Robert Burns died - On this day in Scottish history


21 July 2019
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Find out about the death of Scottish poet Robert Burns, who died on 21 July 1796 on this day in Scottish History.

Scottish poet and songwriter Robert Burns, the 'ploughman poet', died on 21 July 1796 at the age of 37. Read our special guide to sites associated with Robert Burns.

Burns's death came after years of ill health and his funeral took place on the same day that his son Maxwell was born. Among Burns's many works are Tam O'Shanter, To a Mouse, and A Man's a Man For a' That.

Burns died in his home in Dumfries and his funeral was held in the town four days later, after which he was buried in St Michael's Churchyard. His body was later moved to a mausoleum in the same churchyard, with his widow Jean Armour buried beside him in 1834.

The influence of Robert Burns remains strong both in his native Scotland and in countries around the world where Scots have settled - with societies dedicated to his memory, the well-loved tradition of Burns Night on 25 January, as well as statues and streets dedicated to him and even a crater on the planet Mercury.

Further reading

Robert Burns: The Complete Poetical Works