robert Burns | The British Newspaper Archive Blog


Hot Off The Press – New Titles This Week

This week at The Archive we are marking Burns Night with the addition of a very special brand new Scottish title the Mearns Leader. Meanwhile, from Ballymena to Biggleswade, from Londonderry to Littlehampton, from Maidstone to Market Harborough, we’ve updated ten of our existing titles from England and Northern Ireland. Furthermore, over the last seven days, we have added over 95,435 brand new pages to our collection of historic newspapers. So read on to discover more about legendary Scottish poet

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‘Strange Customs’ – Exploring the Ancient Origins and Traditions of Halloween

Nowadays, we tend to think of Halloween as a thoroughly modern phenomenon, an American Hallmark holiday. But using newspapers from the Victorian era, accessed through The Archive, we will discover in this blog how Halloween is a thoroughly ancient phenomenon. We will look at the ancient origins of the October festival, and explore its traditions, some of which have lasted through to this day, like bobbing for apples, and others that have fallen by the wayside, for example the day’s

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Robert Burns – Born in Alloway, South Ayrshire, on 25 January 1759

Robert Burns on thrift

To celebrate the birthday of Robert Burns, we found a newspaper article from 1796 reporting on the life, death, and funeral of Scotland’s Bard and ‘peasant poet’ (hmm, it can be debated if he was a ‘heaven-taught ploughman’, as we suspect he read quite a bit whenever he had time!). As two of Burns’s most famous lines are: O wad some Pow’r the giftie gie us To see oursels as ithers see us!


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