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Rev. William Govan, 1804 - 1875. Missionary in South Africa

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Rev. William Govan, 1804 - 1875. Missionary in South Africa About 1843

Not on display

  • Scottish Art
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.

Glossary Open


The first effective version of photography, using drawing or writing paper for both the negative and the positive. The paper was sensitised with potassium iodide and silver nitrate, exposed and developed in gallic acid and silver nitrate.


After years of dissension within the Church of Scotland, in 1843 a group of 150 ministers walked out of the General Assembly to form the Free Church of Scotland. The main issues were the right to veto clerical appointments and the desire of the dissenters to retain their spiritual independence.

Calotype, Disruption


  • Acc. No. PGP HA 985
  • Medium Calotype print
  • Size 19.70 x 14.30 cm
  • Credit Purchased from the estate of Sophia Finlay (Charles Finlay's Trust), 1937