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Postcard of a portrait of Jean Armour Burns

Image Rights Holder:
Dumfries & Galloway Museums Service
Project:
:Future Museum
Material:
paper
Dimensions:
width: 138 mm, length: 90 mm
What:
Robert Burns
Subject:
Postcard
Who:
John Alexander Gilfillan (Based on an original painting by)
When:
early 20th century
Where:
Background:
Burns, Robert “The Complete Letters of Robert Burns”, Ed. James A Mackay. Ayr: Alloway Publishing Limited, 1987; Burns, Robert “The Complete Poetical Work of Robert Burns 1759 – 1796”, Ed. Dr James A Mackay. Ayr: Alloway Publishing Limited, 1993; Burns, Robert “The Letters of Robert Burns”, 2 vols., Ed. J de Lancey Ferguson and G Ross Roy. Oxford: Clarendon, 1985; Burns, Robert “The Poems and Songs of Robert Burns”, 3 vols., Ed. James Kinsley. Oxford: Clarendon, 1968; Crawford, Robert “The Bard – Robert Burns, a Biography”. London: Jonathan Cape, 2009 Dumfries and Galloway Courier “Interesting Sale – The effects left by the late Mrs Burns at the sale on Thursday and Friday last …”. Dumfries: 16 April 1834; Gilfillan, Reverend George (editor) “The National Burns”. Glasgow, Edinburgh and London: William Mackenzie, 1878; Hogg, Patrick Scott “Robert Burns – The Patriot Bard”. Edinburgh: Mainstream, 2008; Lindsay, Maurice “Robert Burns – The Man, his Work, the Legend”. New York and London: Robert Hale and St Martin’s Press, 1979; Lindsay, Maurice “The Burns Encyclopaedia”, 3rd edition. London and New York: Robert Hale and St Martin’s Press, 1980; Lockwood, David “Celebrate the Legend – Discover Robert Burns in Dumfries and Galloway”. Dumfries: Dumfries and Galloway Council, 2009; Mackay, James A “Burns-Lore of Dumfries and Galloway”. Ayr: Alloway Publishing Limited, 1988; Mackay, James “Burnsiana”. Ayr: Alloway Publishing Limited, 1988; Mackay, James “A Biography of Robert Burns”. Edinburgh: Mainstream, 1992; McDowall, William “History of the Burgh of Dumfries, with Notices of Nithsdale, Annandale and the Western Border”, 4th edition. Dumfries: T C Farries and Company Limited, 1986; McIntyre, Ian “Dirt & Deity – A Life of Robert Burns”. London: HarperCollins, 1995; Westwood, Peter J “Genealogical Charts of the Family of Robert Burns and Descending Families”. Kilmarnock: The Burns Federation, 1997; Westwood, Peter J “Jean Armour Mrs Robert Burns – An Illustrated Biography”. Dumfries: Creedon Publications, 1996; Westwood, Peter J (Edited) “Jean Armour My Life and Times with Robert Burns”. Dumfries: Creedon Publications, 2001; Westwood, Peter J “The Deltiology of Robert Burns”. Dumfries: Creedon Publications, 1994
Description:

"Jean Armour". A colour tinted postcard from a steel plate engraving of a portrait of the poet's wife.

 

Of the many and varied postcards on the theme of Robert Burns' life and work very few portray his wife. Jean Armour was born in 1765, the daughter of a master mason of Mauchline. She first met Robert Burns at Mauchline in 1784, after his family settled at Mossgiel, near to the town. The actual date of their marriage is not known.

 

They had nine children, only three of whom survived into adulthood. After Robert Burns death in 1796, Jean continued to live in the family home in Burns Street, Dumfries. The house became a place of pilgrimage for Burns' admirers and she received many distinguished visitors. She remained there until her own death in 1843.

 

The portrait from which this postcard is taken is the original painting by James Gilfillan made in c. 1826 and shows her in later life. Gilfillan also painted a retrospective portrait of Burns around the same time.