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John Brodie

John Brodie

In May 1875 there died at Town head, Dumfries, a well-known and singular character, John Brodie, at the
patriarchal age of 96 years. For half a century Brodie was one of the social landmarks of Dumfries. When a lad
he was in the habit of running messages for Burns, on the poet taking up his residence at Dumfries, after leaving
Ellisland farm. John was fond of field sports and fishing, though he repudiated the charge of being a poacher, and he was noted for his keen repartee.

He was an indefatigable collector of old relics, and boasted of being in possession of a brace of pistols which had belonged to Robert Burns, as well as the sword used by him when in the Excise. Brodie kept a small shop, which contained a most extraordinary collection of articles, including, among other curiosities, a silver toothpick wlsich had belonged to the celebrated Duchess of Queensberry. Time bad not made much impression on his mental powers, but an accident to hiis foot latterly
confined him to his house. Until within a few weeks of his death, however, he might have been seen at his door
sedulously inquiring what was the news from passers-by. Brodie was out of his bed the day before he died (which was a Sunday), and falling into a slumber from which he never awoke, he passed calmly away.

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