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Robert Burns

circa 1786: Scottish poet Robbie Burns (1759 - 1796) in his cottage composing 'The Cotter's Saturday Night'. Robert Burns was born in Alloway, Ayrshire, the son of a farmer. In 1786 he published 'Poems, chiefly in the Scottish dialect' with a view to raising funds to emigrate to the West Indies. The success of the volume induced him to stay. He married Jean Armour, the mother of his children in 1788. Burns farmed at Ellisland until 1791 and also worked for the Excise Service to supplement his income. Most of his later literary work consisted of songs and he wrote many of his most famous works for 'A Collection of Original Scottish Airs' which included 'Auld Lang Syne', 'A Red, Red Rose' and 'Scots Wha Hae'. Burns died on July 21st 1796. His life and work are celebrated on Burns Night, 25th January. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Robbie Burns

January 25 marks the birth of Robert Burns (most commonly known as Robbie), the famed Scottish poet and lyricist. Burns is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland, and is celebrated around the world.