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Print entitled 'Mrs Lewis Hay (Margaret Chalmers)'

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'Mrs Lewis Hay, Margaret Chalmers' c 1785

Introduction:
Margaret Chalmers was the daughter of a farmer near Mauchline and a relation of Burns' friend Gavin Hamilton. She was a talented musician and Burns wrote to her, 'your Pianoforte and you together have play'd the deuce somehow, about my heart.'
Image Rights Holder:
Dumfries & Galloway Museums Service
Ref:
167
Project:
241:Robert Burns - People and Places
Material:
Paper
Dimensions:
Image - length: 140 mm, width: 120 mm
What:
Print entitled 'Mrs Lewis Hay (Margaret Chalmers)'
Subject:
This portrait of Margaret Chambers 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:
Robert Burns (1759-1796) (his friend)
Dr Thomas Blacklock (1721-1791) (friend of Burns)
Gavin Hamilton (1753-1805) (his relative)
Professor Wilson (author)
Robert Chambers (1802-1871) (author)
Blackie and Son (Queen Street, Glasgow) (publisher)
W and D Duncan (Glasgow) (printer)
H Cook (engraver)
J Irvine (artist)
Margaret Chalmers (Mrs Lewis Hay) (1763?-1843) (representation)
When:
1846
Where:
Dumfries Museum, Dumfries & Galloway
Background:
This portrait of Margaret Chambers 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 visiting Edinburgh she would play and sing for Dr. Thomas Blacklock, and Burns renewed his acquaintance with her there. Years later she told the poet Thomas Campbell that Burns had proposed to her around that time but that she had refused him. Nevertheless they remained close friends and corresponded until she married a banker, Lewis Hay.