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Robert Burns

Mossgiel (1)

19th Century

A steel plate engraving from a painting by D O Hill RSA of the farm worked by Robert Burns and his brother, Gilbert following the death of their father.


At the farm of Lochlea the Burns family prospered, but the poet's father William Burnes became enthralled in a protracted law suit with their landlord, David McLure. His case was upheld but he was financially ruined by the litigation and died shortly after.


It was during the last unhappy months of their father's life that Robert and Gilbert Burns arranged to take the lease of the farm of Mossgiel near Mauchline and the family moved there in 1784. It was at Mossgiel that Burns began to write prolifically, composing satires and poems inspired by the country life which he observed around him.


This view of Mossgiel was published in "The Land of Burns - A series of Landscapes and Portraits, Illustrative of the Life and Writings of the Scottish Poet". This was  published in 1846 by  Blackie and Son of Glasgow. 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. Books such as this one, illustrated by engravings of works by eminent artists became popular, although they were still expensive and beyond the pocket of most people.

width: 140 mm, length: 93 mm
Dumfries Museum & Camera Obscura
Accession number:
DUMFM:0199.72 [Land of Burns, Volume I]
Digital Number:
Creation Date:
Dumfries & Galloway Council