Portrait of Jean Armour Burns with Highland Mary Bible Given to Highland Mary “Clarinda” Bark Inscription Brow Well - Postcard Brow Well - Modern View Funeral Scene

'Mrs Burns and one of her Grandchildren' c 1830

A stippled steel plate engraving from an earlier portrait of Jean Armour Burns by Samuel MacKenzie RA

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 1834. She is shown here in later life with her grand daughter, Sarah Elizabeth Maitland Tombs Burns.

This portrait of Jean Armour Burns was published in "The Land of Burns - A series of Landscapes and Portraits, Illustrative of the Life and Writings of the Scottish Poet". This was published in 1846 by Blackie and Son of Glasgow. At this time the development of steel plate engraving made it possible for images to be reproduced in much greater numbers than previous printing technology had allowed. Books such as this one, illustrated by engravings of works by eminent artists became popular, although they were still expensive and beyond the pocket of most people.

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