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The Burns Encyclopedia
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Mundell, Dr James

A naval surgeon who retired to Dumfries and practised as a doctor. There, he also became a partner in a small cotton-mill, the power for which was provided by an ox on a treadmill.

Burns wrote to him from Isle in October 1788: 'As my symptoms are continuing milder, 1 have not waited on you; but my liquid drug has failed. You will please send me by my servant the bearer, a recruit of the G-d D-n. I am still using the unction, tho', thank Heaven, not extreme unction.'

Another little domestic note has survived from January 1790: 'The bearer. Janet Nievison, is a neighbour, and occasionally a laborer of mine. She has got some complaint in her shoulder, and wants me to find her out a Doctor that will cure her, so 1 have sent her to you. You will remember that she is just in the jaws of MATRIMONY so for Heaven's sake, get her "hale and sound" as soon as possible. We are all pretty well; only the little boy's sore mouth has again inflamed Mrs. B-'s Nipples.'

Burns listed Mundell's name as one of eleven subscribers, beside himself, for The Bee, when he wrote to its editor, Dr James Anderson, on 1st November 1790.

Writing to Mrs Walter Riddell in November 1793, the poet made a reference to Mundell's Mill: 'There is a species of the Human genus that I call the Gin-horse Class: what enviable dogs they are! Round and round, and round they go - Mundell's ox that drives his cotton-mill, their exact prototype-without an idea or wish beyond their circle; fat, sleek, stupid, patient, quiet and contented: while here I sit, altogether Novemberish, a damn'd melange of Fretfulness and melancholy; not enough of the one to rouse me to passion, nor of the other to repose me in torpor; my soul flouncing and fluttering round her tenement, like a wild Finch caught amid the horrors of winter and newly thrust into a cage.'

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Robert Burns Store

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Complete Burns Songs

linn recordings of burns Linn Records have completed their landmark recording of all 368 Burns songs, available as individual CDs or a 12 volume presentation box set. We have full details. Click here...


Burns Music & Recordings
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Hint: Type "lang syne" or "peck maut" etc. into the Search box there for all artists, titles, descriptions or track listings with the words entered.
Burns Chess Sets

Burns Chess SetsUnique collectors' pieces based on Burns' life and works. (The ideal gift for your Burns Supper guests!) Click here...

Scotweb Store

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