The first thing we see is Burns’ father’s gravestone as we ascend the steps into the graveyard. Here is buried: William Burns, died 13 February 1784, aged 63. (Note the spelling of Burns – should be Burnes as he did not change his surname like his sons did). Also commemorated is Agnes Brown, spouse, died 14 January 1820, who was interred in Bolton Churchyard, East Lothian. (Note – spelling of Brown should be Broun as pronounced in Ayrshire to this day). If we look at the back of the stone we can read the most beautiful of epitaphs written by Burns:

‘O ye whose cheek the tear of pity stains,

Draw near with pious rev’rence, and attend!

Here lie the loving husband’s dear remains,

The tender father, and the gen’rous friend.

The pitying heart that felt for human woe,

The dauntless heart that fear’d no human pride,

The friend of man – to vice alone a foe;

For ‘ev’n his failing lean’d to virtue’s side.’


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