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Jean Armour - (1767-1834) - Wife of Robert Burns

Jean Armour Wife of Robert Burns

Jean Armour statue in Dumfries, opposite St Michael's Church. The wife of Robert Burns, whom she met in 1784 in Mauchline. When she became pregnant in 1785 Burns offered her a written declaration of intent, which then formed a marriage contract, but this was mutilated by her father and the Ayr lawyer Robert Aiken. After appearing before William Auld, the minister of
Mauchline, Robert Burns was declared a single man but Jean Armour's father was intent on enforcing payment for the unborn child. Burns went into hiding and contemplated emigration to the West Indies, but the success of the Kilmarnock Edition of his poems in 1786 partially reconciled the Armours to Burns. By April 1788, after two sets of twins had been born to them, Burns acknowledged Jean as his wife, despite several mystifying letters that imply the contrary; she bore him nine children. Burns wrote 14 songs for her of which the best known is 'Of a' the airts the wind can blaw.'

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