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Print entitled 'James Cunningham, Earl of Glencairn'

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'James Cunningham, Earl of Glencairn' c 1790

Introduction:
James Cunningham succeeded his father as Earl of Glencairn in 1775. He was a patron of the parish church in Kilmarnock and was involved in the appointment of a minister there which became the subject of Robert Burns' satirical poem 'The Ordination'. He obtained a copy of the Kilmarnock edition of Burns' poems and greatly enjoyed them.
Image Rights Holder:
Dumfries & Galloway Museums Service
Ref:
177
Project:
241:Robert Burns - People and Places
Material:
Paper
Dimensions:
Image - length: 123 mm, width: 100 mm
What:
Print entitled 'James Cunningham, Earl of Glencairn'
Subject:
This portrait of James Cunningham was published in 'The Land of Burns - A series of Landscapes and Portraits, Illustrative of the Life and Writings of the Scottish Poet'. This was published in 1846 by Blackie and Son of Glasgow. At this time the development of steel plate engraving made it possible for images to be reproduced in much greater numbers than previous printing technology had allowed. Books such as this one, illustrated by engravings of works by eminent artists became popular, although they were still expensive and beyond the pocket of most people.
Who:
James Glencairn Burns (1794-1865) (son of the poet, Robert Burns) (his namesake)
Professor Wilson (author)
Robert Chambers (1802-1871) (author)
Blackie and Son (Queen Street, Glasgow) (publisher)
W and D Duncan (Glasgow) (printer)
H Robinson (engraver)
Kenneth Macleay, the younger (1802-1878) (artist)
James Cunningham, Earl of Glencairn (1749-1791) Note: authorities differ as to his nomination as 13th or 14th Earl (representation)
Robert Burns (1759-1796) (his friend)
When:
1846
Where:
Dumfries Museum, Dumfries & Galloway
Background:
This portrait of James Cunningham was published in 'The Land of Burns - A series of Landscapes and Portraits, Illustrative of the Life and Writings of the Scottish Poet'. This was published in 1846 by Blackie and Son of Glasgow. At this time the development of steel plate engraving made it possible for images to be reproduced in much greater numbers than previous printing technology had allowed. Books such as this one, illustrated by engravings of works by eminent artists became popular, although they were still expensive and beyond the pocket of most people.
Description:
When Burns arrived in Edinburgh in 1786 the Earl received him warmly and introduced him to his circle of friends. This opened many doors to the poet and Burns described the Earl as his 'titular Protector'. Glencairn was also instrumental in obtaining Robert Burns' appointment as an Excise officer which gave the poet and his family some financial security. Burns named his third son James Glencairn in his honour.