While Robert Burns was in Edinburgh, he met and established a platonic relationship with Mrs Agnes MacLehose.

The pair had a long-standing correspondence of stylised romantic letters under the pseudonyms ‘Sylvander’ and ‘Clarinda.’ Their relationship concluded with Burns’s final letter to Mrs MacLehose in December of 1791, which includes the famous song ‘Ae fond kiss.’

Agnes MacLehose was buried in Canongate Kirkyard with a memorial featuring only her silhouette and the name ‘Clarinda.’

Clarinda’s café, a popular cosy teashop of the area, is named in her honour.



Ae Fond Kiss

– Robert Burns




Robert Burns (1759-1796) is regarded as Scotland’s national poet and lyricist, who authored poems ranging from the profound to the bawdy, and whose influence is felt worldwide.

He recorded and preserved hundreds of Scottish folk songs, making him one of Scotland’s most important lyricists.


The original manuscript letter containing ‘Ae Fond Kiss’ was acquired by Edinburgh bookseller William Finlay Watson, who collected examples of the handwriting of celebrity figures.

The letter now resides at the National Library of Scotland.