A person interested in Robert Burn's, his life and times will be aware of his efforts to find a place in the world of work and fortune.
One notable phase of this was his time in the flax trade in Irvine, which did not work out, see my post of 9 June "Chances of Life" for a brief mention.
For those more deeply interested in the fuller background to this and so why Burn's might have attempted to make his way in this industry can be hard to fathom because of the way it was overtaken by cotton etc.
This post in a new Economic History blog, "Capitalism's Cradle" gives an excellent brief of the flax industry in the 18th Century at the time from the view of how invention was critical to the rise of capitalism.
It adds a greater insight to Burn's life as a working man.