Show Navigation

Poem/Song by Robert Burns; 'The Five Carlins' (page 4 of 6)

Back

View Large Image

Poem / song by Robert Burns: 'The Five Carlins' (page 4 of 6)

Introduction:
In this poem Burns personifies the five Dumfriesshire Boroughs as five women each giving their opinion as to whom should be their Parliamentary representative at Westminster, The incumbent Sir James Johnston or the challenger Captain Patrick Miller, son of Burns' landlord.
Image Rights Holder:
National Trust for Scotland
Ref:
BMT331.07D
Project:
618:The Burns Manuscripts at Alloway
What:
Poem/Song by Robert Burns; 'The Five Carlins' (page 4 of 6)
Subject:
In the election of 1789, the candidates for the 5 boroughs (Dumfries, Lochmaben, Annan, Kirkudbright, Sanquhar) were Sir James Johnston of Westerhall (Tory) and Patrick Miller of Dalswinton (Whig). Though Whig by nature, Burns disliked young Miller, and heartily detested the Duke of Queensborough his patron. Gradually he swung to the Tory side during the election campaign, but the seat was won by Miller.
Who:
Robert Burns (1759-1796) (author)
Captain Patrick Miller (1769-1845) (MP)
Sir James Johnston (1726-1794) (parliamentary candidate)
When:
1789 (date written)
Where:
The Robert Burns Birthplace Museum, South Ayrshire
Background:
In the election of 1789, the candidates for the 5 boroughs (Dumfries, Lochmaben, Annan, Kirkudbright, Sanquhar) were Sir James Johnston of Westerhall (Tory) and Patrick Miller of Dalswinton (Whig). Though Whig by nature, Burns disliked young Miller, and heartily detested the Duke of Queensborough his patron. Gradually he swung to the Tory side during the election campaign, but the seat was won by Miller.
Description:
The fourth page sees the prim and proper Carlin from Nith (Dumfries) say she would send the Captain, she did not think much of George III. The Annan Carlin would send the rival Sir James on the basis that he had been tried and tested while the attractions of far off London might turn the head of fools (the young Captain).