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History of the Burgh of Dumfries
Chapter LX


WE now proceed, in the briefest possible terms, to notice the leading events in the history of the Burgh, from the date of the Reform Act till our own day. It was thought at one time that Toryism would be extinguished by the operation of that measure; but this was far from being the case. The Town Council elected by the ten-pounders contained a fair proportion of Conservatives, who, under the leadership of Mr. John Fraser, grew in strength till they were able for a while to "turn the tables" upon the Liberal party. The last save one of the Dumfries provosts under the old system, he was a member of the first Council under the new; and in 1840 he was once more chosen to fill the civic chair. ["Mr. Fraser," says the Dumfries Standard, in noticing his death, which took place in 1856, "must have possessed no common ability, when, from being a perfect stranger, he could in ten years raise himself to the position of principal magistrate of Dumfries."] Several Conservative provosts have since held rule in the Burgh; but the Liberals more generally possess a majority in the Council than their political opponents.

Mr. Ewart's able and influential agent, Mr. William M'Gowan, writer, was long recognized as the leader of the Liberals. He was elevated to the provostship in 1855, and died in office on the 17th of November, 1856. He was preceded and also succeeded by Mr. Miles Leighton (now the oldest merchant in Dumfries) who was a Reformer when to be so was the reverse of popular. He has been three times chosen as the chief magistrate of the Burgh-a triple distinction conferred on no other burgess since the abolition of the old close system. The Conservatives of the Council were strong enough in 1860 to carry the election of one of their number, Mr. James Gordon, writer, as provost; and so acceptable did he prove, that he was re-elected in 1863.

After the passing of the Reform Bill, the most exciting occurrence in the town was a contest for the representation of the Five Burghs, at the general election in February, 1835. The same gentlemen who had encountered each other two years before, again entered the arena. General Sharpe was proposed by Mr. Philip Forsyth of Nithside, and seconded by Mr. John M'Diarmid; and Mr. Hannay was nominated by Mr. Robert Scott, manufacturer, and seconded by Mr. Miles Leighton, merchant. The gallant Laird of Hoddam was re-elected; but his majority, which was 112 on the first occasion, was reduced to 52. [The following was the state of the poll:-" Sharpe: Dumfries, 220; Annan, 135; Kirkcudbright, 19; Sanquhar, 26; Lochmaben, 22; total, 422. Hannay: Dumfries, 270; Annan, 9; Kirkcudbright, 72; Sanquhar, 8; Lochmaben, 11; total, 370.]

An important case, arising out of a difference of opinion regarding the extent of the Nith, was brought before Lord Moncrieff and a jury, at Dumfries, on the 30th of April, 1836. Mr. R. A. Oswald, and other owners of shore-lands far down the estuary, erected stake nets upon them; which Mr. James M`Whir, owner of the Nith fishings, held to be within the boundary of the river, and therefore illegal. Mr. Maitland, for the defenders, maintained that the nets were in the Solway, and therefore could not be in the Nith; but Dean of Faculty Hope convinced the jury that the charter of 1395, and sundry statistics which he quoted, gave a range to the river beyond the sand banks where the nets were planted. A verdict was therefore returned in favour of Mr. M`Whir, and the engines were removed forthwith. The salmon fishings of the Nith, once very productive, are now of comparatively little value, yielding not more, perhaps, than 400 a year.  [Lecture on pisciculture, delivered in Dumfries by Dr. Copland.]

A familiar landmark, that long like a gigantic bird flapped its wings on Corbelly Hill, seemed in 1834 about to drop away, fatally disabled by the archer Time, when several gentlemen who took a friendly interest in its fortunes, resolved to rescue it by turning it to a new account. The idea was acted upon, and the crazy, weather-beaten windmill was transformed into an Observatory, which, with its accompanying museum, is now one of the great "lions" of the locality.

On the 10th of January, 1837, some half a dozen gentlemen met at the house of Mr. David Beveridge, and originated the Dumfries and Maxwelltown Total Abstinence Society. Mr. James Broom, its first president, [Mr. Broom died in the meridian of life, on the 18th of January, 1842. From a lengthened tribute paid to his worth in the Dumfries Times, we quote the following passage:-"His politics were such as spring from a sensitive mind, which taught him to condemn the encroachments of class privilege on the rights of labour; and he (lid not scruple to proclaim, in season and out of season, the title of all to participate in the privileges of freemen. The moral courage which in this respect and in similar cases he exhibited, formed a conspicuous feature in his character; and the only enemies, perhaps, which he had are referable to it, and probably because he was one of the pioneers, and long the leading advocate, of the temperance movement in the district. But this quality so displayed, if it reared up a few enemies, brought round him a host of admirers. By the bold stand which he made against the drinking usages of the country, he effected an amount of good which few individuals are privileged to perform; and he was ready to back out the principles which he advocated by the contents of his purse, on all occasions. Whilst assiduous, both by precept and example, to rescue the victims of intemperance, not a few are indebted to him, not only for being drawn from the ensnaring vice, but for assistance and encouragement in beginning life anew. His intellectual powers were of the most versatile description. His reading and literary research took within its range the circle of the belles-lettres, and treatises in all the departments of practical science; the fruits of which, garnered up in his own mind, were given out to others with facile profusion. As a man of business, his shrewdness of penetration and promptitude of decision were unequalled; and as a speaker, his humour, his earnestness and artlessness, won him golden opinions, and aided in swelling the tide of his popularity."] Mr. Beveridge, Mr. John M`Intosh, Mr. David Halliday, Mr. William Gregan, and Mr. William F. Johnstone, were among its earliest and most active members. There were no fewer than 1,500 names on its roll in January, 1838; [Dumfries Courier.] and at one time the number reached to at least 2,000. The membership at present is about 300.

General Sharpe having, on account of declining health, retired from public life in the summer of 1841, Mr. William Ewart, [Mr. Ewart is descended from an old Galloway family, the Ewarts of Mullock, an estate which John Ewart, merchant, and bailie of Kirkcudbright, acquired by purchase in 1611. The Rev. John Ewart, a descendant of the latter, was minister of Troqueer, and father of William Ewart, a successful Liverpool merchant, who, by his wife, Margaret Jacques, had issue seven children, one of them being the member for the Burghs. From " Dod's Parliamentary Companion" we quote the following notice of Mr. Ewart, M.P.:-" Born at Liverpool, 1798. Married, in 1820, his cousin, Mary Ann, daughter of G. A. Lee, Esq., of Manchester. Educated at Eton, and at Christchurch, Oxford, where he graduated B.A., 1821; gained the university prize for English verse in 1819. Called to the bar at the Middle Temple, January, 1827. Sat for Bletchingly from 1828 till 1830, for Liverpool from 1830 till 1832, for Wigan from 1839 till 1841, when he was returned for Dumfries district."] who had sat for Bletchingly, Liverpool, and Wigan, agreed, at the request of an influential section of the constituency, to become a candidate for the representation of the Five Burghs. Another candidate appeared in the person of Sir Alexander Johnston of Carnsalloch. Both gentlemen professed to be Liberals; but most of the Dumfries Conservatives supported Sir Alexander, in the belief that he was not so far advanced on the road to Radicalism as his honourable opponent. There was a large body of Chartists in the chief Burgh, who favoured neither of them, and resolved to start a candidate of their own-Mr. Andrew Wardrop, a clever, well-informed operative, who could discourse fluently on any political topic, and had plenty of pluck for the occasion. When the nomination day arrived (June 20th, 1841), each candidate appeared with his friends on the hustings in Queensberry Square, which was occupied by an immense crowd. The knight of Carnsalloch was proposed by Mr. Thomas Harkness, and seconded by Mr. Robert M'Harg; Mr. Ewart's nomination was respectively moved and seconded by Provost Little of Annan and Mr. William Dinwiddie; while a similar service was performed for Mr. Wardrop by two working men. Sir A. Johnston made a good speech, that was but indifferently listened to. He was followed by Mr. Ewart, who, in the course of a telling address, hit his opponent hard by comparing his progress through the Burghs, gathering support from different parties, to that of a political Tam o' Shanter:

