The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Thursday, June 21, 2018

$45,000 Burns Manuscript Joins The Homecoming

EDINBURGH.- The National Library of Scotland has acquired at auction a unique manuscript poem by Robert Burns. 'The Battle of Sherra-moor' or, to give its full title, 'On the Battle of Sheriff-Muir, 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 will be on display from tomorrow at a major Burns symposium in Washington ’s Library of Congress, where First Minister Alex Salmond is giving a keynote address, before completing its homecoming.

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. One of Burns's speakers believes that 'The red-coat lads wi' black cockauds' routed the rebels, painting a fearful picture of how they 'hough'd the Clans like nine-pin kyles'. The other is just as convinced that the Jacobites 'did pursue / The horse-men back to Forth , man' with the eventual result that '... mony a huntit, poor Red-coat / For fear amaist did swarf, man'. A contemporary parallel might be the varying accounts of two opposing football fans on a game they have both just watched.

The song was adapted by Burns from a broadside by John Barclay entitled Dialogue between Will Lick-Ladle and Tom Clean-Cogue. Burns wrote it around 1790, during or after his tour of the Highlands which inspired his interest in Jacobite history. The manuscript acquired by NLS dates from after the poem’s initial publication in Volume III of the Scots Musical Museum in 1790 and shows changes which were made for the 1800 edition of the Works of Robert Burns by his editor, James Currie.

The song was adapted by the Corries in the 1970s as 'The Sherramuir Fight', and a reading of the 1790 version by Scottish actor Robert Carlyle is available on the BBC website (

The manuscript has been in private hands for many years in Switzerland and the United States , and NLS Director of Collections and Research Cate Newton said: “We are delighted to acquire the only known manuscript of 'The Battle of Sherra-moor'. The poem itself is of interest because of its unusual form and the historical subject matter, and this manuscript includes textual variants from the published versions of the poem. It also throws light on Burns's views on the Jacobites, an aspect of his life which remains the subject of considerable debate and interest. We believe the price is fair for a manuscript of a Burns poem of this significance and quality, and it is very appropriate that it returns to Scotland in this Homecoming year.”

The First Minister, Alex Salmond, who will be seeing the original manuscript at the Burns symposium in Washington , 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 perfectly 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 acquisition comes in the year of the 250th anniversary of the birth of Robert Burns. Fans of the Bard will have the chance to see some of the treasures from the National Burns Collection during 2009 as the exhibition Zig-Zag: the paths of Robert Burns tours Scotland as part of the Year of Homecoming celebration. The exhibition is currently at Aberdeen Gallery until April, and later in the year it will go on to Dumfries and Glasgow . The exhibition includes iconic items such as manuscripts of Auld Lang Syne and Tam O’Shanter as well as a first edition of Burns’s first published work and Alexander Nasmyth’s famous portrait of the poet. The National Library of Scotland will be displaying facsimiles of some of these treasures alongside the original of the Battle of Sherra-muir at the symposium in Washington . The musical theme continues next month at NLS with the opening of the spring exhibition, Scots Music Abroad.

Today's News

February 24, 2009

Victorian Paintings from the Museo de Arte de Ponce Opens at Museo del Prado

The Art of Papal Rome Exhibition will be a World Exclusive at the National Gallery of Canada

Record for Matisse and Others at Christie's Sale of Yves Saint Laurent Collection

The Gardner Heist: The True Story of the World's Largest Unsolved Art Theft by Ulrich Boser

Orientalist Art to Headline Sotheby's First-ever Major International Auction Series in the Middle East

Spectacular French Bronzes on View at Metropolitan Museum

Exhibition Hall in San Benito de Valladolid Opens John Heartfield's Photomontages

Getty Exhibition Highlights Manuscripts from One of the Greatest Epochs of Central European Art

Kunsthal Rotterdam Presents the Rich History of the Oldest Art Prize in the Netherlands

Exhibition of Paintings by the Italian Artist Tarshito to Open at The Nehru Centre

Hats: An Anthology by Stephen Jones Opens at the Victoria & Albert Museum

Ito Jachuko - Jade Flowers in Mysterious Gardens Opens at MKG Hamburg

Sotheby's Opens an Office in Jakarta and Appoints Deborah Iskandar as Managing Director

Thomas Chambers: American Marine and Landscape Painter on Exhibit at Hyde Collection

Claremont Museum of Art Presents James Hueter: A Retrospective

$45,000 Burns Manuscript Joins The Homecoming

Design Drawings from High Renaissance Italy on View at Courtauld Gallery

P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center Presents Lutz Bacher's First Museum Survey Exhibition

Detroit Institute of Arts Announces $6 Million Budget Cut - Layoffs, Cost-cutting and Program Reductions

Parrish Prints Debut at the Crocker: Fantasies and Fairy-Tales: Maxfield Parrish and the Art of the Print

Radical Architecture Firm COOP HIMMELB(L)AU Spotlighted in U.S. Debut of Exhibition

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Porsche Super Speedster offered for first time in 50 years at RM Sotheby's Porsche 70th Anniversary Auction

2.- Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens opens 'Storytelling: French Art from the Horvitz Collection'

3.- Gauguin: Voyage to Tahiti stars Vincent Cassel as the famed French artist

4.- Stunning colored diamonds expected to dazzle at Heritage Auctions' Summer Fine Jewelry Auction

5.- US designer Kate Spade found dead at 55

6.- Vincent Van Gogh painting sells for over 7 million euros: Artcurial auction house

7.- Sir Stanley Spencer painting discovered hidden under a bed during a drugs raid

8.- Oxford's Bodleian Libraries unveil UK's first major Tolkien exhibition in decades

9.- Major exhibition at the Guggenheim explores decades of work by Alberto Giacometti

10.- World's largest freshwater pearl goes for 320,000 euros

Related Stories

Important Judaica and Israeli & international art bring a combined $7.9 million at Sotheby's New York

Tunisia to auction ousted despot's treasures

Andy Warhol's Mao portraits excluded from the Beijing and Shanghai shows next year

China criticises French Qing dynasty seal auction

Christie's announces auction marking the first half century of the popular and luxurious interiors shop Guinevere

Nine new exhibits debut at San Diego International Airport

Rembrandt masterpiece "Portrait of Catrina Hooghsaet" back on display at National Museum Cardiff

Amber: 40-million-year-old fossilised tree resin is Baltic gold

Egyptian artist Iman Issa wins the Ist FHN Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona Award

The main chapel of the Basilica of Santa Croce open for visits after five year restoration

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful