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Commemorative beaker, 1897

19th Century

The nineteenth and twentieth centuries were an important time for the development of Maxwelltown. Originally called Brigend, the area had a reputation throughout Scotland as a hiding place for criminals.


In 1833, however, Maxwelltown adopted the Police Act which enabled it to raise money to improve the burgh by such things as paving and cleaning the streets and putting up street lighting. These improvements were accompanied by the development of small scale industries such as tanneries, a brewery, iron foundries, weaving shops, a brick and tile works and saw mills. Troqueer and Rosefield Mills were built, new streets were laid out and old lanes were developed with quality housing for the better off.


By 1900 Maxwelltown had grown from a huddle of thatched cottages to one of the biggest burghs in south west Scotland. In the 1920s the town council introduced a radical housing scheme which put the burgh at the forefront of Scottish municipal social welfare.


Commemorative beakers showing the redeveloped burgh of Maxwelltown were manufactured by Doulton and Company, Nile Street, Burslem, Staffordshire.


The following beaker's registration number is: 293,419 and it was issued to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria, 20 June 1897.


This cream beaker has a brown transfer print on both sides. One side depicts Queen Victoria on an elaborate throne, complete with orb, sceptre and crown, while the opposite side shows a view of Maxwelltown across the River Nith towards Devorgilla Bridge, the Observatory tower, terraced houses and mill buildings.

Place of Production:
Nile Street, Burslem, Staffordshire
ceramic, earthenware
height 95mm, diameter (rim) 86mm, diameter (base) 63mm
Dumfries Museum & Camera Obscura
Accession number:
Digital Number:
DMDM017a, DMDM017b
Creation Date:
20 June 1897
Dumfries & Galloway Council

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