"Now holding fast his auld Whig bonnet,
Now crooning owre some Liberal sonnet,
Now glowering round with prudent cares
Lest Tories catch him unawares."

In the general laughter which followed this sally, the worthy knight joined heartily. The Chartist candidate had the show of hands, but did not go to the poll; though he still at times boasts good-humouredly that for three days be was M.P. for the Five Burghs. After a keen, exciting struggle, Mr. Ewart was returned by a majority of 60 votes; [The poll stood thus:- Ewart: Dumfries, 213; Annan, 126; Kirkcudbright, 22; Sanquhar, 26; Lochmaben, 15; total, 402. Johnston: Dumfries, 239; Annan, 19; Kirkcudbright, 55; Sanquhar, 14; Lochmaben, 15; total, 342.] Annan being mainly instrumental in producing this result just as General Sharpe twice owed his election chiefly to that burgh.

In the course of this history we have had to put several food-riots on record; and one more-the last-remains to be noticed-a tremendous meal mob, which broke out on the evening of July 2nd, 1842. Five shops in Dumfries, and one in Maxwelltown, belonging to persons accused of making their bread-stuffs artificially dear, were damagingly assailed by an indignant rabble; and both towns were thereby thrown into a state of tumult for hours. Twelve of the ringleaders were captured; seven of whom, on being tried at the assizes, were convicted, and sentenced to three months' imprisonment each.

Towards the close of 1847, a benevolent scheme was mooted, which had for its object the partial maintenance and the culture of such poor children in the Burgh and district as were growing up in heathenism and graduating in crime. Thanks chiefly to the late Mr. David W. Stewart, [Mr. Stewart died on the 21st of May, 1852. In noticing his death, the Dumfries Standard said:-"He was in many respects the Howard of the district; devoting time, energies, and wealth to the relief of the destitute, and the reclamation of the depraved."] the project was realized; and the Dumfries Ragged School is the result. Associated with it, there is an Infant School (originated in 1834) and a Common School, where children of a somewhat higher grade than those cared for at the Ragged School receive education for nothing, or a merely nominal fee. These three affiliated establishments are maintained and regulated by the Dumfries and Maxwelltown Education Society, presided over (till his lamented death, in June, 1867) by Mr. John Pitcairn Trotter, sheriff-substitute of the County. The children at the Ragged School are of two classes: those who are simply destitute, and against whom no police charge has been brought; and those who have been sent, for begging in. the streets, to the school as a Reformatory. Of the former, there were 54 in 1866: they are fed and educated. Of the latter, there were exactly the same number, and they, in addition, are lodged and clothed; the Government allowing a small capitation grant for each child. At the Common School, the pupils in 1866 numbered 150; those at the Infant School, 74. The operations of the Education Society are conducted at an expense of about X300 a year, for which it is mainly dependent on public subscriptions. [The premises are in Burns's Street, and the teacher of the Ragged School occupies the house in which the poet resided and breathed his last.]

Cholera once more! The dreadful epidemic which decimated the Burgh in 1832 visited it again in 1848, attacking about 600 of the inhabitants, of whom 317 died. The first case occurred on the 16th of November; the last, during the first week of January, 1849. This visitation did not create so much alarm, nor tell so adversely on the trade of the town, as that of 1832, and it was considerably less fatal. In Maxwelltown there were 214 cholera cases, and 114 deaths: considerably fewer than in 1832, when there were 237 cases, and 127 deaths.

Dumfries thirty years ago seemed almost on the eve of becoming the seat of a university, by the application towards that object of about 100,000, left to be spent for beneficent purposes by Dr. James Crichton of Friars' Carse, [Dr. Crichton was long in the service of the East India Company. He returned to Scotland in 1808, and next year acquired, by purchase, the classical estate of Friars' Carse, on which he resided till his death, fourteen years afterwards.] "in any way that his dear wife thought proper," with the approval of other trustees named in his settlement. Mrs. Crichton and the trustees would fain have founded such a place of learning, but their attempts to obtain a charter were encountered by so many difficulties, that they had to give up the idea; and then, at the instance, it is believed, of Sir Andrew Halliday, the money was applied in establishing and partly endowing a model house for the treatment of the insane. About forty acres of ground, forming part of the estate of Mountainhall, were purchased; and there, in the midst of most beautiful upland scenery, was reared a magnificent edifice for the reception of a hundred and twenty patients, which bears the name of the Crichton Royal Institution. The architect of the building was Mr. Burn of Edinburgh, now of London. The first stone was laid in June, 1835, and it was completed about the close of 1838. The plan resembles a Greek cross-a low octagonal tower, shooting up from the centre where the nave joins the transept, being the principal feature, and one which is intended to give unity and superadded grace to the building; but a duplicate half is still required, plans for which are prepared, and will probably be carried out next summer, so as to render the design complete: in this way the unexpended funds of the trust (about 35,000) will be absorbed. In 1849 a supplementary structure was erected for the insane poor, and termed the Southern Counties Asylum. The cost of the old house (as the Crichton is familiarly called) was about 40,000, and of the new, about half that sum; but several thousands of pounds more have been spent on additions and alterations. There is accommodation in both establishments for fully four hundred inmates. During 1866, 124 patients were admitted, which brought the number under treatment up to 508. Of these, 70 were discharged, 27 died; reducing the number of inmates to 143 in the old house, and 278 in the new. No fewer than 59 of those discharged were cured of their mental malady, and 28 were relieved. The percentage of deaths during the year was 5.31, a very low rate, and about the minimum of other asylums, the mortality not unfrequently rising in these to 10 per cent. The Crichton Institution was fortunate in having for its first medical superintendent Dr. W. A. F. Browne, who had devoted much time to the study of mental disease, and was well conversant with all the best modes of treating it; and the arrangements which he inaugurated have been continued and developed, with gratifying success, by the present superintendent, Dr. James Gilchrist.

