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Burns

Robert Burns

Brow

Period:
19th Century
Description:

A steel plate engraving of the village on the Solway coast which Robert Burns visited shortly before his death in 1796.

 

Brow Well is a spring containing the mineral chalybeate which was believed to have healing properties. Townspeople of Dumfries would go there to drink the water and for sea bathing in the Solway, which was also believed to improve the health.

 

In the last year of his life, as his health continued to deteriorate, Robert Burns was advised to take this cure by his doctor, William Maxwell. Burns drank the foul tasting water from the iron cup attached to the well and waded chest deep into the cold tidal waters. It is little wonder that he died within days of this experience on 21 July 1796. The pathos of Burns' last days spent in hope of a recovery that was not to be lend this rather bleak place a special atmosphere.

 

This view of the well at Brow is engraved from a painting by J Ramage and was published in "The National Burns", edited by Rev. George Gilfillan. Published by William Mackenzie of Glasgow, it contained "The airs of all the songs and an original life of Burns by the editor". It was also illustrated throughout, both by engraved plates and within the text. It was published in 15 parts, costing two shillings each making it an affordable way for people to purchase the complete works of Robert Burns.

Materials/Media:
paper
Dimensions:
width: 165 mm, length: 113 mm
Source:
Dumfries Museum & Camera Obscura
Accession number:
DUMFM:0198.223 [The National Burns, Part 14]
Digital Number:
DMBN173n
Creation Date:
1878
Copyright:
Dumfries & Galloway Council