Robert Burns and The Eglinton Estate - George Reid and Agnes Tennant of Barquharie

George Reid and Agnes Tennant of Barquharie

George Reid (1762–1838) was originally a farmer at Barquharie or Barquharry near Ochiltree. In 1786 Burns borrowed Reid's pony to carry him to Edinburgh on 27 November 1786. Burns later wrote to thank him and to apologise for the late return of the pony returned by John Samson; he also sent Agnes Reid a copy of the Kilmarnock Edition. Through George Reid, Burns made the acquaintance of Mr. Prentice, the farmer of Cevington Mains, who testified his admiration for his poetry by subscribing for twelve copies of the second, Edinburgh edition.

Agnes Tennant was the eldest daughter of John Tennant of Glenconner, by his second marriage. She was George Reid's wife and is Burns' 'auld acquaintance, Nancy', in the 'Epistle to James Tennant'.

In 1803, George, this good friend of Robbie Burns, became the Eglinton Estate Factor for Hugh, the 12th Earl of Eglinton, and was given the use of Fergushill House as his residence. He was the factor at the time of the building of the new Eglinton Castle, gardens, bridges, etc. Fergushill House stood near the Lugton Water, close to South Fergushill Farm and the present day (2009) Fergushill cottage. Robin Cummell records that Reid was very fond of entertaining his many friends at Fergushill Hall, many of whom had also been friends of Robert Burns.

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