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Burns

Robert Burns

Swordstick which belonged to Robert Burns

Period:
18th Century
Description:

Robert Burns may have used this swordstick in the course of his duties as an exciseman.  He later gave it to John Richmond, the friend who had shared his lodgings with him when he first arrived in Edinburgh.

 

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 and spirits.  For this he received £50 per year plus £50 per smuggler arrested, and a share in any goods confiscated.

Materials/Media:
metal, brass, leather
Dimensions:
(blade) length 615mm, (case) length 780mm
Source:
Robert Burns House, Dumfries
Accession number:
DUMFM:1964.144.20
Digital Number:
BHBN033n
Copyright:
Dumfries & Galloway Council