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Burns

Robert Burns

Measuring or gauging rod which belonged to Robert Burns

Period:
18th Century
Description:

Robert Burns would have used this gauging rod to carry out his work as an exciseman. He would often refer to himself as a "gauger".  It is marked with various scales for measuring the quantity of beer and wine in barrels.

 

Burns commenced his duties as an Excise Officer in September 1789.  Excise was a tax similar to VAT, but collected at the point of manufacture or import, rather than sale.  Burns had to calculate and collect the tax due on a wide range of goods, notably silk, tobacco, beer, wine and spirits.  For this he received £50 per year plus £50 per smuggler arrested and a share in any goods confiscated.

 

 

Materials/Media:
wood, willow, metal
Dimensions:
(folded) length 316mm
Source:
Robert Burns House, Dumfries
Accession number:
DUMFM:1969.29
Digital Number:
BHBN035n
Copyright:
Dumfries & Galloway Council