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Robert Burns

Sanquhar with Crighton Peel

19th Century

A steel plate engraving from a painting by D O Hill RSA of the town in Upper Nithsdale that Robert Burns visited in the course of his Excise duties.


When Robert Burns was renovating the farm and building the farmhouse at Ellisland, near Dumfries,he would pass through Sanquhar on his way to visit his wife, Jean Armour, who was still living in Mauchline. Later, he would visit the town in the course of his Excise duties.


He would spent the night in the Queensberry Arms, which was owned by the Provost of Sanquhar, Edward Whigham. Burns enjoyed the company he met there, calling it "the only tolerable inn in the place".


This view of Sanquhar 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: 146 mm, length: 91 mm
Dumfries Museum & Camera Obscura
Accession number:
DUMFM:0199.72 [Land of Burns, Volume II]
Digital Number:
Creation Date:
Dumfries & Galloway Council