Agnes <I>Broun</I> Burns

Agnes Broun Burns

Death 14 Jan 1820 (aged 87)
Bolton, East Lothian, Scotland
Burial Bolton, East Lothian, Scotland
Memorial ID 185116136 · View Source
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Also known as Agnes Broun (Brown) or Agnes Burns (Burnes) was the mother of the Poet Robert Burns. Her father Gilbert was the tenant of the 300 acre farm of Craigenton, in Kirkoswald Parish, South Ayrshire, Scotland.

Agnes was born March 17 1732 at Whitestone Cottage, Culzean, Scotland - she was the oldest of six children of Gilbert Broun and Agnes Rainie (1708-1742)
Her mother died when Agnes was 10 years old; her father remarried in 1744 to Margaret Blaine (1718-1751) and again to Catherine Mott (1747-1820).

Agnes went to live with her maternal grandmother, Jean Rainie, in Maybole.
She married William Burnes on December 3, 1757 in Ayr where they settled in Alloway, South Ayrshire. They raised four of their seven children, including her eldest, Robert Burns (born July 30), followed by John (born July 10 1769) and Isobel (born July 27 1771).

When Agnes' husband William Burnes died aged 63 in 1784, she went to live with her son, Gilbert, until 1798 at Mossgiel and then at Dinning in Nithsdale for two years, before, in 1800 four years after Robert's death, they moved to Grant's Braes, East Lothian. She died just short of the age of 88 and was buried in the churchyard in Bolton Parish Church, Bolton, East Lothian. She had seven children, three of whom predeceased her. Of her many grandchildren, at least ten died before her.

The Burns headstone The mother, brother and sister of the Poet Robert Burns are buried in Bolton Parish Kirkyard within a railed enclosure. The stone was erected by Gilbert Burns in memory of his children. Gilbert, a brother of Robert Burns, was an elder of the kirk.

In 1932, William Baxter FSA (Scot) restored the monument to her called Burns' Mother's Well, near Bolton on the roadside from Haddington, East Lothian - about 100 yards (91m) away from the site of of the Burns' former homes.
Inscription on the well reads:
"Drink of the pure crystals and not only be ye succoured but also refreshed in the mind. Agnes Broun, 1732-1820. To the mortal and immortal memory and in noble tribute to her, who not only gave a son to Scotland but to the whole world and whose own doctrines he preached to humanity that we might learn."

Family Members



By GILBERT BURNS, Factor at Grants Braes,
In Memory of his Children
ISABELLA who died 3d July 1815,
in the 7th year of her age.
AGNES, who died 14th Septr 1815,
in the 15th year of her age.
JANET who died 30th Octor 1816,
in the 18th year of her age.
And of his Mother,
AGNES BROWN, who died 14 Janry 1820,
in the 88th year of her age.
whose mortal remains lie all buried here.
Also of other two of his Children VIZ. JEAN,
who died on the 4th of Jany 1827, in the 20th year of her age.
And JOHN, who died on the 26th Feby 1827,
in the 25th year of his age. GILBERT BURNS
their Father died on the 8th April 1827 in the 67th year
of his age.
Also buried here, ANABELLA, sister
of GILBERT BURNS, who died March 2nd 1832 Aged 67.


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  • Created by: Linda
  • Added: 11 Nov 2017
  • Find a Grave Memorial 185116136
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Agnes Broun Burns (17 Mar 1732–14 Jan 1820), Find a Grave Memorial no. 185116136, citing Bolton Parish Church Cemetery, Bolton, East Lothian, Scotland ; Maintained by Linda (contributor 47353767) .