Correspondence from J J Haldane Burgess to W Walker: refers to his books Shetland Sketches and Poems, and Rasmie’s Smaa Murr 1919
Papers of James John Haldane Burgess, 1862-1927, writer
- This material is held at
- ReferenceGB 559 MS 15
- Dates of Creation1820
- Name of Creator
- Language of MaterialEnglish
- Physical Description0.01 metres
- Direct Link
Scope and Content
Administrative / Biographical History
James John Haldane Burgess was born on 28 May 1862 in Lerwick, the son of John Burgess. He was educated at the Anderson Institute and won the Glasgow Bursary Competition in 1881. He worked as head teacher in Bressay before embarking upon a degree in Divinity at the University of Edinburgh in 1886 . Despite the onset of blindness, he attained an MA degree in 1889 after sitting oral examinations. Due to his disagreement with certain church doctrines, Haldane Burgess rejected a career as a church minister and returned to Lerwick. Following his return to Shetland, Haldane became a freelance writer and private tutor in Mathematics, Classics and modern languages. He knew most European languages and was particularly knowledgeable in Icelandic, Norwegian and Danish. He also learnt Esperanto. Using a typewriter specially designed for use by the blind, he wrote numerous short stories, poems and an unpublished novel. He played the violin and piano. He became a Marxist socialist in the 1890s and described himself as a Socialist Democrat in 1907. In 1897 Haldane composed the lyrics of the song sung at the annual Viking festival Up-Helly-Aa. Haldane Burgess never married. Such was the acclaim of J J Haldane Burgess that he was the first person to be honoured by a public funeral in Lerwick which was held in the Parish Church.
The arrangement of this material reflects the original order in which it was received
Conditions Governing Access
Other Finding Aids
Further details about the collection are held on Stirling University Library web-based catalogue.
Data about collection held on Stirling University Library web-based catalogue.
Alternative Form Available
No known copies
Conditions Governing Use
Applications for permission to quote should be sent to the Manager, Library Liaison and Training.
Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use and condition of documents.
This material has been appraised in line with standard GB 559 procedures
Location of Originals
This material is original
No known publications using this material
Scotland is the location of all place names in the administrative/biographical history element, unless otherwise stated.
Fonds level description compiled by H M Kemp and Alan Borthwick, Scottish Archive Network project, 10 May 2002.