David Octavius Hill & Robert Adamson

Captain Robert Barclay-Allardyce, 1779 - 1854. Celebrated pedestrian

About this artwork

Captain Robert Barclay-Allardyce, the last Laird of Urie, was known as the Great Pedestrian. He was most famous for walking 1,000 miles in 1,000 successive hours. He started his march on 1 June 1809 and walked one mile every hour for 42 days in an amazing test of stamina and sleep denial. The half mile (880 yards) course on Newmarket Heath was carefully marked out and lit at night by lanterns, and thousands of spectators watched Barclay walk back and forth. The Captain won 1,000 guineas for his athletic achievement, but hundreds of side bets earned him well over 30,000 pounds – a sum equal to about three million pounds today.

see media

David Octavius Hill

Robert Adamson

David Octavius Hill

A painter and a lithographer by training, David Octavius Hill is best remembered for the beauty of the calotypes he and Robert Adamson produced together. Hill was a sociable and kind-hearted man who did much to support the arts in Scotland and between 1830 and 1836 he was the unpaid Secretary of the newly established Royal Scottish Academy. After Adamson's death, Hill's attempt to start a new partnership with the photographer Alexander MacGlashan around 1860 failed. Hill is to this day revered as one of the first in the trade who transformed photography into an art form.

Robert Adamson