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Letter of Robert Burns to Mr David Sillar, Merchant, Irvine, (early summer 1791)

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Letter of Robert Burns to Mr David Sillar, Merchant, Irvine, (early summer 1791)

Introduction:
Short, one page letter, from Burns undated or located, to David Sillar, thought to have been written around early summer 1791, at which time he would have been living at Ellisland Farm. (letter no 461)
Image Rights Holder:
National Trust for Scotland
Ref:
BMT155
Project:
618:The Burns Manuscripts at Alloway
What:
Letter of Robert Burns to Mr David Sillar, Merchant, Irvine, (early summer 1791)
Subject:
David Sillar was a near neighbour of Burns in his early days having a mutual interest in rhyming. He published a volume of his own poems in 1789. His grocery business in Irvine failed and this letter may have been related to this situation.
Who:
David Sillar (1760-1830) (friend of Burns)
Robert Burns (author)
When:
Summer 1791 (date of composition)
Where:
The Robert Burns Birthplace Museum, South Ayrshire
Background:
David Sillar was a near neighbour of Burns in his early days having a mutual interest in rhyming. He published a volume of his own poems in 1789. His grocery business in Irvine failed and this letter may have been related to this situation.
Description:
Burns is only 'five shillings rich' at the time that he receives David Sillar's request for assistance, having himself squandered ¶œ20 on a heedless transaction three days earlier. Burns commiserates with Sillar and clearly knows the 'flinty-hearted scoundrel' who Sillars is in debt to.