FURTHER to Robert Black’s interesting piece on Burns in The National yesterday (Was Burns escaping or starting out anew?, June 29), I like to think of the poet being the author of Inscription For An Altar Of Independence, which includes the lines, “Thou of an independent mind ... Who will not be or have a slave.”

READ MORE: This is Robert Burns's link to slavery and what it means

The American Ken Burns has found he is a distant cousin of Rabbie. The late Edinburgh poet Stanley Roger Green also claimed to be a descendent of Burns, and told of a Gaelic speaker from Taynuilt who killed a neighbour. When was about to be arrested he was told that he must flee, as the victim was a Campbell and all the jury would also be Campbells, which would lead to only one verdict.

He therefore fled to Aberdeen, where he was known as Burns after his place of origin which was the house on the burn. This was Green’s and Burns’s ancestor.

Iain WD Forde