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Robert Burns

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Royal Mail Robert Burns first day cover stamps

Image Rights Holder:
Dumfries & Galloway Museums Service
Project:
:Future Museum
Material:
paper
Dimensions:
width: 219 mm, length: 116 mm (envelope)
What:
Robert Burns
Subject:
stamps
Who:
When:
19th Century
Where:
Background:
Burns, Robert “The Complete Poetical Work of Robert Burns 1759 – 1796”, Ed. Dr James A Mackay. Ayr: Alloway Publishing Limited, 1993; Burns, Robert “The Poems and Songs of Robert Burns”, 3 vols., Ed. James Kinsley. Oxford: Clarendon, 1968; Mackay, James “Burnsiana”. Ayr: Alloway Publishing Limited, 1988
Description:

Stamps issued to commemorate the bi-centenary of Robert Burns death.

 

Robert Burns died in Dumfries on the 21 July 1796 at the early age of thirty seven. The first centenary of his death in 1896 was a memorable occasion for the townspeople of Dumfries. The organisers included Sir Robert Threshie Reid MP, later Lord Loreburn, who was President of Dumfries Burns Club, and the Earl of Rosebery. Joseph Johnstone Glover, the Provost of Dumfries was chairman of the organising committee. Lord Rosebery took a leading role in the days proceedings and delivered "a memorable oration on the Bard".

 

In 1996 the bi-centenary was marked by a year long celebration of his life. The anniversary of his death on 21 July saw a procession of Burns organisations through the town and a wreath laying ceremony at Burns Mausoleum. These Royal Mail first day cover stamps were issued on 25 January 1996, the poet's birthday. They feature lines from his best known works, To A Mouse, O My Luve Is Like A Red, Red Rose, Scots Wha Hae and Auld Lang Syne.

 

These were the second set of Royal Mail stamps to be issued in honour of Robert Burns. It was proposed that stamps be issued to mark the bi-centenary of his birth in 1959 but all requests were refused, although the Soviet Union marked the event with a stamp. After many demands from Burns organisations and also Scottish Nationalists the first set were finally agreed to in January 1966.