Published: 29 Jan 2010 16:38

A GROUND-BREAKING historian has revealed that Robert Burns' dad was a gardener in the Irvine area - and could have even worked in Bourtreehill.

And Archivist AJ Morton has also said that part of the Bard's boyhood education would have come from books borrowed from a family friend in Bourtreehill.

The bold historian contacted the Times after his research revealed that Rabbie's father William was a friend and colleague of the Head Gardener of Bourtreehill Andrew Urquhart.

And he said his documents could prove gardener William borrowed at least one book from the prestigious gardener to teach his sons Robert and Gilbert.

AJ said: "This relationship was far from strange. Since William Bunres was head gardener nearby, it is perfectly possible that he did work in Bourtreehill.

"What is beyond doubt is that William was friends with the gardener of Bourtreehill and borrowed at least one history book from him, with which he educated his sons."

See the Times this week for the full story.

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