Show Navigation

Poem by Robert Burns 'The Whistle - a ballad'

Back

View Large Image

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

Introduction:
The fourth page of this document is the Prose history which Burns wrote to accompany the Poem 'The Whistle', in which he explains the origins of the whistle trophy and the events leading up to the current contest. (poem no 272)
Image Rights Holder:
National Trust for Scotland
Ref:
BMT173.21D
Project:
618:The Burns Manuscripts at Alloway
What:
Poem by Robert Burns 'The Whistle - a ballad'
Subject:
The Dane having challenged Scotland's best drinkers and vanquished many, eventually lost his crown and Whistle after a three day marathon session with Robert Lowrie an ancestor of the present Sir Robert Lowrie of Maxwelton near Dumfries. Later the Whistle had fallen in a contest to Walter Riddel whose descendant Robert now prepared the next challenge described in this poem.
Who:
Robert Burns (1759-1796) (author)
Alexander Fergusson (1746-1796) (Laird of Craigdarroch & whistle contestant)
Robert Riddell (1755-1794) (friend and neighbour of Burns)
Sir Robert Lowrie of Maxwelton (whistle contestant)
When:
16th October 1789 (event date)
Where:
The Robert Burns Birthplace Museum, South Ayrshire
Background:
The Dane having challenged Scotland's best drinkers and vanquished many, eventually lost his crown and Whistle after a three day marathon session with Robert Lowrie an ancestor of the present Sir Robert Lowrie of Maxwelton near Dumfries. Later the Whistle had fallen in a contest to Walter Riddel whose descendant Robert now prepared the next challenge described in this poem.
Description:
Burns describes how a Danish Nobleman who claimed to be a champion drinker with certified conquests around the capitals of Northern Europe had come across to Scotland in the train of Queen Anne of Denmark and James sixth. The trophy competed for at these drinking contests being a small ebony whistle.