Bacon, Mr (d. 1825)
Landlord of Brownhill Inn, in Dumfriesshire, he married Catherine Stewart, sister of William Stewart, factor to the estate of Closeburn. An English commercial traveller called Ladyman arrived at the Inn, and was told by Bacon that he would be dining with Burns and his friends (Chambers says that this anecdote was quoted by Ladyman in 1824). One of the items on the menu was bacon. Burns and some of the company would have preferred to do without the presence of Mr Bacon, and when the Landlord went out to see about fresh supplies of toddy, Burns's friends asked him to make up a spontaneous verse, to prove that it was really the poet himself whom Ladyman was meeting. With hardly a moment's thought, Burns produced:
"At Brownhill we always get dainty good cheer
And plenty of bacon each day in the year;
We've a thing that's nice, and mostly in season
But why always Bacon? come, tell me the reason?"
In a rhymed letter to William Stewart, written at Brownhill, probably in January 1793, Burns begins:
"In honest Bacon's ingle-neuk,
Here maun I sit and think;
Sick o' the warld and warld's fock,
And sick, d-amn'd sick o' drink..."
The Ayrshire Monthly Newsletter of 5th April 1844 contained the following paragraph:
'At the sale of the effects of Mr Bacon, Brownhill Inn, after his death in 1825, his snuff-box, being found to bear the inscription:
- although only a horn mounted with silver, brought £5. It was understood to have been presented by Burns to Bacon, with whom he had spent many a merry night.'
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