How best to minister to minds diseased, is the great problem which occupies the attention of Dr. Gilchrist and his colleagues; and it is solved at least as satisfactorily in the Crichton as in any other asylum in Europe. Perhaps the proportion of absolute cures is not greater there than in other well-conducted institutions; but we know of none in which so much is done to soothe and otherwise alleviate the sufferings of the insane. These results are secured by a multiplicity of means involving great care, ingenuity, and thoughtfulness on the part of the officers. Drives into the country to enjoy interesting sights and scenes; picnic parties; seaside retreats; visits to places of public entertainment during the winter evenings: such are some of the outside modes adopted to interest the patients, and make them forego for a while the heavy burden of their cares. The situation of the place, as already hinted, is in the highest degree suitable for such a house: the ground elevated and undulating, charmingly laid out, and commanding a prospect that has some elements in it of the sublime, and many of the beautiful; whilst the pure atmosphere in which it is swathed, permeated at times by freshening breezes from the sea, must of itself exercise a beneficial influence on the inmates. Light labour in the gardens, for those able and willing to work; recreation at bowls and other games, for all who wish to take part in them; merry dances at the May-pole; promenades; festive entertainments on the green grass, when all around is glorious in its summer garniture: these form part of the medicating influences which the establishment itself supplies. Then, when in winter the out-of-door resources are abridged, those inside are multiplied to make up the loss; and lectures, concerts, balls, and theatricals, do much to make the long nights less dreary, and but for which many of the unfortunate patients would feel with Mariana of the Moated Grange, " I am aweary, aweary - I wish that I were dead!"

"Waater! waater!" the ancient "burndrawers" still continued to bawl in 1850, as they perambulated the town, dispensing from their carted barrels a doubtful commodity, which was too often water and something, more, and worse. But the summer of that year saw a legislative measure which silenced the lugubrious cry, and sent the barbarous water-barrel system "to the tomb of all the Capulets." The preamble of a bill to authorize the introduction of water by pipes into Dumfries and Maxwelltown, from Lochrutton Loch, was found proven by a Parliamentary committee on the 10th of May; and when the news of its success arrived, the bells were rung and bonfires were kindled in the Burgh, to manifest the general joy of the inhabitants. Much opposition was given to the measure by interested parties, at every stage of its progress; but, zealously promoted by the Town Councils of both burghs (presided over respectively by Provost Nicholson and Provost Maxwell), and by the indefatigable local secretary, Mr. Thomas Harkness, it was triumphant in the end; and when carried into effect, proved to be the most valuable material boon acquired by Dumfries in modern times. The first pipe of the water-works was laid on the 16th of January, 1851, by Provost Nicholson, a devoted advocate of the scheme; and on the 21st of October that year, the first instalment of the pure Lochrutton fluid emerged sparkling from the pipes, in presence of a delighted throng. For preliminary work, an expense of 986 7s. 4d. was incurred; the Act itself cost 1,634 8s. 10d.; an amendment Act, that was felt to be requisite, cost 267 6s. 7d.; and for constructing the works there was an outlay of 10,020 15s. 92d.: the whole amounting to 12,908 18s. 6d. Towards liquidating this sum, the Act authorized the borrowing of 10,000 on the rates; and 1,500 additional was borrowed on bonds for which the Town Council became collateral security. Originally the pipe for the first mile from the Loch was nine inches in diameter, and for the rest of the distance (nearly four miles) was eight inches; but owing to the growth of the town, a larger main was laid alongside the existing one in 1861. A body of commissioners, partly chosen by the Councils of the two towns, and partly by the ratepayers, manage the scheme. Though the ordinary working expenses are small, a large outlay was incurred by the construction of new filters, as well as pipes, so that the debt is still heavy - 14,000. The revenue is drawn from a public water-rate of six pence per pound on property, and a similar rate on consumption. It is steadily increasing: for the first year it was 696; ten years ago it was nearly double that amount; and for the year ending the 15th of September, 1867, it was nearly 1,800.

The good sanitary results of the scheme are incalculable: its effect in reducing the ravages of fever are especially worthy of remark. For many years prior to 1851, the population of the town and district suffered fearfully from the varied forms of that disease. From 1823 till 1858, no fewer than 2,481 fever cases were treated in the Infirmary, and 613 other cases were attended by its officers according to the home-patient system, abolished in 1833. During the fifteen years immediately preceding 1851, this fell enemy of human life appears to have been particularly virulent: the fever cases, 1,779 in number, formed one fourth of the entire admissions into the house; and of these 162 died-a percentage of 31 on the total mortality of the period. In five of the years referred to, ending 1851, there were 861 fever cases, 76 of which proved fatal-an annual average of 172 cases and 15 deaths. Never did the talisman of an Oriental tale exercise a more wonderful influence, than the flow of wholesome water into the Burgh from its source in Lochrutton: fever, as if awed by an overmastering spell, lost hold of the town when the pure health-giving element became a common beverage in its poorest domiciles. In the very year when the water-works were being constructed, the fever cases in the Infirmary numbered 125; next year, when the spell began to take effect, they were reduced to 65; in succeeding years, till 1856, the average of attacks annually was only 36, and the deaths 4; in two of these years, 1853 and 1855, no fever-stricken patient (lied in the Infirmary; in 1858 there were but two fever cases treated in it, and since that period the house and the town have been correspondingly exempt from its deadly ravages.

At least eight centuries have rolled away since the oldest dust that lies within St. Michael's cemetery was organized and alive. We have already related how, about 1160, the churchyard was the scene of a quarrel between two burgesses, that had a fatal issue; and it may be safely assumed that it existed as a burial-place long before that period. This ancient region of the dead, about two acres in extent, had become so overpeopled by giving sleeping-room to thirty generations of Dumfriesians, that another acre of adjoining ground was added to it in 1850. No provincial town in the United Kingdom possesses a place of sepulture so rich in monumental erections; [By the kind assistance of Mr. Thomas Watson, monumental mason, we (partly by actual enumeration, and to some extent by estimate) have made au enumeration of the stones erected in the old and new grounds of St. Michael's, as follows:-First-class monuments, 250; table tombstones, 900; headstones and erect slabs, 400; and other structures, more or less dilapidated, which make up the aggregate number in the cemetery to fully 2,700. The cost, exclusive of Burns's mausoleum, we roughly estimate at 917,000. The oldest stone having any engraving ,poll it that we have seen, is in the ground belonging to the Couplands of Colliston; it bears date 1620.] and Burns's mausoleum, its chief attraction, reigns over all, even as he was himself a prince among men, and is of lyrical poets the undying leader and king.

With the view of providing a comfortable retreat for the necessitous poor, and at the same time a check for undeserving applicants, a Workhouse was commenced in the summer of 1853, and completed before the close of the following year, at a cost of fully 5,500. In both of these respects it has operated successfully. The house sits on an airy, healthy site southward of the Burgh; and while its management appears to strike the golden mean between narrowness and prodigality, the rates since its opening have been considerably reduced. Before that time they were sometimes as high as 2s. 6d. in the pound; of late years they have never been more than 1s. 6d.; and now that a heavy debt incurred for the erection of the Workhouse has been cleared away, the rates are down to the low amount of Is. 2d.-one half payable by proprietors, the other by tenants. The inmates of the Workhouse vary in number from sixty to seventy, and the annual outlay for it is about 600. For the year ended 14th of May, 1867, 311 registered poor, with 178 dependants, were relieved; and 288 casual poor, with 366 dependants. Altogether, for that year the expenditure of the Parochial Board amounted to 3,491 8s. 92d.

