muirkirk in the hills of ayrshire - from the muirkirk enterprise group


Robert Burns
and Muirkirk

Muirkirk is not the first place which springs to mind when the name of Robert Burns is mentioned.

In Burns' poem, "the Kirks Alarm" Muirland Jock is reputed to have been Mr. John Shepherd of Muirkirk -

Muirland Jock, Muirland Jock,
When the L--d makes a rock
To crush Common sense for her sins,
If ill manners were wit,
There's no mortal so fit
To confound the poor Doctor at ance.

At a time when Robert Burns was an unknown poet, he heard one of John Lapraik's songs. The two men entered into correspondence and the three Epistles which Burns wrote to John Lapraik in 1785 were subsequently published by Burns in 1786. As a result, the correspondence between the two men is well known.