Edited by Frank R. Shaw, FSA Scot, Greater Atlanta, GA, USA
The contest by Scotland’s National Trust is
over, the results are in, and Robert Burns has won in a runaway! He is
our “Great Scot,” or Scotland’s soul, or whatever superlative you want
to use to describe him. While I felt good all along about Burns being
the winner, you never know what might happen when it comes to actual
results in almost any category. I want to thank the good folks at the
National Trust for allowing the readers of Robert Burns Lives! to
participate in the contest. Winning makes their efforts worthwhile.
Thanks also go to David Hopes for the outstanding job he and his
colleagues from the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum undertook in helping
push the bard to win this important title! Good people, one and all!
(FRS: 5.5.2016 – Index Chapter 237)
Robert Burns voted as public’s National Trust
Beloved poet Robert Burns garnered 44 per
cent of the vote; more than double that of second-placed designer
Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Picture: TSP
National bard Robert Burns
has been voted the public’s ‘Great Scot’, securing more than twice the votes of
his nearest rival, according to a poll conducted at its visitor centres by the
National Trust for Scotland.
Burns took the top spot comfortably, with 44 per cent of the vote, well ahead of
the iconic designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh, with 19 per cent.
Mary Queen of Scots scored 16 per cent, Sir Hugh Munro, who produced the first
list of mountains in Scotland over 3000 feet in 1891, polled 14 per cent, and
the Jacobite heroine, Flora MacDonald, fabled for helping Bonnie Prince Charlie
escape “over the sea to Skye”, seven per cent.
Only at Glencoe Visitor Centre was Burns’ dominance challenged. Here, in the
shadow of the great Aonach Eagach ridge, mountaineer Munro knocked the poet off
National Trust Scotland has been running the poll online and at selected
properties over the past two months, as part of a campaign to raise funds for
the Burns Monument in Alloway which is in need of vital repairs.
How important to modern day Scotland is Robert Burns?
Thousands of votes were cast online and in person at the Robert Burns Birthplace
Museum, Culloden, Drum Castle, Glencoe Visitor Centre, the Hill House and Pollok
Chris Waddell, at the Trust’s Robert Burns Birthplace in Alloway said today: “We
were always confident that Burns was going take the Great Scots title. For many
he is Scotland’s soul.
“Votes for him came from all over the world, showing that not only is he still
‘weel kent’ at home, but that he remains one of Scotland’s best global
Robert Burns love letter goes on display at National Library
The Trust had selected the five historical “heroes” whose fascinating stories
and incredible achievements have had a profound impact on Scotland’s history,
architecture and landscape and asked the public to select their “Great Scot”.
The poll ran from 9 March until 29 April.
The organisation’s Mark Bishop said: “It was fantastic to see the passion that
the Great Scots poll inspired. The lively debate and participation shows just
how inspiring our historical heroes are, and we are proud to play our part in
telling their story.”
More than £70,000 has been raised of the remaining £100,000 needed to repair the
Burns Monument in Alloway. The Victorian structure requires conservation work
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