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Near the end of 1787 Robert Burns was staying in Edinburgh and struck up a friendship with Mrs Agnes Maclehose. Robert and Agnes, known to her friends as ‘Nancy’, then began a regular correspondence. This correspondence—described by Sir Walter Scott as “the most extraordinary mixture of sense and nonsense and of love, human and divine, that was ever exposed to the eye of the world.”—continued until Agnes left for Jamaica to attempt reconciliation with her estranged husband.

On 6 December 1791 Robert and Agnes met in Edinburgh for the last time; after which he wrote and sent her the poem ‘Ae Fond Kiss’ .

Forty years later (and nearly thirty-five after Robert's death), on 6 December 1831, Agnes wrote in her journal: "This day I can never forget. Parted with Burns, in the year 1791, never more to meet in this world. Oh, may we meet in Heaven!"