Name: Robert/Robbie/Rabbie Burns, AKA The Ploughman Poet, The Bard of Ayrshire, Scotland's Favourite Son Age: 37 (1759-1796) Cause of death: Unknown, but possibly rheumatic fever. Or 'a dissolute lifestyle', if you believe contemporary rumours. Spouse: Jean Armour (1765-1834), mother of nine of Burns's children. There were more? Three more, all illegitimate.