Lodge Canongate Kilwinning No 2

Henry Mackenzie 1745 - 1831

Author of "The Man of Feeling"

Mackenzie to whom Sir Walter Scott had dedicated 'Waverly' was an accomplished author, and when Burns Kilmarnock Edition was published he wrote an article commending Burns's Poems, which helped considerably to make Burns's name known among the Edinburgh literati. 'Though I am far from meaning to compare our rustic bard to Shakespeare', Mackenzie wrote, 'yet whoever will read his lighter and more humourous poems... will perceive with what uncommon penetration and sagacity this Heaven-taught ploughman, from his humble and unlettered station, has looked upon men and manners. '

Even before the appearance of this review, Burns held an extraordinarily high opinion of Mackenzie. Writing to Murdoch on 15th January 1783, Burns told his old teacher that The Man of Feeling was 'a book I prize next to the Bible'.