Professor Dugald Stewart 1753-1828
Professor of Mathematics
In August 1786, Dr Mackenzie of Mauchline sent a copy of the Kilmarnock Edition to Dugald Stewart, then in vacation at his country seat, Catrine Bank, Catrine, near Mauchline. Stewart was much impressed by Burns's genius, and on 23rd October, had Burns to dinner with him at Catrine. Dugald Stewart wrote of Burns;
"In Summer 1787 1 passed some weeks in Ayrshire, and saw Burns occasionally . . . . I was led by curiosity to attend for an hour or two a Masonic Lodge in Mauchline, where Burns presided. He had occasion to make some short unpremeditated compliments to different individuals from whom he had no occasion to expect a visit, and everything he said was happily conceived and forcibly as well as fluently expressed. His manner of speaking in public had evidently the marks of some practice in extempore elocution."
Professor Dugald Stewart, was admitted an honorary member of St James's Lodge, and the Minute recording his admission was signed "Robert Burns, D.M." The Professor was a member of Lodge Canongate Kilwinning and proved himself a very good friend to the poet during his residence in Edinburgh and according to Burns was "the most perfect character I ever saw." Their early morning walks on the Braid Hills were greatly enjoyed by both.