About this artwork

Lord Braxfield was said to be the best lawyer in Scotland, an expert in intricate legal questions arising out of the 1745 Rising. His later fame owes more to his reputation as a 'hanging judge'. Reactionary in politics and a hard drinker, he was notorious for uttering such memorable phrases as 'Hang a thief when he's young, and he'll no steal when he's auld'. Raeburn painted Braxfield when he was dying, and little more than a shadow of the man described in his prime as being like 'a formidable blacksmith'.

Updated before 2020

see media
  • artist:
  • title:
    Robert Macqueen, Lord Braxfield, 1722 - 1799. Lord Justice-Clerk
  • date created:
    About 1798
  • materials:
    Oil on canvas
  • measurements:
    120.60 x 100.30 cm (framed: 150.00 x 127.60 x 10.00 cm)
  • object type:
  • credit line:
    Purchased 1954
  • accession number:
    PG 1615
  • gallery:
  • depicted:
  • subject:
  • photographer:
    Antonia Reeve
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Sir Henry Raeburn

Sir Henry Raeburn