A Tour in England and Scotland in 1785, by an English Gentleman (William Thomson). Published in London 1788.

Whilst Thomson did not enter Galloway, he travelled from Carlisle to Dumfries, and then to Moffat. His description of the people living in the countryside, and in particular their accommodation and clothing is of interest.

On Monday, the 20th June, ride in the afternoon, eighteen miles, to Dumfries. On the road from Annan to this place, as from the Solway Sands to Annan, the cottages are built of mud, and covered with turf or thatch, the poorest habitations that can be imagined, and extremely dirty. The inhabitants are turned yellow with the smoke of the turf, which is their only fuel. A similar effect, I have been informed, is produced, by the same cause, on the inhabitants of North Holland. The connection between climate, foil, food, vegetable effluvia, and other physical causes, and the complexions or colours of man, and other animals, is for the most part as mysterious as it is various; but here it is abundantly manifest. Till you come within two miles of Dumfries, the land is so exceedingly bad, that it must baffle every effort towards cultivation. It seems to produce nothing but peat, which is cut here, in large quantities, and supplies all the country round. Dumfries is a pretty large town, and very clean. It is situated in a low vale. The lands about it are tolerably well cultivated. About three miles from it there is a small house of the Duke of Queensberry's, with some large plantations of fir, which appear to thrive extremely well.

Tuesday, 21st June. Leave Dumfries in the morning; pass Lord Hopetoun's house, around which we find some tolerable woods; but the adjacent country is very barren. The farm houses are in general miserable huts, the people very poor, and the lower class of females exceedingly dirty. The old women, frightful enough of themselves, are rendered still more so by their dress, the outer garment being a long dirty cloak, reaching down to the ground, and the hood drawn over their heads, and most of them without shoes and stockings. Others among them wear what they call buggers, that is, stockings with the feet either worn away by long and hard service, or cut from them on purpose: so that the leg is covered by these uncouth teguments, while the foot, that bears the burden, and is exposed to brakes and stones, is left absolutely bare, ln the winter, especially in the highland and mountainous parts of Scotland, which include extensive regions on its southern borders, the old women and men very generally wear a kind of boots or hose formed of a coarse thick woollen cloth, or serge, which they call plaiding, and which they roll in folds, one above another, for the sake of heat. In the Low Country of Scotland, there are many districts, where the old men yet wear around their loins leathern belts or girdles, fastened by an iron or brass buckle, which, as we learn from sculpture and painting, so late as towards the end of the last century, were very commonly worn even by the Scottish gentlemen. Near Lord Hopetoun's is a remarkable arch thrown over a deep glen, a very rapid river precipitating itself about sixty feet beneath, through large rocks, which, in winter, cannot fail to make a tremendous appearance. Between Dumfries and Moffat, a space of twenty-one miles, there is not an house in which you can find any accommodation that is tolerable.