Mossgiel, Robert Burns' House by Margaret Jordan Patterson

Mossgiel, Robert Burns House by Margaret Jordan Patterson

Mossgiel, Robert Burns' House

Margaret Jordan Patterson

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Mossgiel, Robert Burns' House

around 1913 
graphite drawing 
Image Size
8 5/8 x 12" image 
pencil, lower right 
Edition Size
1 of 1 unique 
titled in another hand directly under signature 
tan wove 
Inventory ID

The home of Scottish poet Robert Burns. The farm of Mossgiel or Mossgaville — to give it its old spelling — is in Mauchline parish, about three miles from Lochlea. It has just over 100 acres. Burns and his brother Gilbert moved into it in March 1784, in circumstances recorded by Gilbert:

'When my father's affairs drew near a crisis, Robert and I took the farm of Mossgiel, consisting of 118 acres, at the rent of £90 per annum, from Mr Hamilton, as an asylum for the family in case of the worst. It was stocked by the property and individual savings of the whole family, and was a joint-concern among us. Every member of the family was allowed ordinary wages for the labour he performed on the farm. My brother's allowance and mine was £7 per annum each. The farm lies very high and mostly on a cold wet bottom.'

In the Autobiographical Letter, Burns told Dr Moore of his good resolutions on beginning life at Mossgiel: 'I read farming books; I calculated crops; I attended markets; and in short, in spite of "The Devil, the world and the Flesh", I believe I would have been a wise man; but the first year from unfortunately buying in bad seed, the second from a late harvest, we lost half of both our crops: this overset all my wisdom... My brother wanted my hare brained imagination, as well as my social and amorous madness, but in good sense and every sober qualification he was far my superiour.'

In Burns's day, the farmhouse at Mossgiel was a single storey 'but an' ben' cottage, with a garret containing three small rooms, the centre one of which was occupied by Robert and Gilbert. Burns had a table, where, at the end of the day's work, he wrote out the verses he had composed in the fields. Today, Mossgiel is a two storey house, and the old thatched roof has been replaced by a slated roof.


Please call us at 707-546-7352 or email to purchase this item.