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The Burgh of Maxwelltown, The Parish of Troqueer at Dumfries Museum

Historically the parish of Troqueer extended from the River Nith in the east to Lochrutton in the west, with New Abbey to the south and Terregles to the north.  It was first described in detail in 1790 by its Minister, Rev John Ewart in “The Statistical Account of Scotland”, who complained, “Fuel is expensive, the village of Brigend contains many beggars”, but optimistically concluded “The roads are greatly improved and the mode of living and dress is much improved.”

The town of Brigend, originally a huddle of thatched cottages, stood just across the River Nith from Dumfries but it had a distinctly different character.  In 1810 it became the Burgh of Maxwelltown with its own town council, Provost, police force and courthouse.  It was a centre of local industry throughout the Victorian period with saw mills, foundries and woollen mills.  When it finally joined with its neighbour, Dumfries in 1929 it had grown into the second largest town in Dumfries and Galloway.

This small exhibition includes delightful miniatures of the Rev John Ewart, and his wife, Mary.  These are by Alexander Reid, who also painted a miniature of Robert Burns around the same time, now in the National Galleries of Scotland.  Visitors will also have the chance to view the gold Provost’s Chain of Office for the Town Council of the Burgh of Maxwelltown, together with coronation and jubilee commemorative items, large scale early maps and a slideshow of images of the area in the 19th and early 20th centuries.