Happy birthday Robert Burns

Today marks the 260th anniversary of the birth of Scotland’s National Bard, Robert Burns.

In a letter written in 1788, Burns details his attendance at a service of thanksgiving to mark the centenary of the Glorious Revolution –

“To that auspicious event we owe no less than our liberties, civil and religious. To it we are likewise indebted for the present Royal Family, the ruling features of whose administration have been mildness to the subject, and tenderness of his rights.”

He is regarded as Scotland’s national poet: an icon who has loomed large in Ulster/Scottish culture and consciousness ever since his early death at the age of 37. Arguably his best known work is the song Auld Lang Syne: a long established feature of New Year celebrations in every corner of the world settled by the Scottish diaspora (which means, in effect, every corner of the world).