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Burns

Robert Burns

Grey-friars Church Yard, Dumfries, the burial place of Burns [sic]

Period:
19th Century
Description:

A hand coloured steel plate engraving from a painting by William Henry Bartlett of St Michael's Church, Dumfries.

 

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. He joined the congregation of St Michael's Church, the oldest established church in the town, although he would often attend services in other churches if the sermons took his interest.

 

When he died at the early age of thirty seven, he was buried in a simple grave in a corner of St Michael's Churchyard. In the years following his death, Robert Burns' admirers came to believe that his grave was an insufficient memorial to the poet. In 1813,  John Syme formed a committee and launched an appeal to build a mausoleum in his memory. Burns Mausoleum became a place of pilgrimage for visitors to Dumfries.

 

This view of St Michael's Churchyard does not show the mausoleum but instead illustrates the church itself and the path through the old churchyard with gravestones of both earlier and later dates in the foreground. It has been incorrectly titled "Grey-Friars Church Yard" by the publisher.  At this time the development of steel plate engraving made it possible for images to be reproduced in much greater numbers than previous printing technology had allowed.

Materials/Media:
paper
Dimensions:
width: 116 mm, length: 178 mm
Source:
Dumfries Museum & Camera Obscura
Accession number:
DUMFM:1990.54.5
Digital Number:
DMBN271n
Creation Date:
1850
Copyright:
Dumfries & Galloway Council