Open main menu

Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 07.djvu/444

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

to Mrs. Begg and her family. A library edition of the same, in 4 vols. 8vo, appeared in 1856. 7. 'Life and Works of Robert Burns,' by P. Hately Waddell (Glasgow, 1867), with some new biographical material in appendix to vol. ii. 8. 'Works of Robert Burns,' 6 vols, demy 8vo, Edinburgh, 1877, 1878, 1879, edited by William Scott Douglas; the works arranged in chronological order, with references to original sources; portraits, facsimiles, maps, and illustrations.

An elaborate 'Bibliography of Burns' was published by James McKie at Kilmarnock in 1881, containing also a list of Burns's manuscripts, relics, monuments, &c. A 'Bibliotheca Burnsiuna' by the same, in 1866, gives editions in his private library.

[The main authority for Burns's life is his own correspondence. The first Life, by Robert Heron, a personal friend, appeared in Edinburgh in 1797. It was a reprint from articles in the Monthly Magazine and British Register for 1797 (vol. iii.), and was reprinted in Chambers's Scottish Biography (1832). Currie's Life first appeared in 1800. The commonplace book used by Currie is now in possession of Mr. A. Macmillan, and was first fully printed by Mr. Jack in Macmillan's Magazine in March to July, 1879-80 (vols, xxxix. xl.) David Irving's Lives of the Scottish Poets contains a Life of Burns in vol. ii. The publication of Cromek's Reliques in 1808 produced a review by Jeffrey in the Edinburgh Review for January 1809 and by Scott in the Quarterly Review for February 1809. In 1815 Alexander Peterkin published a Review of the Life and Writings, &c., containing statements by Syme and letters from Gray and Findlater, replying to some of the statements in these reviews. A Life by Josiah Walker was prefixed to a collection of his poems in 1811 and separately printed. A Life by Hamilton Paul was prefixed to his poems and songs in 1819. The Life by Lockhart appeared in 1828 as vol. xxiii. of Constable's Miscellany, and was also reprinted separately. It was reviewed by John Wilson in Blackwood (May 1828), and by Carlyle in the Edinburgh Review for December 1828. The Lives by Allan Cunningham (1834), Hogg (1836), Chambers (1851), Waddell (1867) have been mentioned in connection with the works. Chambers's contains the only thorough investigation of facts. There are also Lives without new materials by George Gilfillan in Nichol's library edition of British Poets (1856); by Alexander Smith, prefixed to an edition of the poems by Macmillan (1865); by William Gunnyon in an edition by Nimmo (1866); by W. M. Rossetti, in an edition by Moxon (1871); and an admirable Summary of Burns's Career and Genius, by Professor Nichol, 'printed for the subscribers to the library edition' (1877-9). See also Some Aspects of Robert Burns, by 'R. L. S.,' in the Cornhill Magazine for October 1879; and Professor Shairp's Robert Burns in the Men of Letters series (1879). Among other books bearing upon Burns may be mentioned: Sermons by John Dun (Kilmarnock, 1790), in which Burns is satirised for impiety; Burnomania (Edinburgh, 1811), written by W. Peebles, attacked by Burns in the Kirk's Alarm and the Holy Fair; Memoirs of William Smellie (Edinburgh, 1811), by R. Kerr, including a correspondence with Burns; Letter to a Friend of Robert Burns (James Gray), by William Wordsworth (London, 1816); Lectures on the English Poets, by W. Hazlitt (1819); Specimens of the British Poets, by Thomas Campbell (1819); Memoir of James Currie (Burns's biographer) (1831); The Widow of Burns (account of the sale of her goods) (1831); Contemporaries of Burns, by James Paterson (1840); The Land of Burns—illustrations by D. 0. Hill, letterpress by Professor Wilson and R. Chambers (1840); A Winter with R. Burns (by James Marshall), an account of his life in Edinburgh (1846); notes on his name and family by James Burnes, K.H., F.R.S. (privately printed, 1851); Genealogical Memoirs of the Family of Robert Burns, by Charles Rogers (1877); Some Account of the Glenriddel MSS. (in the Liverpool Athenæum) . . . edited by Henry A. Bright (1874).]

L. S.

BURNS, ROBERT, D.D. (1789–1869), theological writer and church leader, was born at Bo'ness in 1789, educated at the university of Edinburgh, licensed as a probationer of the church of Scotland in 1810, and ordained minister of the Low church, Paisley, in 1811. He was a man of great energy and activity, a popular preacher, a laborious worker in his parish and town, a strenuous supporter of the evangelical party in the church, and one of the foremost opponents of lay patronage. In 1815, impressed with the spiritual wants of his countrymen in the colonies, he helped to form a colonial society for supplying them with ministers, and of this society he continued the mainspring for fifteen years. Joining the Free church in 1843, he was sent by the general assembly in 1844 to the United States, to cultivate fraternal relations with the churches there, and in 1845 he accepted an invitation to be minister of Knox's church, Toronto, in which charge he remained till 1856, when he was appointed professor of church history and apologetics in Knox's College, a theological institution of the presbyterian church. Burns took a most lively interest in his church, moving about with great activity over the whole colony, and becoming acquainted with almost every congregation. He died in 1869. He was the author of several works: 1. 'A Historical Dissertation on the Law and Practice of Great Britain with regard to the Poor,' 1819. 2. 'On Pluralities,' 1824. 3. 'The Ghareloch Heresy tried,' 1830. 4. 'Life of Stevenson