Robert Burns dedicated the Edinburgh Edition of his work to the Caledonian Hunt, some of whose members had befriended or patronised him during his stay in Edinburgh. The dedication, which is included at the beginning of the volume, can be read at Dedication to the Noblemen and Gentlemen of the Caledonian Hunt.
The following Acknowledgement of this Dedication is included in the Minutes of the Meeting of the Caledonian Hunt in Edinburgh dated 10th January 1787 : “A motion being made by the Earl of Glencairn, and seconded by Sir John Whitefoord in favour of Mr Burns, Ayrshire, who had dedicated the new edition of his poems to the Caledonian Hunt, the meeting was of the opinion that in consideration of his superior merit, as well as of the compliment paid to them, Mr Hogart should be directed to subscribe for one hundred copies in their name, for which he should pay Mr Burns £25, upon the publication of his book.” Robert Burns was enrolled as a member of the Caledonian Hunt on 16th April 1792.
The first Edinburgh Edition was printed by William Smellie, and published by William Creech on 21st April 1787, the funding for which had been by subscription ‘for the sole benefit of the author’. This edition had to be re-set and reprinted more or less simultaneously as it was over-subscribed. In all 3,000 copies were published. In the second run, there was an error in a line of the “Address to a Haggis” whereby “Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware” appeared as “Auld Scotland wants nae stinking ware”. This second run of the 1787 Edinburgh Edition thereafter become known as the ‘Stinking Burns’. The price to subscribers for the Edinburgh Edition was 5/- ( 25 pence) and 6/- (30 pence) for other purchasers.
Detailed below are the Songs and Poems of Burns’ Edinburgh Edition, the second volume of his Work to be published. The songs/poems are listed in the Order they appeared when it was first published.
Click on the appropriate link to access the full Text
Works marked * were not published in the earlier Kilmarnock Edition, so were therefore first published in this Volume