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St Michael's Church and Churchyard, Dumfries

Image Rights Holder:
Dumfries & Galloway Museums Service
Project:
:Future Museum
Material:
paper
Dimensions:
width: 167 mm, length: 114 mm
What:
Robert Burns
Subject:
drawing
Who:
William Coston Aitken [1816 - 1875] (Artist)
When:
19th Century
Where:
Background:
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; 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; 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
Description:

A pencil drawing  by William Coston Aitken of Dumfries.

 

A drawing showing the southern aspect of the church and churchyard with Burns Mausoleum in its south east corner. The spires of the town of Dumfries are in the background.

 

In the years following his death, Robert Burns' admirers came to believe that his simple grave was an insufficient memorial to the poet. In 1813,  John Syme formed a committee and launched an appeal to build a mausoleum in his memory. One of the subscribers was the Prince Regent, later George IV. After a public advertisement, over 50 designs were received and the plans of T F Hunt, a London architect were approved.

 

William Coston Aitken (1816 - 1875) was born, educated and married in Dumfries before moving to Birmingham around 1850. He sketched places in and around Dumfries from a young age and his work is a record of the built environment of the town and the landmarks of the surrounding countryside in the first part of the 19th century .