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 : 20-08-1803
Correspondent : Mrs Frances DunlopCorrespondent Location : Dunlop
Recipient : James Currie Recipient Location : Liverpool
Subject : Mrs Dunlop writes of the death of her Godson, Burnsís son.

My Dr Sir
      I was just hesitating if I should most properly shew forth my gratitude for your goodness to me by writing or by keeping a reluctant silence which would less interrupt those many occupations which fill up a life destined for the pleasure improvement or preservation [MS tor] kind and marked by success in [MS torn] with the certain token of [?the] dearly earned [MS torn] and I trust the long remembered gratitude of our Country and the world in general where ages hence future generations will still be enjoying the reward of your toils on Earth while you are reaping the immortal joys of Virtue in Heaven and your family bearing that palm with which talents are always sooner or later crownd of all the efforts of Envy or the meanness of stupidity or malice when I was determined to take up the pen by an earnest solicitation from a family to whom I could hardly refuse any thing to introduce a Brother of theirs to you and his newly espoused Wife to Mrs Currieís notice and protection this Gentleman is on the medical staf in your districk and must be much changed indeed since I know him if you will not from your heart thank me for presenting to your acquaintance Mr William Fergusson one of a very worthy family of Airshire my most intimate friends and himself one of the most pleasant men I have ever known and although I have not seen him for some years and he has often changed the scene since I have too much esteem for his innate worth and native unaffected manners to apprehend his being ? to the facinating smiles of princes to which he has been warmly exposed in all the Courts of Norther Europe as well as at Home where he has been much Carest by the Great on the score of his medical success and the affectionate attachment of his patients and their friends but I shall add no more to a man so well able to discover and so pleased to distinguish merit as every body knows you to be and in Fergusson it is too conspicuous to escape early observation let me beg you will extend my recommendation to Miss McAdam and Mrs Gladstones who I [MS torn]oice to hear are getting [MS torn]lth and spirits to relish meeting an agreeable acquaintance which I hope you will all acknowledge him to be as to the Lady I never have seen her but she is very well spoke of by those that know her and I hope for her husbands sake deserves to be so. I had procured a coppy of Mrs Grants Poems which I meant you to read and if you thought it worth while afterwards give to Betty as I see you are provided your self and I hoped she would bring it sooner than you could have it otherwise . but at Rosemount the day after it came to my hand I was told she was left Holmstone where I meant that night to have carried it to her myself and trobled her with more remembrances for you than I dare plague you with reading I would however still send the book if I knew how to convey it your length which I do not you would I am sure be very sorry for the death of poor Frank Burns the loveliest boy possible but alass he has it seems been too good for this world and we must submit to do without him to my great grief as it was to my mortification to find I could do nothing for him had he lived indeed this a little softens my sense of his loss my Son Andrew is gone to visit the Coast where General Moore Commands he offered his service to the Commander in Cheef but has not hitherto been accepted as Aristides said I am glad they have so many better men as not to need him we have plenty of use for him at home and even great missing of him in Airshire if not to oppose our Enemies yet to keep in order many of our friends many thanks for your accounts of my young friends to whom and their Mother pray be so good as remember me and believe me ever [MS torn ] the mos[MS torn]ere [MS torn] my Dr Sir your much obliged and very Obedient humble Sert Fran: A: Dunlop. Keith the only one of my family with me offers Comp[t]


Notes :

Mrs Grantís Poems: Mrs Anne Grant of Laggan published her volume of poems in 1802.

Death of poor Frank Burns: the poetís son, Mrs Dunlopís Godson, Francis Wallace Burns had died on 9th July 1803.

back to search