The History of Leith

February 26, 2009

Homecoming for Burns manuscript

The Battle of Sherra-moor’ between the Duke of Argyle and the Earl of Mar’, is an account of a 1715 battle between Hanoverian troops (Argyle) and the Jacobites (Mar).

The manuscript was acquired by the National Library of Scotland at auction last month and is on display at a major Burns symposium in Washington’s Library of Congress. The manuscript has been in private hands for many years in Switzerland and the United States and will return to Scotland later this week.

During his trip to Washington, First Minister Alex Salmond today viewed the unique poem by Robert Burns.

The First Minister was in the Library of Congress to deliver a keynote address to the Symposium.

Mr Salmond said:

“I’m delighted that this unique piece of Burns history will be coming home to Scotland in this, the 250th anniversary year of our national Bard. We have made 2009 Scotland’s Year of Homecoming, a celebration of Scotland’s friendships around the world, to mark this milestone in Burns’ legacy.

“The Battle of Sherra-moor’ is a perfect example of the contribution made by Robert Burns – it demonstrates his ability to assume and understand the point of view of others. It is from this capacity for empathy that his humanitarian views grew. They have been and remain, to this day, an inspiration for people around the globe – from Abraham Lincoln to Kofi Annan.

“The addition of this manuscript to the National Library of Scotland’s collection will give Scots and homecomers alike a chance to trace, from the root, the extension of this aspect of Scottish identity into the modern world and help keep these values alive.”

The National Library of Scotland acquired the manuscript for $45,000.

The Battle of Sheriff-muir was so closely fought that it was difficult to establish who, if anyone, had actually won, and so Burns writes from the point of view of two shepherds who, despite having watched the same series of events, each form a wildly different interpretation of what they have seen.

source-Scottish Government

Some Text