This calotype was one of many studies for Hill?s large-scale painting relating to the 1843 disruption of the Church of Scotland. The final painting was completed in 1866. Ordained in Glasgow, Rev. William Govan was sent to South Africa in 1840 by the Glasgow Missionary Society. Four years later his post was transferred to the Free Church?s Foreign Mission Committee. The outbreak of the seventh in the Cape Frontier Wars in 1846 resulted in Govan returning home. He later travelled back to Lovedale in South Africa, a mission station and school, where he remained until 1870.