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Print of the Old Bridge and Whitesands, Dumfries, c 1793

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The Whitesands, Dumfries, a copper plate engraving, c 1793

Introduction:
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).
Image Rights Holder:
Dumfries & Galloway Museums Service
Ref:
128
Project:
241:Robert Burns - People and Places
Material:
Paper
Dimensions:
Image - length: 149 mm, width: 241 mm
What:
Print of the Old Bridge and Whitesands, Dumfries, c 1793
Subject:
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.
Who:
Robert Burns (1759-1796) (he lived here)
Robert Andrew Riddell (fl 1793) (artist and engraver)
When:
c 1793
Where:
Dumfries Museum, Dumfries & Galloway
Background:
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.
Description:
Dumfries at that time was a lively town of some 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.