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Poem by Robert Burns 'The Whistle - a ballad'

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Poem by Robert Burns: 'The Whistle - a ballad' (page 3 of 4)

Introduction:
This poem by Robert Burns recalls how a whistle was the prize to be held by the greatest drinking man in Northern Europe and when brought to Scotland the challenge was won by Sir Robert Lowrie (d. 1804). The contest was renewed in Burns's presence at his neighbour's house and inspired him to recite the tale in verse. (poem no 272)
Image Rights Holder:
National Trust for Scotland
Ref:
BMT173.21C
Project:
618:The Burns Manuscripts at Alloway
What:
Poem by Robert Burns 'The Whistle - a ballad'
Subject:
The Whistle is still extant in the home of Cunningham of Caprington by Kilmarnock, having been handed down by the winner of the last held contest in Friars Carse on 16th October 1789. The contest was witnessed by Burns who wrote to Riddle on the day 'Wishing that your head may be crowned with laurels to-night, and free from aches tomorrow'. (letter no 365)
Who:
Sir Robert Lowrie of Maxwelton (whistle contestant)
Alexander Fergusson (1746-1796) (Laird of Craigdarroch & whistle contestant)
Robert Riddell (1755-1794) (friend and neighbour of Burns)
Robert Burns (1759-1796) (author)
When:
16th October 1789 (event date)
Where:
The Robert Burns Birthplace Museum, South Ayrshire
Background:
The Whistle is still extant in the home of Cunningham of Caprington by Kilmarnock, having been handed down by the winner of the last held contest in Friars Carse on 16th October 1789. The contest was witnessed by Burns who wrote to Riddle on the day 'Wishing that your head may be crowned with laurels to-night, and free from aches tomorrow'. (letter no 365)
Description:
Burns on this third page continues to describe the drinking binge which according to Burns lasted all night. He recounts how Riddle as an Elder gives up, leaving the field to those less divine and then Sir Robert went down as the sun came up leaving Alexander Fergusson of Craigdarroch to carry off the Whistle.