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Workbench and tools

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Souter Johnnie`s workbench and tools

Introduction:
John Davidson (1728 - 1806) or 'Souter Johnnie' as Burns described him in the poem 'Tam o'Shanter', lived and worked in a little thatched cottage by the roadside in Kirkoswald. Johnnie was a shoemaker (souter) and used part of the ground floor of the cottage as his workshop while the rest of the building provided accommodation for a large family.
Image Rights Holder:
National Burns Collection
Ref:
burns19
Project:
964:0
What:
Workbench and tools
Subject:
The National Trust for Scotland now cares for a small but curious collection of touchstones for Burns and the characters his poems brought to life. Souter Johnnie's Cottage offers a fascinating glimpse back in time to the home and workshop of Tam o'Shanter's 'vera brither' Souter Johnnie.
Who:
Robert Burns (1759 - 1796) (poet)
John Davidson or 'Souter Johnnie' (1728 - 1806) (friend of Burns)
Robert Burns (1759 - 1796) (poet)
When:
Where:
The Robert Burns Birthplace Museum, South Ayrshire
Background:
The National Trust for Scotland now cares for a small but curious collection of touchstones for Burns and the characters his poems brought to life. Souter Johnnie's Cottage offers a fascinating glimpse back in time to the home and workshop of Tam o'Shanter's 'vera brither' Souter Johnnie.
Description:
The workbench and tools needed every day by John Davidson to make and repair shoes are a reminder of the real life of the souter aside from a rather less sober mention in Burns' 'Tam o'Shanter'. Burns was said to have been a frequent visitor to the home of John Davidson whose wife, Anne Gillespie, had at one time been in the service of Gilbert Broun, the poet's grandfather.