Title page of the letters volume of the Glenriddell Manuscripts.
If he had, he would have read correspondence between Burns and a range of male and female acquaintances, some of whom were the poet's patrons.
Among them was James Cunningham, 14th Earl of Glencairn. In one letter in the volume, Burns describes Glencairn as 'my noble Patron, my generous benefactor!' to whom he 'owes much, very much indeed'.
This volume featured in the Robert Burns's Glenriddell Manuscripts display at the National Library of Scotland from 23 January to 30 March 2014.