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Betty Burns

Glasgow School of Art Archives

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Betty Burns

A portrait of Betty Burns (1791-1873) taken by Duncan Brown.

Betty Burns was the illegitimate daughter of the poet Robert Burns and Anna Park. She was born in Leith and lived there with her aunt until she was two. She then went to Dumfries where she was brought up by Jean Armour, her father's wife.

In 1808 Betty married John Thomson, a soldier, and went to live with his family in Pollokshaws. Thomson left the army in 1814 and went to work as a handloom weaver. Betty moved with him to Langside for a while, before returning to live in Pollok Street (now Greenview Street), Pollokshaws. In later years she moved again, to Woodside Terrace (now Pollokshaws Road), where she died in 1873. The Co-op supermarket was subsequently built on the site of her house. She was buried in the Old Burgher churchyard in Pollokshaws, also known as the Kirk Lane burial ground.

Duncan Brown (1819-1897) was an amateur photographer whose work documents life in Glasgow from the 1850s to the 1890s.

Reference: 3

Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow School of Art Archives

bonnets, caps, handloom weavers, Kirk Lane burial ground, Old Burgher churchyard, poets, Pollokshaws Co-operative Society, shawls, South Co-operative Society, Vennel burial ground, women

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