Lady Anne Andrew Barnard

Anne Barnard. Courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

Anne Barnard
Born Anne Lindsay
December 12 1750(1750-Template:MONTHNUMBER-12)
Balcarres House, Fife
Died May 6 1825(1825-Template:MONTHNUMBER-06) (aged 74)
London, England
Occupation poet, visual artist
Notable works Auld Robin Gray

Lady Anne Barnard (12 December 1750 - 6 May 1825) was a Scottish-born English poet, prose writer, and artist. She was author of the ballad Auld Robin Gray and an accomplished travel writer, artist and socialite of the period. Her 5-year residence in Cape Town, South Africa, although brief, had a significant impact on the cultural and social life of the time.[1]



Drawing by Lady Barnard, of "Paradise", her South African residence. Courtesy Wikimedia Commons.


Oil painting by Lady Barnard, subject unknown. Courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

She was born Anne Lindsay, eldest daughter of James Lindsay, 5th Earl of Balcarres, at Balcarres House, Fife, Scotland. She moved to London where she met and was married in 1793 to Andrew Barnard, [2] 12 years her junior, a son of Thomas Barnard, the Bishop of Limerick, for whom she obtained from Henry Dundas (1st Viscount Melville) an appointment as colonial secretary at the Cape of Good Hope, which was then under British military occupation. The Barnards travelled there in March 1797, Lady Anne remaining at the Cape until January 1802.

Her letters written to Dundas, then secretary for war and the colonies, and her diaries of travels into the interior have become an important source of information about the people, events and social life of the time. She is also retained in popular memory as a socialite, known for entertaining at the Castle of Good Hope as the official hostess of Governor Earl Macartney.

The remarkable series of letters, journals and drawings she produced was published in 1901 under the title South Africa a Century Ago. In 1806, on the reconquest of the Cape by the United Kingdom, Barnard was reappointed Colonial Secretary, but Lady Anne did not accompany him there; he died at the Cape in 1807. The rest of her life was passed in London, where she died on 6 May 1825.

Lady Anne was also an accomplished artist, some of her works being included in her published accounts of life in the 18th and 19th centuries. Her works include oil paintings and drawings.

Rev. William Leeves revealed in 1812 that Auld Robin Gray had been written by her in 1772, and set to music by him. It was published anonymously in 1783, Lady Anne only acknowledging the authorship of the words two years before her death in a letter to Sir Walter Scott (1823), who subsequently edited it for the Bannatyne Club with two continuations.


Lady Anne is commemorated in several ways in Cape Town. A chamber in the Castle of Good Hope is known as "Lady Anne Barnard's Ballroom"; a road in the suburb of Newlands, where the Barnards lived, is named "Lady Anne Avenue"; and a carved effigy of her is displayed in the foyer of the civic centre in the neighbouring suburb of Claremont. The Barnards' country house, The Vineyard, survives as part of a hotel.

Her poem "Auld Robin Gray" was included in the Oxford Book of English Verse (1250-1900).[3]




See alsoEdit

References Edit


  1. The Claremont Clarion (June, 2010)
  2. Not related to General Sir Andrew Francis Barnard]]
  3. Lady Anne Lindsay, "Auld Robin Gray", Oxford Book of English Verse (1250-1900),, Web, Oct. 20, 2011.
  4. Auld Robin Gray (1825), Internet Archive. Web, July 1, 2013.
  5. Lady Anne Lindsay Barnard, Online Books Page, University of Pennsylvania. Web, July 1, 2013.

External linksEdit

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