Robert Burns manuscript 'coming home to Ayrshire'

  • Published
Robert BurnsImage source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Robert Burns was a regular visitor to Patrick Heron's estate in southern Scotland

A handwritten song by Robert Burns, put away for safekeeping 200 years ago, has sold for £27,500.

Sir Tom Hunter's foundation bought the manuscript as bidding went far beyond the £12,000 guide price at Bonhams' fine books and manuscripts auction.

The poet wrote The Banks of the Cree in 1794 to accompany a tune composed by Lady Elizabeth Heron.

She was married to Patrick Heron - an MP for Kirkcudbright - who owned an estate crossed by the River Cree.

Confirming the purchase by The Hunter Foundation, Sir Tom said: "I'm delighted that Burns' exceptional work, The Banks of the Cree is not just staying in the UK, it's coming home to Scotland and Ayrshire, its rightful home, where in due course it will be made available for all to enjoy."

Burns was a regular visitor to the Kirroughtree estate in the south of Scotland, and penned a number of ballads to support Heron's election campaign in the late 18th Century.

Image source, Bonhams
Image caption,
The verse was found in an album which came from Denston Hall in Suffolk

The Banks of the Cree manuscript resurfaced in an album which came from Denston Hall in Suffolk.

It is not known how it came to be there, but Bonhams said it had clearly been put away for safekeeping "a few years after publication".

A selection of newspaper cuttings surrounding it date back to the early 19th Century.

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