This painting of the influential churchman and social reformer Thomas Guthrie was originally titled 'Dr Guthrie on a Mission of Mercy'. Guthrie was born in Brechin in Angus. He helped found the Free Church of Scotland in 1843 and he is shown here in the shadow of his Free St John's Church, at the head of Edinburgh's Lawnmarket. In the distance is St Giles Cathedral. Guthrie was an outspoken supporter of education for all and a passionate opponent of alcohol abuse.The children grouped around him are likely to be pupils from one of the Ragged schools which Guthrie founded in the area, whilst the tavern behind him reminds us of his other concerns.