The spring of 1857 was signalized by another contest for the membership of the Burghs. Uninvited by, yet by no means unacceptable to, the Tories of the constituency, Air. James Hannay, son of General Sharpe's opponent, appeared in his native town as a rival candidate to the sitting member, on moderately Conservative principles. So adventurous did Mr. Hannay's candidature seem even to his friends, that not one of them had the courage to preside at his first meeting, held in the Theatre; but he made such a clever, taking speech as secured for him many avowed supporters. At the hustings, on the 28th of March, his nomination was moved by Mr. Peter Mundell of Bogrie, and seconded by Mr. John Stott of Netherwood ; while the re-election of Mr. Ewart was proposed by Provost Palmer of Annan, and seconded by Mr. Samuel Cavan, the present provost of Kirkcudbright. Though Mr. Hannay had the show of hands, he was poorly supported at the poll, Mr. Ewart having been returned by the overwhelming majority of 321. [The numbers were:- Ewart: Dumfries, 279; Annan, 103; Kirkcudbright, 69; Sanquhar, 33; Lochmaben, 22; total, 506. Hamlay: Dumfries, 136; Annan, 23; Kirkcudbright, 18; Sanquhar, 0; Lochmaben, 8; total, 185.] In this somewhat romantic episode of his life, Mr. Hannay elicited no small praise from his political opponents, on account of his marvellous off-hand eloquence and opulent intellectual resources of every kind; and though thoroughly beaten in the contest, he bore the brunt of it creditably, and retired from the field without dishonour,  [Mr. Mark Napier, as Sheriff of Dumfriesshire, was the returning officer. The learned sheriff, high Tory though he is, seems never more in his element than when presiding over a popular assemblage-a duty that he invariably performs with good humour and grace. On the above occasion, Sheriff Napier first made his memorable and often-quoted statement descriptive of a Dumfries outdoor meeting, which, he said, he could not call a mob, as his experience taught him to believe that a Dumfries crowd was the best behaved of any in Scotland.]

Merry banqueters in the ruined courts of old Carlaverock! There seems a discrepancy between their dining and cheering, and the desolation to which the castle of the Maxwells is a prey. Yet, when the circumstances of the case are taken into account, there will appear great propriety in the feuars of Carlaverock estate and the tenants of Terregles holding joyous revel in the ancient fortress, and making its walls ring as they drink to the health of the Nithsdale chief, whom the House of Lords had recently recognized as Lord Herries. That was the great object of this festive gathering, which took place on the 6th of July, 1858, and was fittingly presided over by the late Mr. Francis Maxwell of Breoch. The title, which its wearer forfeited in the '45, was given to his descendant, William Constable Maxwell of Nithsdale and Everingham, who now takes rank as the tenth Lord Herries. [On the 26th of July, 1859, Lord Herries manifested his appreciation of the honour conferred upon him, by treating his tenants to a grand ball in the Castle (ornamented for the occasion in a highly imposing style), which passed off with entire success. His lordship married Marcia, daughter of the Hon. Sir Edward M. Vavasour, Bart., of Hazlewood, Yorkshire; and has issue, the HOD. Marmaduke, Master of Herries, six other sons, and eight daughters.]

A few more months roll round, bringing in the 25th of January, 1859, with a series of fetes and banquets such as was never seen before in the Burgh or the Border-land-or, rather we should say, in North Britain-and wherever the sons of Scotia congregate, throughout the world. That day was the centenary of Burns's birth. Little did those Dumfries gentry who deliberately gave Burns the cold shoulder, on a memorable autumnal evening in 1794, suppose that, sixty-five years afterwards, or at any time, the streets down which they proudly passed would be trophied with garlands, and eloquent with sweet sounds, in honour of the man whom they affected to despise. The old Burgh florid with decorations natural and artistic; a great outdoor demonstration, addressed by Mr. Washington Wilks; a magnificent procession; two dinners-one in the Assembly Rooms, presided over by Dr. W. A. F. Browne, the other in the Nithsdale Mills, where about a thousand persons assembled-Mr. Mundell of Bogrie in the chair-Mr. John Hamilton, [Mr. Hamilton, from being an apprentice in the Herald office, Dumfries, fought his way up to a metropolitan editorship. He was cut off before his prime, in 1860.] of the Morning Star, giving, in eloquent terms, the "immortal memory:" these were the chief, but not by any means the sole features of the centenary celebration in Dumfries. It was in every respect worthy of the town where Burns lived and breathed his last, and where his ashes lie.

Men of all ranks and parties in the Burgh cordially wrought together on Burns's day: but the spring of the same year found them broken up into two hostile political camps, over one of which was displayed the unmistakable Reform flag; from the other flaunted a pennon of doubtful hue, with a somewhat mysterious motto, regarding the meaning of which many of the electors differed-Captain (now Major) Walker of Crawfordton, its owner, affirming that it expressed "strictly independent principles," while his opponents held that if it meant any thing at all, it was, "Up with Earl Derby, and down with Lord Palmerston and the Reformers!" Captain Walker proved to be a very formidable antagonist to the Liberal sitting member, Mr. Ewart. The fight that ensued was consequently much keener and closer than the contest in 1857. The nomination occurred on the 2nd of May, 1859; Mr. Ewart being proposed by Provost Leighton, and seconded in an exceedingly trenchant and humorous speech by Dr. M'Culloch, while Mr. W. R. M`Diarmid, editor of the Courier, proposed, and Mr. James Saunders of Solway Place, Annan, seconded, Captain Walker. Air. Ewart had the show of hands; and a poll was demanded on behalf of his opponent. It took place on the 4th of May, and resulted' in the re-election of Mr. Ewart by the narrow majority of 29. [The returns were as follows:- Ewart: Dumfries, 237; Annan, 85; Kirkcudbright, 60; Sanquhar, 23; Lochmaben, 21; total, 432. Walker: Dumfries, 287; Annan, 63; Kirkcudbright, 32; Sanquhar, 11; Lochmaben, 10; total, 403.]

Incidental notice has already been taken of the religious revival experienced in many parts of Dumfriesshire and Galloway in 1861. It was chiefly brought about by the instrumentality of Mr. (now Rev.) Edward Payson Hammond, graduate of Williams College, Massachusetts, America. After holding a series of remarkable meetings at Annan, he visited Dumfries; and there, day and night, laboured as an evangelist from the 27th of January till the 15th of the following month, drawing such continuous crowds to hear him, and making such an impression upon them, as were truly marvellous. Though much of the effect produced seems to have been transient as "the morning cloud and the early dew," the religious public of the Burgh and vicinity cherish a grateful recollection of Mr. Hammond's devoted services, and there is reason to believe that they have been of lasting benefit to many.

