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John Lapraik (1727-1807) - Poet and Farmer

He lived in the parish of Muirkirk and was an early friend of Robert Burns. To him Burns composed two of his best verse epistles, which were published in the Kilmarnock Edition. In the first, dated 1st April 1785, Burns states his poetic ideals, describing himself as a popular poet in the tradition of Allan Ramsay and Robert Fergusson. The second epistle, dated 21 April 1785, is a confession of Burns's personal faith in his literary ability and the contentment it has brought him. A third, lesser-known, epistle dated 13 September 1785 was published later, in Cromek's Reliques of Bums, Consisting of Original Letters, Poems and Critical Observations on Scottish Songs (1808).

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