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Greyfriars' Churchyard, the Martyrs' Memorial

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Greyfriars' Churchyard, the Martyrs' Memorial About 1843 - 44

Not on display

  • Scottish Art
During the 1840s the most potent historical site in Edinburgh was Greyfriars Churchyard, the scene of the signing some two hundred years earlier of the National Covenant, a document enshrining Presbyterian religious liberties. For Adamson and Hill it was a place where the shock of the 1843 Disruption, a seismic schism within the Church of Scotland, could be worked through. The popularity of Greyfriars imagery at this time suggests a traumatic history that refused to be repressed. The figures may be David Octavius Hill and Miss Watson.

Glossary Open


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.



  • Acc. No. PGP HA 2259
  • Medium Calotype print
  • Size 20.50 x 15.40 cm
  • Credit Provenance unknown