Was She Robert Burns Granddaughter?

And fare thee well, my only Luve
And fare thee well, a while!
And I will come again, my Luve,
Tho’ it were ten thousand mile.
Robert Burns

Portrait of Jean Armour and Sarah Burns aged 9

Robert Burns, the celebrated Scottish poet, had 12 children by four women – nine by his wife Jean Armour. Seven of his children were illegitimate, including the first four by Jean Armour, legitimised by their parent’s marriage in 1788. Of Jean’s children, six died young and another, William, had no children.

On a tombstone, in the Castlemaine Cemetery, it is purported this is the place where Sarah Burns, the granddaughter of Robert Burns, lies. No doubt after talking to the Castlemaine Historic Society a local Castlemaine establishment claims that Andrew Campbell built the place as a private residence and that in 1883 he married Sara Burns Thomspon (granddaughter of the celebrated Scottish poet Robert Burns).

I am not disputing this BUT after a rudimentary online search…. A portrait features the poet’s wife, Jean Amour, alongside their beloved granddaughter Sarah. Sarah was nine at the time this portrait was done. According to a Scottish geneologist Sarah Elizabeth Maitland Tombs Burns (1821-1909) was the daughter of their fourth son James Glencairn Burns (1794-1865).

This tombstone says Sarah died in 1885! Perhaps someone, out there can clarify if the woman who lies here really was the granddaughter of the Robert Burns and Jean Armour.

One thought on “Was She Robert Burns Granddaughter?

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