Never before or since, we believe, have the lovely grounds of the Crichton Institution been so crowded with ladies and gentlemen, as they were on the 5th of September, 1862. That was the day on which the Dumfries and Galloway Horticultural Society reached the fiftieth year of its existence, and the anniversary was celebrated with a floral jubilee, in the shape of a superb exhibition within the walls of the institution; a grand procession in which the gardeners, freemasons, and odd-fellows took a leading part; a dinner in the Mechanics' Hall, gracefully presided over by Mr. Maxwell of Munches; a fashionable ball in the Assembly Rooms; and sundry other festive meetings or displays, including the decoration of the chief streets in the Burgh with Nature's own drapery-evergreens and flowers. The show was in itself an excellent one; but the local journals say it paled in brilliancy before the galaxy of lady visitors, "whose bright eyes rained influence" over the scene, and rendered it trebly attractive. For this unique entertainment and its manifold accompaniments, the people of the Burgh and district were mainly indebted to Mr. Miles Leighton, junior. In acknowledgment of his services, he was a short time afterwards entertained at supper in the White Hart Hotel (Mr. Kirk's) - Bailie Carruthers in the chair-and presented with a handsome silver epergne suitably inscribed. [In connection with the floral jubilee, there were literary competitions, prizes having been offered for essays on horticulture and poems on flowers. Mr. Paterson, gardener, Chester (formerly residing near Dumfries), and another competitor who gave only his initials, were first and second in the prose competitions; while the prizes for the poetry were awarded to Mr. Scott, Minnigaff, teacher, and to Mrs. Cuthbertson, Annan.]

On the 16th of February, 1862, Major Walker took formal leave of his supporters in Dumfries. [On the retirement of the highly-respected representative of Dumfriesshire, Mr. Hope Johnstone, in 1865, Major Walker was elected in his stead, and is now M. P. for the County.] Mr. Ewart was not on that account left without a rival suitor for the favour of the Five Burghs. He had been leal and true to them since he first became the object of their choice, in 1841; but another "soldier lad" fell desperately in love with the Five Carlines when the worthy Laird of Crawfordton declined to woo them any longer, since their affections he could not win. Colonel Clark Kennedy of Knockgray, a native of the Burgh, and of a good old family, was the new candidate. In an address to the constituency, he expressed his belief that his political views were more in accordance with the majority of them than were those of their present representative: he desired to see an extension of the franchise; was "decidedly opposed to the ballot and other extreme measures," was ready "to give a hearty general support to Lord Palmerston [at that time Premier] but still as an independent member, following no man blindly." It was not till more than three years afterwards that the gallant officer had a complete opportunity of learning to what extent the Burghs reciprocated his affection; and meanwhile the Liberals of Dumfries, by way of encouraging their faithful representative, entertained him at a great banquet in the Assembly Rooms, which, under the congenial presidency of Bailie William Bell, came off with immense eclat on the 30th of March, 1862. A few weeks before the general election, in 1865, a keen canvass was commenced by both candidates; and up till the nomination day (July 13th), and even afterwards, the friends of Colonel Kennedy professed to be confident of victory. Mr. Ewart was proposed by Provost Turner of Dumfries, and seconded by Provost Cavan of Kirkcudbright; and Mr. James Gordon, exProvost of Dumfries, seconded by Provost Graham of Lochmaben, nominated Colonel Kennedy. The show of hands was in favour of Mr. Ewart; and his early success at the poll, which took place on the 15th, was so decided, that, long ere mid-day, the Kennedy men learned with consternation that their cause was hopeless. Mr. Ewart was returned by the large majority of 156 votes, made up of a majority in all the Burghs. [The poll stood as follows:- Ewart: Dumfries, 328; Annan, 101; Kirkcudbright, 54; Sanquhar, 32; Lochmaben, 25; total, 540. Kennedy: Dumfries, 260; Annan, 47; Kirkcudbright, 42; Sanquhar, 17; Lochmaben, 18; total, 384.] Far more votes were recorded than on any former similar occasion, the number having been 924; the next highest was 858, in 1832; and the next, 835, in 1859.

[We subjoin a brief enumeration of the principal services rendered by Mr. Ewart as a senator:- Mr. Ewart entered the House of Commons in 1825. In 1829, March 27th, he spoke and voted in favour of Catholic emancipation; supported free trade under Mr. Huskisson, of whom he was the pupil and friend. 1831, June 28th, advocated the opening of the China trade. 1831-2, voted and spoke in favour of the Reform Bill. 1832, March 27th, brought in and passed an Act to abolish capital punishment for horse-stealing, cattle stealing, and stealing in a dwelling-house, though opposed by the late Sir Robert Peel. 1833, August 1st, moved the equalization of duties on East and West Indian sugar; in other words, to establish free trade in sugar. 1834, March 7th, supported and spoke for the repeal of the corn laws. 1834, March 13th, passed a bill to abolish the practice of exposing the dead bodies of criminals by hanging them in chains. March 26th, 1834, passed an Act to abolish capital punishment for letter stealing, sacrilege, and returning from transportation. 1835, passed a bill enabling prisoners to be defended by counsel, commonly called "The Prisoners' Counsel Bill." 1835-6, moved for, carried, and drew the report of a committee "On the Connection between Arts and Manufactures;" the result being the establishment of schools of design, which have so much extended and improved the art manufactures of this country. 1840, March 5th, moved for the entire abolition of the punishment of death (a motion repeated by him in several subsequent years). 1841, April 20th, made (and repeated for several years) a motion for the appointment of a minister of the Crown who should make an annual statement on national education (afterwards adopted and carried into effect by Government). 1841, April 20th, moved for and carried the opening of the Regent's Park to the public. Also proposed and carried the opening of an important part of Hampton Court Palace to the public. 1841, September 21st, moved for the reform of committees on private bills (afterwards carried). 1843, June 22nd, moved for the admission of foreign sugar on equal rates of duty with colonial sugar (opposed, but afterwards adopted, by the Government). 1845, July 28th, moved again for a statement, annually, by Government on education, and for the examination of candidates for appointments under Government (now adopted). 1847, moved that members should not divide on private bills who were directly or indirectly interested in such bills (finally adopted). 1849, March 19th, proposed examination of officers on entering the army. March 15th, moved for, carried, and drew the report of a select committee for the establishment of public libraries, freely open to the public. 1850, February 14th, brought in and finally carried the Free Libraries and Museums Act (on the model of this Act have been formed the famous libraries at Liverpool and Manchester, besides about thirty other libraries in different towns in the kingdom). May 7th, moved for repeal of the advertisement duty. 1852, May 28th, moved for the examination of candidates for the diplomatic service. 1853, April 8th, repeated the motion (since adopted). 1858, May 7th, moved for, carried, and drew report of select committee on European colonization in India. 1860, passed a bill for facilitating the building of labourers' cottages in Scotland. 1862, moved for, carried, and drew report of a select committee for promoting an international system of weights and measures. In 1864 he introduced and passed a bill, supported by members on both sides of the House, legalizing in this country the use of the "metric system," being the first step towards a general international system of weights and measures. In 1864 he moved for a select committee on the effects of capital punishment, which the Government so far accepted as to grant a commission on the subject. Mr. Ewart was a member of the celebrated Import Duties Committee of Mr. Hume, from which may be said to have originated the reform of our tariff. He has also been a steady and strenuous supporter of the repeal of taxes on knowledge; namely, on books, almanacs, advertisements, newspapers, and paper. ]

Colonel Kennedy conducted his candidature with courage, ability, and good temper; and when acknowledging his decided defeat, he avowed his resolution to resume his courtship of the Burghs as soon as a favourable opportunity should arise.

