as being the location of Burns first ever printed works. Known as 'The Kilmarnock Edition' but actually called 'Poems Chiefly In The Scottish Dialect by Robert Burns'.

As Burns approached aged twenty seven he had shown no intention of making a printed book nor did he wish to make money from poetry, although he often gauged reaction from family and friends before sporadic public performances.

It probably took deciding to head to Jamaica to spur Burns into leaving something behind for his beloved Ayrshire and Scotland. His sailing was to be postponed and the next day The Kilmarnock Edition exceeded expectations.

 

Burns had other links to Kilmarnock. Dean Castle was at one time owned by The Earl of Glencairn, a patron and friend of Burns who gifted him the diamond cut pen that he used to leave a trail of inscribed window panes.

Due to rising costs, a second edition was not published in Kilmarnock but without Wilson the printer would we ever have known Burns work today? The two men now stand together proudly in a statue at Kilmarnock Cross.

 

Kilmarnock can forever be remembered as the town who took a chance on Burns. What would have happened without the first print  ... 

Wee sleekit, cow'rin, tim'rous beastie
O, what a panic's in thy breastie!
Thou need na start awa sae hasty
Wi bickering brattle!
I wad be laith to rin an' chase thee
Wi' murd'ring pattle ...

To A Mouse

KILMARNOCK THE FIRST PRINT

IMG_6395.HEIC

ATTRACTIONS COLLECTIONS

Dean Castle
National Collection | Exhibition

The Dick Institute

National Collection | Exhibition

LAND O' BURNS

TRIBUTE TRAIL

4. Kilmarnock Kay Park Statue

5. Kilmarnock Cross Statue

(Burns & Wilson the Printer)

77. Kilmarnock Cross Statue

(Twa Dugs)

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