Robert Rollock was the first Principal of the University of Edinburgh. He was born at Powis, near Stirling and educated there before entering St. Salvator's College and St Andrews. In 1583 the Town Council of Edinburgh appointed Rollock sole Regent of their newly-founded college. As the University grew his position changed to that of Principal or First Master. Rollock took a prominent part in ecclesiastical affairs as a supporter of the policies of King James VI. The King nominated him Moderator of the General Assembly in 1597. This portrait was painted two years later, in the year of his death.