Left: James Currie. Right: a portrait of Burns by Archibald Skirving, published in The Works of Robert Burns, by Blackie and Son, Glasgow, 1854.
Date : 10-06-1802
Correspondent : George ThomsonCorrespondent Location : Edinburgh
Recipient : James Currie Recipient Location : Liverpool
Subject : George Thomson sends Miss Currie his new edition of songs, and introduces new songwriters.
Dear Sir
          I troubled you with a few lines some-time ago expressing my gratitude for the friendly & handsome manner in which you have treated me. As a small testimony of the feeling I shall ever retain of your kindness, and of my great respect for the character & talents of the Biographer of Burns, I have taken the liberty of sending to Miss Currie the new edition of my Scottish Songs, with the 3d. volume just published, which I beg she will do me the pleasure to accept of.- I shall afterwards send the Violin & Violoncello Accompaniments. With Miss Currie’s three volumes I have put up a 3d. volume for Mr Roscoe which you will be so good as to deliver along with the inclosed. The parcel is on board one of the Liverpool traders at Greenock, the Perseverance Captain Whyt. On looking into the 3d. volume you will find that the Lyric Muse of Caledonia, though in deep mourning for the loss of Burns, has been visiting a favourite daughter in the North This Lady is the widow of a Clergyman in Badenoch, who by the advice of friends is just now preparing a volume of poems for the press, for which there is already a most numerous & respectable list of Subscribers. I have seen most of the manuscript, with which I am delighted, and I entertain sanguine hopes that Mrs. Grant’s name will be inroll’d among the distinguish’d writers of her sex. I use the freedom of inclosing one of the proposals Should any of your friends on perusing the poem annexed, incline to put down their names, ‘tis well; the subscription will be kept open ‘till the end of July - but I am far from wishing that you should solicit names, well knowing that you lead too busy a life for good offices of that kind. It would gratify the Lady however to have your own name & that of Mr Roscoe I am certain. -
          I wish [ ] you would send back the Music book which contains Macdonald’s Gaelic tunes, with the dissertation by Mr Ramsay of Auchtertyre; I have had several pressing applications for it._ If the Poet’s M.S.S. are to be returned to the Owners, & you could conveniently lay your hand on my part of these, I would be much obliged by your transmitting them.

Sincerely wishing you health & happiness I have the honour to remain with the greatest regard Your oblige hule Sert &c.

          G Thomson


Notes :

Mrs Anne Grant (1755-1838):
Born in Glasgow, only child of Duncan Macvicar, army officer, posted to America, where Anne spent 10 years from age of 3. father’s posting to Fort Augustus in 1773 produced daughter’s letters to friends descriptive of Highland scenery and customs, largely Ossian-influenced. Married James Grant, 1779,who became minister of Laggan. Widowed in 1800, she published by subscription in 1803 a collection of poems, mostly on Highland subjects. Letters from the Mountains (1806) which went into 4 editions, was a selection of her correspondence over 30 years. Also published Memoirs of an American Lady (1808), Essays on the Superstitions of the Highlanders (1811), and Eighteen Hundred and Thirteen (1814) a long poem optimistic about future British prosperity. Mrs Grant spent most of her last 30 years in Edinburgh at the heart of the city’s cultural life.

Patrick Macdonald, Collection of Highland Vocal Airs (1784):
A key early collection of Gaelic song airs; the lengthy preface represents an early attempt to explain the distinctive qualities of Gaelic music.

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