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Robert Burns

Carte de Visite Card of Burns Cottage, Alloway

19th Century

A sepia toned monochrome photographic print on a carte de visite card of the cottage in which Robert Burns was born.


Robert Burns was born at Alloway near Ayr on the 25th January 1759, the eldest of seven children of Agnes and William Burnes. His father was a market gardener, who having acquired a small holding of land, had built this cottage with its whitewashed clay walls and thatched roof with his own hands.


The poet's father sold the cottage in 1781 and it was used as a public house until May 1881. By this time it had become a place of pilgrimage for Burns enthusiasts from around the world. It was purchased for £4,000 by the Trustees of the Burns Monument and opened to the public.


Carte de visite cards were produced to be sold or exchanged and were collected in elaborate albums, specially made for the purpose, often with window mounts to display the cards. This carte de visite card dates from the 1870s when they were at the height of their popularity.  It was produced by John Humphrey of Kilmarnock, a local photographer, possibly as a souvenir for visitors to Burns Cottage.

width: 59 mm, length: 94 mm
Dumfries Museum & Camera Obscura
Accession number:
Carte de Visite, Misc Album, Robert Burns / 1
Digital Number:
Creation Date:
c 1870
Dumfries & Galloway Council

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