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Burns

Burnsiana

The Whitesands, Dumfries, a copper plate engraving

Period:
18th Century
Description:

An image of the Whitesands and Devorgilla's Bridge, Dumfries made around the time that Robert Burns lived in the town.

 

When Robert Burns exchanged the role of farmer for that of Exciseman he moved with his family from Ellisland Farm into a tenement flat in Bank Street, Dumfries, close to the Whitesands and the River Nith. The family lived here from 1791 until 1793 when they moved to a better quality house in Mill Street (now Burns Street).

 

Dumfries at that time was a lively town of some 5,600 inhabitants, mostly living tightly packed into tenement closes of red sandstone. The town was a busy port and in 1792 Burns was promoted to the Dumfries Port Division of the Excise.

 

This copper plate engraving was made from a drawing by Robert Andrew Riddell and was engraved by the artist. It shows the River Nith flowing through the town, with Devorgilla's Bridge and the caul or weir which was used to drive the town's watermills. The Whitesands, where the town's livestock markets were held is on the right.

Materials/Media:
paper
Dimensions:
width: 241 mm, length: 149 mm
Source:
Dumfries Museum & Camera Obscura
Accession number:
DUMFM:0199.100
Digital Number:
DMBN273n
Creation Date:
c 1793
Copyright:
Dumfries & Galloway Council