Dalswinton, Nithsdale

A steel plate engraving from a painting by Alexander Nasmyth of the estate of Robert Burns' landlord, Patrick Miller.   Robert Burns took on the lease of Ellisland Farm from Patrick Miller of Dalswinton from Whitsunday 1788 for a rent of £50 per year. It was a small unimproved holding of 170 acres situated on the  bank of the River Nith about 5 miles north of the town of Dumfries. Miller gave Burns £300 with which to build a farm house and enclose the fields.   Patrick Miller was a director of the Bank of Scotland and chairman of the Carron Company, an ironworks in Falkirk. He had read Robert Burns' work and admired it and having recently purchased the estate of Dalswinton he hoped to help Burns establish himself by the let of the farm. According to Burns, however, it was a "ruinous bargain".   The great house at Dalswinton was built for Patrick Miller between 1785 and 1790. The house may have been designed by the artist, Alexander Nasmyth, who was a close friend of Miller and who painted the famous portrait of Robert Burns.
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J Walker
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width: 166 mm, length: 110 mm
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