In few places is the connection between good sanitary arrangements and a high state of health better understood than in Dumfries. The water scheme was carried by the irresistible force of public opinion; and the same influence facilitated the adoption of the General Police Act (25 and 26 Victoria, chapter 101). Stoutly opposed for a time, a sweeping majority of seventeen votes to five rendered it triumphant in the Council, when its adoption was moved by Mr. James Clarke, and seconded by Mr. Richard B. Carruthers, on the 6th of May, 1864. Under its comprehensive provisions, the main drainage has been completed; the closes have been thoroughly sewered; and by these and other means the Burgh has been made as clean and salubrious as any town of its size in the United Kingdom.

A successful exhibition was held in the Old Assembly Rooms, under the auspices of the Dumfries and Maxwelltown Mechanics' Institute, in 1841; [The joint-secretaries for the exhibition in 1841 were Mr. William C. Aitken, now of Birmingham, and Mr. William Smith, who has for many years been the editor of a newspaper of high repute, the Whitehaven Herald.] and for the purpose of reducing a heavy load of debt, contracted by the erection of the Hall, the committee of the Institute projected a second exhibition, which was opened in that commodious building on the 26th of June, 1865. A number of other gentlemen co-operated with the committee, under the chairmanship of ex-Provost James Gordon, one of the vice-presidents of the Institute, and to whom the credit is due of having originated the exhibition. It proved abundantly successful in every sense; and to secure this result, no one laboured more devotedly than Mr. William G. Gibson, who, in conjunction with Mr. Harkness, acted as secretary to the committee of management. Rich paintings and rare antiquities, ingenious mechanical inventions and curious natural productions, articles of vertu, holographs of great men, and relics of Burns about a hundred in number, made up a splendid collection, which afforded crowds of visitors instruction and delight, and (we hope this is no anti-climax) yielded a net profit of nearly 300.

On the evening of the 2nd of October, 1866, the same Hall was occupied by nearly two hundred ladies and gentlemen, the elite of the Burgh, met to partake of cake, fruits, and wine, and to witness a unique presentation to Provost Turner. He had, a few months before, acquired an addition to his family; and, following a precedent set by other towns, the burgesses resolved to provide a silver cradle for the little stranger; and thereby, says the Standard, to manifest "the high esteem in which both Provost and Mrs. Turner are held" by the inhabitants. Bailie Newbigging, who liberally provided the entertainment, presided, and Mr. Martin, the town clerk, officiated as croupier. The chairman, in his presentation speech, pointed out that the event they had met to commemorate was not only interesting in itself, but unparalleled in the annals of the town. "Let them," he said, "turn over the leaves of the history of Dumfries backwards to the time when a M'Brair wielded power from the civic chair, in 1550, downwards to the comparatively modern time when the word of a Staig was law, and so on till our own day, and they would find no such incident as this recorded in the chronicles of the Burgh." Provost Turner acknowledged the gift in suitable terms.

Before the same year (1866) had terminated, the people of Dumfries gave fitting welcome to a distinguished townsman Captain Anderson of the "Great Eastern," knighted for the share taken by him in laying the electric cable that unites the Old World with the New. Sir James Anderson is the fifth son of the late Mr. John Anderson, bookseller, and is a fine specimen of the British seaman, well worthy of the honours showered upon him - all which he carries with becoming modesty and grace. The reception given to him by the Dumfriesians was of a three-fold kind. On the evening of the 13th of December, he met with the members of the Nithsdale Regatta Club, in order to receive from them an address. The meeting - a most agreeable one - took place in "Prince Charlie's Room," Commercial Hotel, and was presided over by Mr. Miles Leighton, junior, commodore of the club, who presented the address, which was enclosed in a silver case - the first piece of plate, Sir James said, he had ever received. [Sir James Anderson, in acknowledging the gift, indulged in some pertinent reminiscences of his early life, in connection with a previous regatta club that flourished about thirty years ago in Dumfries. By dint of working overtime when he was serving his apprenticeship as a printer, he was enabled with others to purchase the first boat of the future Regatta Club. It was of iron, and one pound was paid for the boat - all in coppers! (Laughter.) He called it after Midshipman Easy's boat, the "Harpy;" but his friends christened it "Anderson's canister." (Great laughter.) With that boat he succeeded in winning an important race: seeing that he was in the fair way of losing it, he turned the boat right about, and ran in stern foremost, carrying off the trophy. He could assure the company that he went down High Street with the sovereign he had won, and with the honours he had earned in that contest, prouder and happier than he could now feel; because he had then less care, less responsibility upon his shoulders. (Great cheering.) - Report in the Dumfries Standard.] Next day he was made a freeman and burgess, in presence of a brilliant company assembled in the Town Hall. From 1644 till 1795, inclusive, the same privilege was conferred on 2,945 individuals, and how many before and since we cannot tell; but we may venture to say that not one of the long list was more worthy of receiving it than the captain of the "Great Eastern." Provost Turner, in presenting the burgess ticket (enclosed in a massive silver box) to Sir James, delivered an effective address, full of historical reminiscences, as became the occasion; and the young burgess acknowledged the honour conferred upon him in a few tasteful and feeling remarks. The proceedings were crowned with a great banquet in the evening-the Provost in the chair, and Mr. W. R. M`Diarmid croupier. It was held in the large hall of the Assembly Rooms, and attended by about two hundred gentlemen from the Burgh and neighbourhood.

Though a hall was provided for the Town Council in the Mid-Steeple buildings, they did not occupy it till 1830, it being let by them for other purposes. During the next thirty-six years it was used as the Council Chamber; and since the 9th of November, 1866, the burghal authorities have met in what was once the Court-house, but which they purchased for a town hall-a fine, commodious building, situated in Buccleuch Street -with offices for the town clerk, the registrar, and the police establishment of the Burgh.

The year on which we have entered (1867) was opened in Dumfries with a political demonstration by the working classes' on a great scale, consisting of a grand procession, in which 1,200 persons took part; a day meeting on the Dock; and an evening meeting in Mr. Teenan's bazaar: all taking place under the auspices of the local branch of the Scottish Reform League, which numbers about a hundred and twenty members. So successful were the whole proceedings, that one of the speakers from London, after complimenting the Dumfriesians on being the first community to take the field this year in favour of Reform, drew an augury of coming triumph from the manner in which the campaign had been initiated. His anticipations have proved correct: the enfranchisement of all English householders is the acquired product of a persistent agitation for Parliamentary Reform, and Scotland is on the eve of obtaining a similar boon; we may, therefore, at this auspicious stage, let the curtain drop finally on Dumfries politics and events in general, that we may see briefly, before closing, what aspect the Burgh now wears.

