Burns, Robert. Born in 1759. Scottish poet. Son of an Ayrshire farmer and, with his brothers, worked on the farm. His first volume of poems was published in 1786, and attracted much attention, Burns being invited to Edinburgh and made much of by literary society. At this time, he was on the point of emigrating to Jamaica. In 1788 he married Jean Armour, and in 1789 became an excise officer, as well as a farmer in Dumfriesshire. In 1791, farming not being profitable, he removed to Dumfries, where he continued his post in the excise, and wrote poems for the Edinburgh publishers. The irregularities which had marked his earlier life returned in his later days, and accelerated his death in 1796.