25th. January 1759 – 21st. July 1796
When I came to Scotland (from the south of England) way back in 1991 I confess that I had no real idea who this Burns bloke was. National Bard you say..? Poetry..? Auld Lang Syne..! Oh yeah I know that one. Haggis..? Um yeah sure, its um, well its something the Scots eat..? barley and something to do with a sheeps stomach..? I think you get the idea, I didn't have a clue, so in short if that's what I thought that all those years ago, surely I wasn't alone in the world..? Surely there are people out there who are still mising out full enjoyment of so many things in relation to Scotland because they don't understand the basics revolving around Robert Burns and a Haggis.
So the basic idea of this little niche of the site is to give you a brief and basic understanding of who Burns was and why he features so prominently in just about anything Scottish.
The basic concept is that most countries will have their own National Bard or someone similar. England has William Shakespeare (1564-1616), Wales has Dafydd ap Gwilym (1315-1350), and Scotland has Robbie Burns (1759-1796). You can look it up on Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia, List of national poets, just about every country in the world has one or two figures of renown.
As far as being a Scottish Freemason goes, we are lucky, we can claim a piece of our National Bard for ourselves as he was one of us. See Burns The Mason in the menu.
So you're probably wondering what connection Lodge St. Andrew #518 has with Burns.? To be honest, we don't. He wasn't a member of our Lodge (it didn't exist until about ¾ century after his death), I don't think he ever even visited this corner of the country. We have no better claim than anything else in Scotland. What we do have - apart from a portrait in the Lodge - is an annual Burns Supper..! So in view of this I thought for those of you visiting from outwith the country a short explanation would be in order, help you make sense of all those photos of P.M. Bro. Tom Robertson wielding a knife in our Installations section. If you want to know more about Burns than the titbits I have to offer here just search Google, he is a much written and speculated about person. For all his short years, being only 37 when he died, he made a very big impact.