This daily ritual went on for over a week, then for some reason, perhaps stormy waters, he returned from Brow Well to the house on 18th July. Stumbling out of the horse and cart, it would be Roberts last walk up the four stone steps into the house, for he never came back out alive. Three days later on the morning of Thursday 21st July, Robert began rambling and reciting verse in a delirious manner. Jean Armour his wife quickly summoned the children who huddled around his bed. About twenty minutes thereafter Robert lapsed into unconsciousness and died at the young age of 37.
Much is written in book form and here on the Internet about the house and Robert Burns. Let's not forget for a moment about Robert Burns' wife Jean Armour. Moving here proved rather unlucky for Jean, if you are of superstitious mind. Three years after moving here Jean lost Robert her Husband. Almost another three years after that she lost the child born to Robert the same week he died, Maxwell Burns (2 yr 9 mo). Four years after burying her baby she loses another Son, Francis Burns (14 yr) in 1803. The house indeed offered Jean stability in the lives of her children, but undoubtedly great sadness. Jean Armour prevailed in the house and was a well liked parishioner of St Michael's Church, a short walk away. Jean herself lived out her life in Dumfries, passing away 38 years after Robert in 1834 at the age of 71.
I have never actually been inside the Burns House here in Dumfries. The picture at the top of the page was taken in 1984 on a passing visit on my motorcycle. I have seen limited pictures of the building on the Internet, but what I have seen makes it look like the stonework was re pointed using white mortar. Someone please e-mail me and tell me this is not true! A sandstone building with white mortar? What are they thinking? Artifacts inside according to the brochure, are some of the original Kilmarnock edition books as well as Burn's desk where he scribed many more of his famous poetic epistles.
For Robert Burns, life began in a small cottage in Alloway and ended here on a little side street in Dumfries. Burns House is just another piece of the jigsaw puzzle that made up the life and times of Scotland's most famous poet. My thanks to all the folk who keep the doors open and keep the work of Robert Burns very much alive in the hearts and minds of visitors from all over the World. Also the ongoing task in preserving the buildings that were a part of the Bards every day life. Thank you!
Martin J. Galloway Editor.
(..) Thanks for showing up.