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Sir John Whitefoord, the third baronet of Blairquhan, was a well-known agricultural improver, one-time owner of the Ballochmyle state and master mason of St James Tarbolton Masonic Lodge. Robert Burns held him in regard and sought his advice on publishing his poetry. Both had been friends of the Earl of Glencairn.

“THOU, who thy honour as thy God rever'st,

Who, save thy mind's reproach, nought earthly fear'st,

To thee this votive offering I impart,

The tearful tribute of a broken heart.

The Friend thou valued'st, I, the Patron lov'd;

His worth, his honour, all the world approved:

We'll mourn till we too go as he has gone,

And tread the shadowy path to that dark world unknown.”

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