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Postcard of a photograph of Brow Well, Dumfriesshire

Image Rights Holder:
Dumfries & Galloway Museums Service
Project:
:Future Museum
Dimensions:
width: 138 mm, length: 88 mm
What:
Robert Burns
Subject:
postcard
Who:
J Maxwell and Son, Dumfries (Publisher)
When:
20th Century
Where:
Background:
Burns, Robert “The Complete Letters of Robert Burns”, Ed. James A Mackay. Ayr: Alloway Publishing Limited, 1987; Burns, Robert “The Letters of Robert Burns”, 2 vols., Ed. J de Lancey Ferguson and G Ross Roy. Oxford: Clarendon, 1985; Crawford, Robert “The Bard – Robert Burns, a Biography”. London: Jonathan Cape, 2009; 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; Westwood, Peter J “The Deltiology of Robert Burns”. Dumfries: Creedon Publications, 1994
Description:

"Brow Well, Dumfriesshire".  A monochrome photographic postcard of the well near the village of Ruthwell.

 

Brow Well is a spring containing the mineral chalybeate which was believed to have healing properties. Townspeople of Dumfries would go there to drink the water and for sea bathing in the Solway, which was also believed to improve the health.

 

In the last year of his life, as his health continued to deteriorate, Robert Burns was advised to take this cure by his doctor, William Maxwell. Burns drank the foul tasting water from the iron cup attached by a chain to the well and waded chest deep into the cold tidal waters.

 

He died on 21 July 1796 within days of this experience. The pathos of Burns' last days spent in hope of a recovery that was not to be lend this rather bleak place a special atmosphere. Burns admirers have visited here to honour his memory and a church service is held at the well on the anniversary of his death each year.