It is now, as we saw when commencing our task, a large as well as beautiful town, growing rapidly in size, population, and wealth. How, from a rude, insignificant, timber-built village, it has gradually, during the passage of nine centuries, reached its existing state; and how its civilization and material improvement have advanced hand-in-hand, we have endeavoured to show. Its earlier streets retain the hoar of antiquity, intermingled with many fresh modern features which wear the dew of youth; and round about the original Burgh there have risen up house-rows and villas sufficient in themselves to constitute no inconsiderable town. In the aspect of Dumfries, as we now find it, there is much to gratify the eye of the antiquarian, and much also to satisfy the advocate of progress. With the old architectural features the new gracefully interblend, just as the charming natural scenery in which they are set contrasts with both, yet makes up with them a harmonious and attractive whole. But the modern portion of Dumfries is increasing at a rapid pace; and should it go on in the same proportion for the next twenty years, it will occupy more ground than was embraced by the entire site of the Burgh at the date of the Union. The abolition of the close burgh system, the repeal of the corn laws, the construction of railways, and the establishment of the tweed trade, have each given a stimulus to the growth of Dumfries. Few provincial towns in Scotland have gone forward during the last thirty years with such a gigantic stride; and its steps in advance have been especially remarkable in the latter half of that period. At the date of the Reform Bill, Albany Place, a row of seven two-story houses, was the only genteel suburb of which the town could boast; now it has several which are much more patrician in size and aspect. At the same period, the separate country mansions within the royalty numbered about half a dozen; at present enriching the view in all directions, on the Moffat road, by Lovers' Walk, on the Lochmaben road, at Noblehill, on the Craigs road, and on the Upper Dock nursery-they number nearly fourscore, ranging in value from 500 to 1,500 each. Many of these villas have sprung up within the last six years; many more are being built, or have been projected.

In the autumn of the present year, no fewer than one hundred and twenty masons were employed in the Burgh and neighbourhood, with a corresponding array of joiners, plasterers, and slaters, completing private contracts or public works; the chief of the latter being Greyfriars' Church, the foundation stone of which was laid in masonic style on the 11th of May, 1866, and which will be nearly finished before the close of the current year. Curiously enough, this, the latest public erection in the Burgh, occupies the same site as the first one that came under our notice-the Castle; and which, if Chalmers is to be relied upon, gave to Dumfries both its origin and its name. Greyfriars' Church, which supersedes the New Church, was built by Mr. James Halliday, mason, according to a Gothic design furnished by Mr. Starforth, architect, of Edinburgh; and will cost from 5,000 to 6,000, of which sum the Town Council gave 1,500. The body of the building, when viewed from the front, is rather dwarfed by its colossal accompaniments of tower and spire; but seen in perspective, it looks graceful and imposing. The steeple is unquestionably the great leading feature of the design. Symmetrical in form, and replete with rich carvings, it rises to the extent of a hundred and sixty-four feet; challenging notice by its size, and commanding admiration by its fine proportions. The church is certainly an architectural acquisition to its vicinity, and to the main thoroughfare, down which it looks. High Street is still, as in days of yore, the chief artery of the town; and though many of its buildings are comparatively new, and most of its shop fronts have been modernized, and though it manifests a bustling animation unknown to our forefathers, it is still quaintly picturesque, differing little in its outline from the time when "Bonnie Prince Charlie" rode through it at the head of his kilted Highlanders. Since that period, however, the Mid-Steeple, which juts into the street, has experienced a sorrowful change. Seamed and scarred by the weather, it remains neglected by the authorities; and though still a fine object, its condition of decay contrasts badly with the tokens of prosperity which surround it on every side - especially since the stylish rival steeple further north has risen up, to look down upon it in a double sense.

Buccleuch Street has undergone a wonderful mutation of late; the United Presbyterian Church, and more recently the new County Buildings, or Court-house, having done much to alter and improve its appearance. The Court-house was founded in the autumn of 1863, and opened at the spring assizes on the 17th of April, 1866. It is, we think, the noblest architectural achievement in the whole town; but its effect would have been much enhanced if, instead of occupying its present low site, it had stood on a piece of rising ground. Constructed in the beautiful Scottish Baronial style, from a design by Mr. David Rhind of Edinburgh, it has at once, with its tall, peaked towers and open Italianized parapets, the bold characteristics of a castle and the graceful features of a palace. Wherever these turrets of the structure are seen mingling in the sky-outline of this part of the Burgh, they look exceedingly striking and picturesque ; and the entire building has really a superb appearance, whether looked up to from the street or surveyed from a distant height. The line of thoroughfare-which begins at the head of Buccleuch Street, crosses along the new bridge into Maxwelltown, and thence along the Galloway road past the new Free Church, and numerous villas on the same side-is now one of the finest that is to be seen in the town or its environs.

In another direction (the north), Dunbar Terrace and Langlands Place, both of which are due to the enterprise of Mr. George Dunbar, and in another (the south-east), York Place, Victoria Terrace, and numerous individual mansions, rise up among rural scenes, where recently no houses were visible, or only those of a humble grade; and the magnificent railway station, erected in 1859, supplied a crowning ornament to the south-eastern suburb of the town. The station is exceedingly handsome of itself, and is so set off by a foreground of rare shrubs and flowers as to attract the admiration of all visitors, many of whom we have heard declaring that no such beautiful railway station is to be seen in the United Kingdom. Quite a new range of neat two-story houses, about forty in number, has been lately formed in the nursery ground, south of Queen Street, supplying accommodation to middle-class families; but we look in vain for extensive cottage-rows suited for the operative classes, not a few of whom, in the absence of such, are forced to reside in mere hovels, of which there are still too many within the Burgh. The hand of improvement is, however, most noticeable in the lower part of the town, near the river. How the Dock Meadow looked ninety years ago, may be known from our pictorial sketch (page 689). It was little changed when, after the lapse of sixteen years, Burns, in walking over it, wrote:

"Adown winding Nith I did wander,
Of Phyllis to muse and to sing."

But, since 1857, the "banks and braes" of the river have acquired new accompaniments; and the Dock, without losing its natural loveliness, has got, so to speak, fragments of a masonic frame-work which would seem singularly new and strange to all natives of the town returning to it after an absence of ten years or more. The acquisition, though artificial, so far from impairing, enhances the attractions of this favourite resort. Indeed, if we desired to give a stranger a good first impression of the Burgh, we would conduct him from the vicinity of Castledykes, northward along the river's brim, to catch the varying panorama thus made visible-the stately villas rising in what used to be the Dock nursery on the right, their bright hue (red sandstone) contrasting beautifully with the green garniture by which they are environed; further on, the magnificent Nithsdale Mills, opposite the sister yet rival structure of Troqueer - their tall chimney stalks looking like parts of a huge pillared gateway at the southern entrance of the town; old St. Michael's stately steeple; and the bulk and body of the town itself, looming finely above and beyond the glorious Dock limes; with the changeless river flowing past, giving freshness and superadded sweetness to the scene.

