James Cunningham, 14th Earl of Glencairn 1749 - 1791
Scottish Nobleman and Representative Peer in the House of Lords.
The Earl of Glencairn was the poet's principal patron on his arrival in Edinburgh. It was by his influence that the Edinburgh establishment subscribed so enthusiastically to the Edinburgh edition. It was through the Earl of Glencairn that Burns was introduced to the publisher William Creech.
In the letter Burns sent to Dalziel on 10th March he says 'God knows what I have suffered at the loss of my best Friend, my first my dearest Patron and Benefactor; the man to whom I owe all that I am and have!' he included in the letter his 'Lament for James, Earl of Glencairn',
"The bridegroom may forget the bride
Was made his wedded wife yestreen;
The monarch may forget the crown
That on his head an hour has been;
The mother may forget the child
That smiles sae sweetly on her knee;
But I'll remember thee, Glencairn,
And a' that thou hast done for me!"