Prior to its official formation, the members of this Burns club met for an annual dinner in 1859 to celebrate the 100th birthday of Burns. In the following year, the Waverley Burns Club was founded at a meeting held at the Waverley Hotel, located at 18 George Square in the city centre.
The club gathered monthly at the Waverley Hotel for dinner, with the meeting following thereafter. At the meetings, various items were read, including original poetry, and songs were sung. The original poetry and songs are occasionally included in the records following the minutes. Following the dinners, there was customarily ‘Harmony, Joke[s] and Eloquence’. In 1863, the club voted to celebrate Shakespeare’s tri-century birthday with a club dinner. On 23 April 1864, the Waverley Burns Club, along with some of the members of the Pen & Pencil Club, celebrated with a dinner at the Bedford Hotel. Between 1862 and 1865, there were 44 members on the roll. In the minute entry of 24 February 1863, there is a mention of a club library that was beginning to be formed.
In March 1872, the group changed its name to the Western Burns Club. There were approximately 70 members. It appears that over the years, the minute books become increasingly focused on the social events and outings, and include less on the readings that were done at the meetings. The last entry in Minute Book 4 is dated 21 October 1882.
Minute Books 1 and 2 are from the Waverley Burns Club, and most of Minute Book 3 and all of Minute Book 4 are from the Western Burns Club.
Date of Existence
25 January 1860-26 March 1872; (Western Burns Club) March 1872-1882?
Source of Information
1. Sederunt book, Waverly Burns Club (3 notebooks), 1860-72 (MLSC, Robert Burns Collection, Mitchell (AL) 391557-59);
2. [Printed papers] Waverley/Western Burns Club, 1867 (Pamphlets and papers bound together) (MLSC, Robert Burns Collection, Mitchell (AL) 13 WES 644307);
3. [Minute book] Waverly/Western Burns Club, 1872-1882 (from Mitchell online catalogue: ‘Handwritten records of meetings, with printed cuttings, menu cards, correspondence, obituary notices, etc., inserted Minute books nos. 3 and 4, the first two being minutes of the Waverley Burns Club. Book 3 records the change of name to the Western Burns Club in March 1872’) (MLSC, Robert Burns Collection, Mitchell (AL)391559-60);
4. ‘A natal lay: written for the anniversary of Burns birth-day, 25th January, 1875’ (MLSC, Mitchell (AL) 12A WIN52901);
5. Robert Burns, [The Western Burns Club] (reports of Burns suppers, and excursions) (MLSC, Mitchell (AL) 13 WES 907654);
6. (Mentioned in minutes of Glasgow and District Burns Club: Minute entry, 30 March 1908, Glasgow and District Burns Club, Minutes, 8 November 1907-5 September 1912, p. 18 (MLSC, 891709)
Mitchell Library Special Collections (MLSC)
(See Source of Information)
See also Glasgow and District Burns Club.