-The sources from which the Burgh derives its revenue, are pointed out in Chapter LII. [A considerable proportion of the revenue is drawn from dues, customs, and rents of property let annually by public auction. The various subjects were let as follows, on the 19th and 26th of October, 1867:- Dues and customs payable at the bridge, 480; flesh market dues, 60; potato market dues, 14; butter, egg, and poultry market dues, 41 10s.; grazing of Dock park, 35; old Council Chamber and dwelling-house, 20; shop under Council Chamber, 10; new fish market and dues, 27; cellar under fish market, 2; granaries, 14; gardens at the mills, 4; shop and cellar at the mills, 3. To these falls to be added 30 for the Council Chamber, which is let on lease: the whole making a rental of 740 10s., which is an increase of 13 10s. on the rental derived from the same sources in the preceding year.] In the year ending September, 1867, the income was 1,598 18s. 5d.; and the expenditure, 2,119 2s. 2d.; and there is a sum owing of 11,440 8s. 6d., [The expenditure was unusually great for 1866-7, as it included special charges of 272 14s. 3d. for fitting up the new Town Hall, 468 19s. for repair of the Caul, and 811 10s. 9d. as part of the grant given by the Council towards the erection of Greyfriars' Church. Except for these extraordinary charges, the income would have shown a balance of about 350 instead of a serious deficit; and the surplus would have been, under ordinary circumstances, increased by the rent for the mills, which, owing to their being stopped by the rupture of the Caul, was reduced by 250. The 11,440 Ss. 6d. of debt includes all the mortified money, which, as already explained by us, is designed to be irredeemable.] which, warned by the example of 1817, the Council ought to reduce with all convenient speed. As Police Commissioners, they had an income for last year, chiefly arising from rates, of 3,955 13s.; the expenditure, including a loan from the bank, necessitated by extensive drainage and other sanitary improvements, was 5,619 2s. 3d., leaving the amount borrowed, 1,723 9s. 3d., as a balance against the Commission. In 1746, when Dumfries was appraised, for the purpose of raising an assessment in connection with the Jacobite tribute money, the value of the houses and public buildings was ascertained to be 34,843 4s.; and if we make adequate allowance for the land that was not valued, we shall arrive at a sum that will not greatly exceed the rental of the Burgh at the present day. In other words, the valuation of Dumfries, for 1867-8, is 36,893 12s. 8d., [This sum is exclusive of railways, and shows an increase of 678 0s. 8d. on the preceding year. The railways within the boundary are rated on an annual valuation of 2,580. - Report of MR. JAMES B. GEMMILL, Assessor for the Burgh, ] a sum that, a hundred and twenty years ago, would have almost purchased right out the whole town and the ground on which it stood. The valuation has increased fully 7,000 within the last ten years.

As in "Burns's time," Dumfries has a goodly number of volunteers to bid the Gauls and all other foreign "loons beware" of venturing to set hostile foot on the Nithsdale portion of "our inviolate island of the brave and free;" and Maxwelltown has also a band of riflemen ready, if need be, to render similar service" For defence, not defiance." The Burgh has two verdant arenas, Milldamhead and St. Mary's, on which many a peaceful bowling contest is waged. On the Dock and Green-sands the classical discus, or quoit, has in season due its modicum of disciples. When the Nith is frozen over, its surface becomes the scene of many a curling spiel keener than the material on which the competing stones career; and when summer days are prime, and the icy winter is still far off, the open river is ploughed and splashed by a great array of boaters on recreation bent, or in excited earnestness pulling away bravely at the regatta of the Nithsdale Club.

For indoor recreations there is plentiful provision. The Theatre, built in 1790, and on whose boards strutted Edmund Kean and Macready when starting on the race for fame, still furnishes an occasional season for the lovers of the drama; the Mechanics' Institute supplies cheap lectures every winter; and Dumfries, owing to its Border position, is more frequently visited by professional lecturers, musicians, and other "artistes," than many towns in the kingdom twice its size. Annual concerts, on a great scale, are given by the Choral Society, with its sixty vocalists and nine instrumentalists; and the published "Transactions" of the Natural History and Antiquarian Society show that its members, 130 in number, know well how to make their learned and useful pursuits attractive and entertaining.

Of institutions to facilitate the operations of trade and encourage thrift, Dumfries has a creditable proportion. At the date of the Reform Act it had only three or four banking offices; now it has seven-those of the Bank of Scotland, the Commercial, the British Linen Company, the National, the Clydesdale, the Union, and the Royal; besides a Savings Bank, with deposits to the amount of 59,920: a Benefit and Building Society, commenced in 1857; present number of members fully 900; capital, 19,389: a Co-operative Society (the Dumfries and Maxwelltown), originated in 1847; shareholders, 367; subscribed capital, 442 15s.; average weekly drawings, 1140: an Equitable Co-operative Society (Limited), commenced in 1860; shareholders, 200; average weekly drawings, 60: and a branch of Odd-fellows (Robert Burns's lodge), opened in March, 1859, and having 163 members, and funds to the extent of 560.

Some of the Burgh's associations for charitable, intellectual, moral, and religious purposes have already been noticed. Many additions to these have been made during the last fifteen years, most of which will be found in the following list (those that are exclusively congregational not being included) :-A branch of the British and Foreign Bible Society-annual revenue, about 70; a Home Mission for Dumfries and Maxwelltown, with Ladies' Auxiliary and Agency for Bible Distribution-annual income about 80; a Dorcas Society, which provides ready-made clothing at a cheap rate for the deserving poor of both Burghs - income in 1866, fully 72; a Female Industrial Home for unfortunate Magdalenes, containing eleven inmates - revenue in 1866, 253; a Mission to the Blind, taking cognizance of all sightless persons of the poorer sort in Dumfriesshire and Galloway, the number of whom was found to be 107 in 1866, of whom 36 resided in Dumfries, Maxwelltown, and their immediate neighbourhood-income that year, 126 2s. 6d.; a Sabbath School Teachers' Union, numbering 216 members; a Boys' Home (instituted by Mr. William Gregan), with the adjuncts of an orphanage, a reading-room, and a temperance society, having 223 adult members, and 103 juveniles who constitute a Band of Hope-income for 1866, nearly 40. To these remains still to be added the "Alms-houses" charity, a cluster of handsome cottages, built at the expense of Mrs. Carruthers of Warmanbie, for the reception of "ten or fewer" lame or blind women, natives of Dumfries; and failing a sufficient number of such, any other needful females whom the trustees may appoint. These institutions, great and small, combined with the Benevolent Society's cheap schools, instituted in 1812, with the Hospital, the Infirmary, and the Education Society, whose enlightened operations have been previously spoken of, show that the Burgh recognizes in no stinted way the claims of the poor and the destitute, the ignorant and the depraved. Dumfries is in these respects, however deficient in others, progressing as much as in material wealth; and the knowledge of this circumstance makes us pray all the more heartily, with John Home "Flourish, Dumfries! may Heaven increase thy store, Till Criffel sink, and Nith shall glide no more:" a prayer which will be echoed by all our indulgent readers, "hereabouts or far away:" and with this benison upon the good old Burgh, we close our labour of love, and bid them respectfully farewell!

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