Procession of St James' Lodge, Tarbolton

A steel plate engraving from a painting by D O Hill RSA, of the village where Robert Burns became a freemason.   William Burnes took the lease on the farm of Lochlea, close to Tarbolton, in 1777 when Robert Burns was 18 years of age. He moved there from Mount Oliphant in the wake of financial difficulties but at Lochlea the family prospered. The young Robert Burns spent the most carefree years of his life here, despite the heavy work and hardships of farming.   During this time his writing skills developed and he began to play a part in the social life of the parish. He joined dancing classes and formed the Tarbolton Bachelors Club. It was here that Robert Burns joined the Lodge St David of Freemasons in 1781.   This view of Tarbolton was published in "The Land of Burns - A series of Landscapes and Portraits, Illustrative of the Life and Writings of the Scottish Poet". This was published in 1846 by Blackie and Son of Glasgow. At this time the development of steel plate engraving made it possible for images to be reproduced in much greater numbers than previous printing technology had allowed. Books such as this one, illustrated by engravings of works by eminent artists, became popular, although they were still expensive and beyond the pocket of most people.
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Thomas Higham [1795 - 1844]
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width: 134 mm, length: 93 mm
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Dumfries & Galloway Council
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