Lincluden College

An image of the ruins of Lincluden College near 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. He developed the habit of taking walks along the banks of the River Nith, perhaps to replace the outdoor life he had previously led.   This engraving illustrates Lincluden Abbey, a mediaeval ruin which captured the poet's imagination. It stands beside the Cluden Water, a tributary which joins the west bank of the River Nith north of the town. It was here that he wrote the haunting song,  "Ca the Yowes to the Knowes", which features the Cluden Water and Lincluden Abbey. In September 1794 he wrote to George Thomson, his publisher, "In a solitary stroll which I took today, I tried my hand on a few pastoral lines. Here it is."   This copper plate engraving was printed by S Hooper of London and published in Captain Francis Grose's two volume, "Antiquities of Scotland". Robert Burns and Francis Grose met and became friends whilst Grose was researching his book. Burns wrote the poem, "Tam O'Shanter" as a "witch story" to accompany the engraving of Alloway Kirk which was published in it.
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Thomas Vivares [1735 - 1808]
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width: 175 mm, length: 124 mm
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Dumfries & Galloway Council
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