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House in which the poet Burns died 21st July 1796

Image Rights Holder:
Dumfries & Galloway Museums Service
Project:
:Future Museum
Material:
paper
Dimensions:
width: 316 mm, length: 227 mm
What:
Burnsiana
Subject:
drawing
Who:
William Leighton Leitch [1804 - 1883] (Artist)
When:
19th Century
Where:
Background:
Baldwin, Gordon “Looking at Photographs - A Guide to Technical Terms”. London: British Museum Publications Limited, 1991; Burns, Robert “The Complete Letters of Robert Burns”, Ed. James A Mackay. Ayr: Alloway Publishing Limited, 1987; Burns, Robert “The Complete Poetical Work of Robert Burns 1759 – 1796”, Ed. Dr James A Mackay. Ayr: Alloway Publishing Limited, 1993; Burns, Robert “The Letters of Robert Burns”, 2 vols., Ed. J de Lancey Ferguson and G Ross Roy. Oxford: Clarendon, 1985; Burns, Robert “The Poems and Songs of Robert Burns”, 3 vols., Ed. James Kinsley. Oxford: Clarendon, 1968; Crawford, Robert “The Bard – Robert Burns, a Biography”. London: Jonathan Cape, 2009; Dumfries and Galloway Courier “Interesting Sale – The effects left by the late Mrs Burns at the sale on Thursday and Friday last …”. Dumfries: 16 April 1834; Dumfries and Galloway Standard and Advertiser “Relics of Burns, As Collected By The Secretary Of The Burns Statue Fund Exhibition At The Bazaar, On The 14th, 15th And 16th Sept.”. Dumfries: 11 September 1880; Dumfries Burns Club “Minute Book of the Burns Club at Dumfries – 17th January 1820 No.1”. Dumfries Museum Collection DUMFM:0198.422: Manuscript copy, on display at Robert Burns House, Dumfries; Gibson, James “The Bibliography of Robert Burns, with Biographical and Bibliographical Notes and Sketches of Burns Clubs, Monuments and Statues”. Kilmarnock: James M’Kie, 1881; Gilfillan, Reverend George (editor) “The National Burns”. Glasgow, Edinburgh and London: William Mackenzie, 1878; Goldman, Paul “Looking at Prints, Drawings and Watercolours - A Guide to Technical Terms”. London: British Museum Publications Limited, 1988; Grose, Francis “The Antiquities of Scotland”. London: S Hooper, 1789; Hogg, Patrick Scott “Robert Burns – The Patriot Bard”. Edinburgh: Mainstream, 2008; Lindsay, Maurice “Robert Burns – The Man, his Work, the Legend”. New York and London: Robert Hale and St Martin’s Press, 1979; Lindsay, Maurice “The Burns Encyclopaedia”, 3rd edition. London and New York: Robert Hale and St Martin’s Press, 1980; Lockwood, David “Celebrate the Legend – Discover Robert Burns in Dumfries and Galloway”. Dumfries: Dumfries and Galloway Council, 2009; Mackay, James A “Burns-Lore of Dumfries and Galloway”. Ayr: Alloway Publishing Limited, 1988; Mackay, James “Burnsiana”. Ayr: Alloway Publishing Limited, 1988; Mackay, James “A Biography of Robert Burns”. Edinburgh: Mainstream, 1992; McDowall, William “History of the Burgh of Dumfries, with Notices of Nithsdale, Annandale and the Western Border”, 4th edition. Dumfries: T C Farries and Company Limited, 1986; McIntyre, Ian “Dirt & Deity – A Life of Robert Burns”. London: HarperCollins, 1995; “Memorial Catalogue of the Burns Exhibition held in the Galleries of the Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts, 1896”. Glasgow: William Hodge and Company, 1898; Skinner, Basil “Burns: Authentic Likenesses”, 2nd edition. Ayr: Alloway Publishing, 1990; Smith, Graham “Robert Burns the Exciseman”. Ayr: Alloway Publishing, 1989; Town Council of the Royal Burgh of Dumfries (Issued) “Catalogue of Exhibits with Official Handbook of Burns’ House Dumfries and other memories of the National Poet”. Dumfries: Robert Dinwiddie, 1944; Welsh, Alex (Edited) “Handbook of the Dumfries Burns Club”. Dumfries: Robert Dinwiddie, 1955; Westwood, Peter J “Genealogical Charts of the Family of Robert Burns and Descending Families”. Kilmarnock: The Burns Federation, 1997; Westwood, Peter J “Jean Armour Mrs Robert Burns – An Illustrated Biography”. Dumfries: Creedon Publications, 1996; Westwood, Peter J (Edited) “Jean Armour My Life and Times with Robert Burns”. Dumfries: Creedon Publications, 2001; Westwood, Peter J (Edited) “The Definitive Illustrated Companion to Robert Burns”, 8 vols. : National Burns Collection Partnership, 2004; Westwood, Peter J “The Deltiology of Robert Burns”. Dumfries: Creedon Publications, 1994; Wilson, Professor and Chambers, Robert “Land of Burns, a series of landscapes and portraits”. Glasgow and London: Blackie and Son, 1846; Wood, J Maxwell “Robert Burns and the Riddell Family”. Dumfries: Robert Dinwiddie, 1922
Description:

A pen and ink drawing by William Leighton Leitch of Robert Burns' last home in Dumfries.

 

It was in this ordinary sandstone house in a quiet back street of Dumfries that Robert Burns spent the last three years of his life. The family moved into the house in May 1793. The house had a parlour, kitchen, two bedrooms and even a small study where Burns could write. It was well furnished with a carpet and a long case clock in the parlour.

 

Robert Burns died in the bedroom of this house in 1796 but his widow, Jean Armour Burns continued to live in the house until her own death in 1834. The house was purchased in 1851 by their son, Colonel William Nicol Burns and throughout the 19th Century it became a place of pilgrimage for Burns enthusiasts from around the world.

 

This drawing was made in the late 1820s by William Leighton Leitch who was at that time working for Andrew Smith of Mauchline. Smith had founded a small company producing snuff boxes and other small wooden items, or treen, decorated by Scottish scenes. He commissioned Leitch to make drawings of well known landmarks for this purpose. Leitch later went on to become a tutor in drawing to Queen Victoria and the Royal family.