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Burns

Robert Burns

Dumfries, 1793

Period:
18th Century
Description:

A copper plate engraving from a sketch by Alexander Reid, showing Dumfries at the time Robert Burns lived in the town.

 

When Robert Burns exchanged the role of farmer for that of Exciseman he moved with his family from Ellisland Farm into a tenement flat in Bank Street, Dumfries, close to the Whitesands and the River Nith. The family lived here from 1791 until 1793 when they moved to a better quality house in Mill Street (now Burns Street).

 

Dumfries at that time was a lively town of some 5,600 inhabitants, mostly living tightly packed into tenement closes of red sandstone. The town was a busy port and in 1792 Burns was promoted to the Dumfries Port Division of the Excise.

 

This early view of the town was made from a sketch by the Scottish artist Alexander Reid who was an associate of Patrick Miller of Dalswinton, Robert Burns' landlord when he farmed at Ellisland. Reid designed the mansion house at Dalswinton for Miller and also made a miniature portrait of Robert Burns. This is one of the few authentic portraits of the poet.

Materials/Media:
paper
Dimensions:
width: 162 mm, length: 109 mm
Source:
Dumfries Museum & Camera Obscura
Accession number:
DUMFM:1983.66.52
Digital Number:
DMBN221n
Creation Date:
1 December 1793
Copyright:
Dumfries & Galloway Council