The Whitesands, Dumfries, a copper plate engraving

This image is of the Whitesands and Devorgilla's Bridge, Dumfries and was 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 with 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.
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Robert Andrew Riddell
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length 149mm, width 241mm
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Dumfries & Galloway Council
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