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Photo Calum Allan
Photo - Anon

Catrine Farm / Nether Catrine/ Catrine House/ Catrine Bank/ Dowie's Garage/ Townhead Garage/ Stewart Place are some of the names this historical building has been referred to in the past. Or Professor Dugald Stewart's Hoose, where Burns dinner'd wi' a lord, (Lord Daer) on 23rd October 1786.

"This wot ye all whom it concerns:
I, Rhymer Rab, alias Burns,
October twenty-third,
A ne'er to be forgotten day,
Sae far I sprachled up the brae,
I dinner'd wi'a Lord."

The building is of great importance in the biography of Robert Burns. In the summer of 1786 the poet was contemplating emigration to work as an overseer on a sugar plantation in Jamaica. He was diverted from this potentially disastrous course (mortality from yellow fever was high that year) by several men, principal among whom was Dugald Stewart, professor of philosophy at Edinburgh University, whose summer residence this was. He met in this house with the farmer poet from Mossgiel and offered to introduce him to his own publisher in Edinburgh, William Creech, with a view to complementing the Kilmarnock Edition of July 1786 with a larger Edinburgh one. Burns took his advice, went to the capital in November 1786 and the Edinburgh Edition, with 3000 subscribers, was published by Creech in the spring of the following year. Burns's fame became national overnight.

(Tnx to Prof David Purdie, Edinburgh for this contribution)

Image - Prof David Purdie
Photo - Prof David Purdie

Painting of Dugald Stewart (1753-1828) by Henry Raeburn.

Right: Stewart's monument may be seen to this day on the Calton Hill in Edinburgh. He was our greatest philosopher of the time, a teacher of the student Walter Scott and the biographer of his friend Adam Smith, author of The Wealth of Nations. The fact that this man - as he tells us - enjoyed moral and abstract debate with Burns on their walks on the Braid Hills, clearly shows just what a deeply intelligent man the poet was.

Photo - Anon
Photo - Eric Hamilton

Photo - Eric Hamilton
Photo Library & Info Sce, EAC

Photo Library & Info Sce, EAC
Photo - Eric Hamilton

Photo Terry Harrison
Photo - Eric Hamilton
Left: Before the railway embankment was built, the open space at the old front of Dugald's house is evident. Unfortunately the image scan is limited, and thus the hi res image is very poor.
Similar to the two images below, showing the house is hardly visible from the village side.

Photo - Eric Hamilton
Photo Library & Info Sce, EAC
Right: This postcard was franked 1904, and the railway opened to passengers on 1st September 1903, thus giving an approx date for the card. The house seemed jammed in between the rounded block called Stewart Place, and the railway embankment. Click here to view the old house of Dugald as seen by the early Catrine rail travellers. Eric's view on the left is quite similar, although slightly more of the railway and Townhead area is seen.

Click to see the house in recent times and the way it looks today.

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